Media Academy Presenter Bios

headshot Chris ArcherCHRIS ARCHER
Executive Vice President, Media Strategies
SmithGeiger LLC

Chris Archer has served in key roles in the newsroom for the last 15 years. He joined SmithGeiger from KGMB-TV, Hawaii’s CBS affiliate, which became the state’s number one morning newscast after just three ratings periods. Before his success in Hawaii, Archer worked at KRON-TV in San Francisco, where he led his team through one of the industry’s first video journalism initiatives, creating a model for other newsrooms across the country.

Culliton head shotJOHN CULLITON
Senior Vice President, News Strategies
SmithGeiger LLC

John Culliton is nationally recognized for successfully balancing the entertainment qualities of television with relevant, award-winning multi-media content. At SmithGeiger, Culliton consults across many platforms, working closely with major media executives to enhance audience growth. He has previously served as vice president and general manager of KCBS in Los Angeles, KNXV in Phoenix, and WCCO in Minneapolis. He is a co-founder of Internet Broadcasting, the largest U.S. internet company for broadcasters.

Finlayson head shotANDREW FINLAYSON
Senior Vice President, Digital Strategies
SmithGeiger, LLC

Andrew Finlayson serves as the senior consultant regarding leading digital media issues spanning social media, news apps, streaming video and mobile news consumption. Finlayson has served as director of online content and business development for the Fox Television Stations; as news director in Nashville for Meredith’s WSMV, where he lead the newsroom to number one ratings; and as news director at Cox’s KTVU in San Francisco, where he was honored by the Project for Excellence in Journalism for the highest quality local newscast in the country.

Geiger head shotSETH GEIGER
President and Co-Founder
SmithGeiger, LLC

Dr. Seth Geiger directs the development of strategic research partnerships and oversees research innovation and product development. He has consulted with clients across the finance, technology broadcast, cable, satellite, syndicated television, telecom and internet industries, including U.S. Satellite Broadcasting, DIRECTV, TiVo, Warner Bros., Microsoft, ABC, CBS, NBC, Disney, AT&T, Broadband, Nokia, MSNBC, Disney Online, IBM, FedEx, Visa and Sprint PCS.

Keane head shotJEFF KEANE
Founder and CEO
Coolfire Studios

Jeff Keane founded Coolfire Media in 2002. Since then it has become one of the most respected commercial production studios in the Midwest. In 2009, Keane launched Coolfire Entertainment to create and produce original programming. Five years later he merged the two companies into Coolfire Studios, which produces such shows as Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s, Resale Royalty, and Funeral Boss. Before launching Coolfire, Keane was a senior producer at Busch Creative Services, as well as a producer and sports reporter for the CBS affiliate in Lexington, KY.

Luebbert head shotSTEVE LUEBBERT
Vice President, Development
Coolfire Studios

Steve Luebbert leads the Coolfire development team and oversees the studio’s television development pipeline. He is also responsible for cultivating industry relationships and pitching Coolfire’s concepts to networks. Before joining Coolfire, Luebbert served as the coordinator for ABC Comedy in Los Angeles, where he coordinated pilot projects and worked with the development team to create such hits as The Middle and Modern Family

Mahaney head shotCHIP MAHANEY
News Director
WCPO-TV Cincinnati/E.W. Scripps Company

Chip Mahaney is a media veteran, focusing on new technologies for news-gathering and building innovative and sustainable digital businesses inside legacy broadcast operations. He currently leads a 70-person local broadcast newsroom at WCPO, the E.W. Scripps Company’s flagship television/digital property in Cincinnati.  He is an Emmy Award winner who has taught at numerous journalism workshops and co-founded the Southwest Broadcast Newsroom Workshop, an annual training seminar that has trained more than a thousand journalists.

Jessica Rappaport head shotJESSICA RAPPAPORT
Vice President, Marketing
E.W. Scripps Company

Jessica Rappaport is a senior marketing and brand management executive with more than 20 years of experience and a proven track record of growing revenues, digital metrics and brand awareness through innovation, content marketing and social media strategies.

Thurman head shotRANDY THURMAN
Creative Services Director
KSHB-TV Kansas City/E.W. Scripps Company

Randy Thurman joined the E.W. Scripps broadcast family in 2003 as promotion manager for KSHB-TV/KMCI-TV, and was named creative services director in 2008. He has won numerous local and national broadcast industry awards and is responsible for all aspects of on-air and digital marketing, promotion, community relations and commercial production. Prior to coming to KSHB/KMCI, Thurman served in news and creative services management roles at the NBC and Fox affiliates in St. Louis.