School of Communication and Media Launches New Speaker Series

Inaugural speaker is Andrew Heyward, former CBS president, on October 11

Montclair State University's School of Communication and Media (SCM) announces the launch of a new speaker series. SCM Director Merrill Brown said the inaugural speaker of the SCM School Seminar Series is Andrew Heyward, Emmy-Award-winning producer and president of CBS News from 1996-2005, who's currently an adviser on digital media and strategy and nationally recognized expert on news innovation. Heyward is scheduled to speak on Thursday, October 11 at 1 p.m., at University Hall, Room 1070. (Click here to view photos from the event.)

Before his tenure as CBS president, Heyward was executive producer of The CBS Evening News (1994-1996). Heyward was also responsible for developing and launching 48 Hours, the weekly primetime CBS News series that premiered in January 1988. He has won 12 national Emmy Awards.

"Andrew had one of the longest tenures as a network news president in broadcasting history and is responsible for considerable innovation in the field," said Brown. "In his consulting life, he's become a leader in digital initiatives, strategic issues and in speaking out on important news-industry issues."

Brown said future speakers will include "great thinkers, writers, executives, social-media innovators, and web producers," among others.  He added he would like to present several speakers a month as part of the series, with the goal of enabling more dialogue with the School and among the School's constituents.

"We're launching the series to provide faculty and others in the School with the opportunity to engage in meaningful dialogue with leaders in the field as a means to stay current and spur new ideas," he said.  

Brown said the series will provide students with direct access to some of the key movers and shakers within the industry, who will offer first-hand accounts of how to develop a media career and find personal passions, as well as provide a platform to discuss the state of the media industry and opportunities to build a professional network.

"Our students will derive real world engagement as they study the field and assess career opportunities," Brown said. "In addition, the series will provide an informative, creative and educational environment where our students can freely discuss and address large and small topics related to media and the marketplace.

"Most of all, the School will be leveraging its close proximity to New York City, providing students on campus with direct access to some of the most important names in media," Merrill added. "These events will be dialogs, and, through the experience our speakers bring, our students will gain a clear understanding of the communications industry and be provided with a unique experience that will assist in crystallizing their professional passions. "

Brown said the School hopes to schedule large public events as part of the series on a quarterly basis. 

This new speaker series marks the second within the School, which also offers Film Forum, a weekly program featuring contemporary filmmakers who come to speak about their work and profession, sponsored by its Filmmaking Program.

"Both Film Forum and this series reflect the aggressive approach of the School in creating valuable, inventive and unique opportunities for our students," Brown said.