October 15, 2007
Anna Christopher, NPR



October 15, 2007; Washington, D.C. – Maria Thomas, who has directed NPR’s digital media activities since 2001 as Vice President and General Manager, Online, has been named Senior Vice President, Digital Media. Thomas is responsible for NPR’s online and on-demand operations as well as its consumer products and e-commerce business and its library and archival activities.

Thomas has led NPR’s digital media expansion, overseeing the strategy, staffing and management of the division over the last six years. Under her leadership, NPR.org was transformed into a content-rich news and music discovery Web site; traffic to the site has grown five fold and it has won 9 Webby Awards. Thomas has been instrumental in the formation of strategic collaborations with content and technology companies such as Google, Yahoo, Apple and Microsoft. Thomas and her team spearheaded NPR’s highly successful launch into podcasting (www.NPR.org/podcast) in 2005, and she oversaw the recent launch of NPR Mobile (www.NPR.org/mobile). Under her direction, NPR Digital Media has adapted corporate sponsorship to a range of cross-platform products and grown commerce-based revenue streams to advance NPR's mission to educate, inform and engage.

“This appointment recognizes Maria’s accomplishments, the increasing complexity of digital media and our goals for the future,” said Ken Stern, Chief Executive Officer. “NPR’s digital media presence now spans public service, education, business development and revenue creation. Maria has played a major role in getting us to this point and we look forward to her leading us to the next level.”

Thomas will lead NPR’s new multi-year commitment to digital media growth. This includes the NPR Music service, a world-class music discovery site launching in early November 2007; a further expansion of NPR.org that will thread NPR Member station content and functions throughout the site; and continued development of products and services in broadband, mobile and other platforms.

Before joining NPR, Thomas was Director, Product Development at Amazon.com, involved in the launch and management of that company’s camera and photo store. She previously was an investment officer with the World Bank's private sector arm, the International Finance Corporation (IFC). Her career at the IFC culminated with her appointment to the position of special assistant to the CEO. Thomas began her career on Wall Street in corporate and project finance positions with Kidder, Peabody & Company, Incorporated.

Thomas holds a M.B.A. degree from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University and a B.S. in accounting from Boston University.