Tuesday, November 11, 2008

It's Jonathan Landman's Website. Vivian Schiller Just Worked There.

Remember Jonathan Landman? He's the deputy managing editor for digital journalism at the Times.

Which means he's in charge of the Times's website.

Which means that Vivian Schiller reported to him.

Which means that when you read stories elsewhere that make Schiller, the new president and CEO of NPR, seem responsible for all the amazing bells and whistles on The Times's kickass website, it's not exactly true.

Landman took over digital operations at the Times in August 2005, nearly a full year before Schiller transferred to nytimes.com (from the company's failed television venture with the Discovery Channel) in May 2006, as its general manager.

Readers may recall that Landman got promoted in the wake of the Jayson Blair scandal, in which he had famously advised -- before anyone knew the details of Blair's transgressions -- that management needed "to stop Jayson from writing for The New York Times. Right now." (They didn't listen, of course.)

In Landman's three years overseeing nytimes.com, the website has seen remarkable growth in content and traffic; it's the most dynamic and innovative part of the paper right now, thanks largely to Landman's vision and enterprise. Blogs and videos have proliferated under Landman, including witty and freewheeling contributions by Times stars like David Carr and David Pogue.

Do not fear for nytimes.com in the wake of Schiller's departure. She was a very effective cog in Landman's machine, but like all cogs she can be replaced. If Landman leaves, that's another story.

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