Facebook has hired a former NBC and CNN journalist to lead its news partnerships team, a major hire as the platform deals with criticism over its role in spreading misinformation around the election.
Campbell Brown will be filling the new role, which was first posted in December. Brown previously worked as a television reporter centered on politics for NBC, later moving to CNN, where she continued to cover politics. She helped anchor CNN's 2008 election coverage and hosted various shows. CNN and Brown parted ways in 2010.
Most recently, Brown started an education-focused non-profit focused
Brown announced the move in a Facebook post.
"I will be working directly with our partners to help them understand how Facebook can expand the reach of their journalism, and contribute value to their businesses," she wrote. "That also means making sure there is ongoing feedback from publishers as Facebook develops new products and tools for news organizations."
The head of news partnerships role was billed by Facebook as being centered on working with media organizations while also being the public face of the social network's role in the news. Brown will not be tasked with making editorial decisions about content on Facebook, according to a source at Facebook familiar with the role.
The hire came as a bit of a surprise, as Brown's experience was primarily as a television reporter a possible indication of where Facebook wants to bolster its news offerings. Facebook has been emphasizing video for the past few years, and most recently has been aggressively pushing live video.
Brown also joins Facebook at a crucial time for media companies that have come to rely on Facebook's massive audience. Facebook helped fuel the digital publishing boom of the past five years, supplanting Google as the firehose of choice for new and old media outlets. More recently, Facebook has been introducing ways (instant articles, native video) for that audience to remain within the social network instead of going to other websites. Facebook hasn't done much to monetize those efforts, though there's expectations that it soon will.
Facebook has billed the role as being newly formed, though Liz Heron had previously worked at Facebook under a similar title.