Vivian Schiller, the General Manager of, is leaving the Times to become the president and CEO of NPR. National Public Radio, people! This is a huge announcement for lovers of the liberal media. Schiller has overseen lots of evolution at the paper's website—including the rollout of comments—which is the single best thing the Times has going for it. She became famous for her weekly memos and her devotion to slideshows. The Times had better choose her replacement very carefully. Her going-away email to the staff is after the jump:

Dear Colleagues, I’m announcing today my resignation from The New York Times to become President and CEO of NPR. This is an exciting opportunity for me to take the leadership role of an important media organization and prestigious worldwide news operation. The move also allows me to live full-time with my family in Bethesda, MD and participate more fully in the lives of my children. I’ve been privileged to be part of The New York Times for almost seven years and it has been the most professionally fulfilling time of my life. I have never thought of my time here as a job – it’s felt much more like a calling. I feel lucky to have worked along side such smart, creative, dedicated, passionate and fun group of people. I will miss you all more than you can imagine, and will continue to be your biggest cheerleader. But it’s not good-bye yet. My last day is December 1. Till then I’ll be focusing on the 2009 budget, IHT integration, and various other pending projects. And that gives us plenty of time to say good-bye in person. Meantime, see you around! Vivian Vivian Schiller Senior VP & General Manager,

[FishbowlDC has NPR's announcement. Any NYT people who'd like to weigh in on Schiller on background can email us. Pic by Michael Benabib.]