Montclair State University has appointed journalist and media expert Merrill Brown as the inaugural director of the School of Communication and Media. The School, which is new for academic year 2012-13, offers programs that equip students with the highly marketable skills demanded by the rapidly evolving media industry.
“We are delighted to announce Merrill Brown’s appointment,” said President Susan A. Cole. “He has the vision and experience to lead an exciting academic program, to leverage a broad range of media partnerships, and to expand the University’s relationships with state and regional media.”
Brown, who comes to Montclair State from MMB Media LLC, of which he was founder and principal, brings extensive experience in traditional and digital media as well as journalism education to his role as director of the new school. A former business reporter for The Washington Post, Brown was the founding editor-in-chief of MSNBC.com. He was also instrumental in the launch of Court TV, for which he managed programming, marketing and business development. As first national editorial director of news for the 21st Century, a Carnegie Corp-Knight Foundation initiative on the future of journalism, he helped expand a five-school pilot program into a twelve-school program based at Arizona State University.
In recent years, Brown has advised, raised capital for and helped develop early stage digital media and technology companies on the east and west coasts and will continue to be engaged as a director and advisor in those activities as part of his work at Montclair State. He has also served on numerous corporate boards and advisory committees, including the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism Advisory Board and the Knight Foundation Journalism Advisory Committee.
“The new School of Communication and Media can be a leader in training, in assessing the impact of the digital revolution, and in developing best practices across the worlds of digital and social media, journalism and television production,” said Brown. “I am proud to be associated with the strong team within the new school and with an administration that’s committed to making the school a recognized leader in a field that’s critically important to the future of the state and the region,” he added.
With its emphasis on focused coursework, hands-on internships, and mentoring by a top-tier faculty, the School of Communication and Media offers dynamic programs in communication, television and digital media, sound, filmmaking, journalism, public and organizational relations, and health advocacy.