Media Academy Presenter Bios | Webster University

Media Academy Presenter Bios



Session - Leading Through Change

Steve Ackermann head shotSTEVEN ACKERMANN
Vice President of News
Raycom Media

Steven Ackermann joined Raycom in 2005 as news director for WXIX in Cincinnati and joined the corporate team as regional news director in 2010. He previously served as executive news director of Belo Corporation's Texas Cable News in Dallas and before that worked for CBS News, where he launched the network program, CBS News Up to the Minute and served as its senior broadcast producer.



Session - Fast, First, and Flexible: Running a Real-Time Media Company

headshot Chris ArcherCHRIS ARCHER
Senior Vice President and Senior Strategist
Smith Geiger

Chris Archer joined SmithGeiger in 2010, where he coaches and consults for dozens of major media companies and executives across the country. Archer previously worked at television stations in Hawaii and San Francisco, where he pioneered several early digital initiatives, including one of the industry's first video journalism deployments, creating a model for other newsrooms across the country. 



Session - How to Get Hired and Why You Will Want To

Lec Coble head shotLEC COBLE
Vice President, Marketing & Audience Development
Raycom Media

Lec Coble is responsible for the brand of Raycom Media and for assisting 65 local television stations in 44 markets with their audience growth across multiple platforms and screens. His career spans 30 years and provides a marketing perspective from a local and corporate viewpoint on a continually evolving media landscape along with the marketing opportunities and challenges that evolution presents.



Session - Trust in News: The Most Important Topic In Media Today

Andrew Finlayson head shotANDREW FINLAYSON
Executive Vice President, Digital and Social Strategy

Andrew Finlayson works with leading media and technology companies finding the most valuable audiences for their content. This may involve digital strategies including new ways to use mobile, social and digital platforms to connect with today’s time-shifting, actively-participating, and always-on audiences. From Google to Intel, ABC to BBC and MTV, Finlayson consults and conducts research for many of the channels, programs, and TV stations you love to watch.



Session - Big Data: Watching Audiences Watch Us

Geiger head shotSETH GEIGER
President and Founder
Los Angeles and New York

Dr. Seth Geiger directs the development of strategic research partnerships and oversees research innovation and product engineering. He has consulted with clients across broadcast, cable, satellite, digital platform, syndicated television, telecom and web industries. They include ABC, AT&T, Broadband, CNN, DIRECTV,  Discovery, Google, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, NBC, Raycom, Scripps Networks, TiVo, Visa, and Warner Bros., among others. He is nationally recognized for his academic research in the fields of media processing, research design, and mass media effects.



Session - From Concept to Screen: How an Idea Becomes a Reality TV Show

Luebbert head shotSTEVE LUEBBERT
Vice President, Development
Coolfire Studios

Steve Luebbert leads the Coolfire development team and oversees the company's television development pipeline. He also cultivates industry relationships and pitches Coolfire’s concepts to networks. His executive producer credits include, Welcome to Sweetie Pie's (OWN), Gear Dogs (Discovery), Resale Royalty (Style), Listed Sisters (HGTV), and many others. Before joining Coolfire, he worked in Los Angeles for ABC Comedy where his development team was responsible for hit shows such as Better Off Ted, Cougar Town, and Modern Family.


Session - How to Have Your Story Seen Across Multiple Media and Platforms

Sean McLaughlin, E.W. Scripps, head shotSEAN MCLAUGHLIN
Vice President, Content
E.W. Scripps

As vice president of content for the E.W. Scripps Company's Local Media division Sean McLaughlin oversees the news products for Scripps' 23 news-producing television stations' broadcast and digital operations. He focuses on serving audiences with high-quality journalism across platforms. McLaughlin also oversees The Now, an original program that includes both national reporting and local journalism, airing in most Scripps markets. He previously spent more than 20 years in local news, first as a reporter and eventually as a major-market news director.



 Session - First Is Desired, Right is Required!:  Keeping Ethics in Journalism

Barb Maushard head shotBARB MAUSHARD
Senior Vice President, News
Hearst Television, Inc.
New York

Barb Maushard sets strategy for Hearst Television's News Operations and has management oversight of the corporate-level news team. Since joining Hearst in 1997, she has served as news director at local stations in Arkansas, Wisconsin, and Florida, and nationally as vice president of news. Under her stewardship, Hearst Television Stations have earned journalism's highest national honors.



Session - From Issue to Story: How to Craft Compelling Narratives Around Social Issues That Matter

Sonja Perryman head shotSONJA PERRYMAN
Manager, Research and Development 
Wise Entertainment
Los Angeles

After working years as an actress, Sonja Perryman felt a call to do more to help families in her neighborhood. She began working as a bilingual youth and family educator in South Los Angeles, where she used the power of storytelling to engage community members in health education programming. She recently worked with the Fielding School's Diversity Committee, where she conducted research and helped plan several school-wide diversity initiatives. At Wise Entertainment, Perryman works in development and research. She facilitates workshops and is currently collaborating on a multi-city project that will creatively engage diverse communities disproportionally affected by gentrification.



Session - The Evolution of Media Consumption: Understanding and Engaging Your Target Audience

Jessica Rappaport head shotJESSICA RAPPAPORT
Vice President, Marketing
E.W. Scripps Local Media Division

Jessica Rappaport oversees the marketing, branding and social media marketing efforts for the company’s Local Media Division. It includes 33 television properties in 28 markets across the United States. She held previous marketing and branding positions with other media companies prior to joining Scripps seven years ago, including Frank Magid Associates, where she was a Senior Marketing and Brand Management Consultant for five years. She consulted with executives of broadcast networks, Internet companies, cable companies and local TV stations on content, marketing, advertising, promotion, PR and branding.


Session - Local Media Brand and Marketing in a Fragmented Media World

Bill Seitzler headshotBILL SEITZLER
Vice President, News Strategy

Bill Seitzler provides clients with an expertise in management, promotion, branding, production, digital media, marketing and news strategies. He joined SmithGeiger in 2006 after working 20 years at four different local television stations across the country. He uses many unique quantitative and qualitative research methodologies to uncover consumer attitudes and preferences. He also uses big data to create a clear road map to driving strategic transformation and growth for digital and broadcast media/content companies.



 Session - The Evolution of Media Consumption: Understanding and Engaging Your Target Audience

Thurman head shotRANDY THURMAN
KSHB Creative Services Director
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.

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