CNN's Vivian Schiller has been named executive vice president of CNN Productions, the network's award-winning documentary division, it was announced today by Tom Johnson, chairman, president and CEO, CNN News Group. Schiller succeeds Pat Mitchell, who has resigned to become president of PBS. Responsible for developing and executive producing original documentary programming for the various networks of the CNN News Group, including CNN/U.S. and CNN International (CNNI), Schiller will continue to be based in Atlanta and will report to Rick Kaplan, president, CNN/U.S.
"Vivian Schiller is a splendid 'ready successor' to Pat Mitchell," Johnson said. "She has served with distinction as senior vice president and general manager of CNN Productions, and she is exceptionally well qualified to lead the division."
Added Kaplan, "Vivian has displayed exceptional talent in both developing documentaries and working with some of the finest filmmakers in the world. We look forward to having her lead CNN Productions in the further development of provocative and insightful programs that examine the important issues of our time."
Schiller most recently served as senior vice president and general manager of CNN Productions, where she has developed and supervised more than 1,000 hours of non-fiction programming during her 11-year tenure with Turner Broadcasting System Inc. Schiller also served as series executive producer of CNN's first weekly documentary franchise, CNN PERSPECTIVES, which she helped develop and launch. CNN PERSPECTIVES airs around the world on both CNN/ U.S. and CNN International (CNNI), making it available in more than 227 million television households throughout 212 countries and territories.
She also is responsible for the revenue-generating business of CNN Productions, including co-production, international and domestic syndication and ancillary products such as home video. She developed the business plan for these areas that have resulted in significant revenues and facilitated the units' development into a full fledged production company.
During her tenure with CNN Productions and Turner Original Productions, as it was known prior to 1997, Schiller has served as the network senior producer for critically acclaimed programming such as the landmark, Peabody Award-winning COLD WAR series and MILLENNIUM, an unprecedented documentary covering the last 1,000 years of world history. She also has served as network senior producer for the Oscar"-nominated and Peabody Award-winning HANK AARON: CHASING THE DREAM; the Peabody and Emmy Award-winning STEVEN SPIELBERG'S SURVIVORS OF THE HOLOCAUST; the Emmy-nominated A CENTURY OF WOMEN, MOON SHOT, and THE COMING PLAGUE; and the environmental/natural history series WILD! LIFE ADVENTURES. Schiller also created the children's series REAL NEWS FOR KIDS and served as executive in charge of production for CAPTAIN PLANET AND THE PLANETEERS and TOM AND JERRY'S KIDS.
One of Schiller's first assignments for Turner capitalized on her fluency in Russian. During frequent trips to the Soviet Union, she helped develop and negotiate movie and television collaborations between TBS and Soviet Television.
Prior to her television career, Schiller served as an interpreter and business consultant in the Soviet Union.
CNN/U.S., a division of the CNN News Group, a wholly owned subsidiary of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., is the world's leading 24-hour news network, providing its audience with in-depth, live coverage and analysis of breaking news events from around the world. CNN/U.S. also offers a full range of programs covering the latest in business, weather, sports, entertainment, health and science news, as well as topical, in-depth interviews.