In his months as a digital media executive, Whitaker said, "I learned about how different a medium the Internet is, and that you have to respect it....I've learned that the Web is becoming multimedia, and video is going to become a big part of the Web. The Washington Post Co. and other companies are embracing video, but TV has a big head start."
Whitaker's first digital initiative at the company, the green lifestyle site Sprig, was launched just over a week ago; he said he had asked NBC to delay the announcement of his move for a week to avoid overshadowing the launch. The announcement also came on the day that Whitaker, a former president of the American Society of Magazine Editors, was slated to be a presenter at the National Magazine Awards.
"I'm 49 years old," he said of his NBC appointment, "and I realize this is the last time I'm going to have a chance to start something new like this." — Irin Carmon
THROW A STONE: Sharon Stone certainly made her presence felt at the first Smart Cookie Awards Monday night at the Morgan Library and Museum in New York, which honored 11 mothers who extend their good work beyond their families. Wearing a black vintage dress for the occasion, Stone accepted her award with a flair for the dramatic. One audience member noted Stone's acceptance speech could have doubled as a monologue in a movie. Stone said, "Sometimes I'm a better mother when I'm out there fighting for a good thing in the world because I'm making the world a better place for my children." Other honorees included Mariska Hargitay, Marcia Gay Harden and Leigh Blake, founder and president of Keep a Child Alive, and Maria Otero, president and chief executive officer of ACCION International, an organization that provides small loans to women starting their own businesses. — A.W.