October 10, 2007
Andi Sporkin, NPR
MITCH PRAVER NAMED CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER, NPR
Washington, D.C.; October 10, 2007 - Mitch Praver, a longtime broadcast and digital media executive, has been named Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, NPR, it was announced today by Ken Stern, Chief Executive Officer.
Praver begins October 29 and will report to Stern. He will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of NPR, including its programming, finance and administration, technology and digital media units and will oversee its business initiatives.
"NPR has embarked on an ambitious multi-year business plan to serve the public radio community on all digital platforms," said Stern. "Mitch has a proven record of growing the reach and service of established, respected companies and I look forward to his leadership as we work toward expanding the public service mission of NPR in the coming years."
Praver has held business management positions at media companies for more than two decades. Since 2005, he has been Executive Vice President, Business Development and Sales at software technology company Hillcrest Labs. There, he built revenue-generating relationships with major worldwide consumer electronics companies, PC manufacturers and partners for content, advertising and commerce. He also helped develop the company's strategic focus, business models, distribution and licensing deals. Previously, he served as General Manager of AOL's Web Personals business; this premium service pioneered integration of the AOL IM (Instant Messenger) function into an online interactive service. Under his direction, the service exceeded 1 million members in its first year.
From 1998 to 2004, Praver held several senior management positions at National Geographic Ventures, the subsidiary of the National Geographic Society that manages its for-profit businesses. He began there as Senior Vice President, New Media; he was later promoted to Senior Vice President/General Manager of National Geographic Interactive and, then, President of NationalGeographic.com. He led National Geographic's interactive businesses including its website, CD-ROM/DVD-ROM and other content development across digital media platforms. Among his achievements, he closed an almost $7 million gap to profitability for the Web business through dramatic year-to-year increases in site traffic, return visitation, advertising sales and E-commerce revenues. In the process, his group was recognized with virtually every major industry honor including Webby and Codie Awards.
Prior to National Geographic, Praver was Director - and later promoted to Vice President - of New Media Distribution, Affiliate Sales and Marketing at Discovery Networks. His first position in digital media was in 1993 with Bell Atlantic (now Verizon) Video Services, where he led the Content and Programming team for Stargazer, the pioneering Video on Demand (VOD) television service. His other media experience includes Vice President, Program Acquisitions, Scheduling and Planning for Lifetime Television for Women cable network and Vice President and Director of Programming at the Katz Media Group, overseeing the programming division for 140 broadcast television stations. He began his career at ABC Television Network and WABC-TV in the Audience Information and Public Relations departments.
Praver holds a M.A. in Media Studies from the New School for Social Research. He and his wife, Adrienne, and children, Cole and Carson, live in Virginia.