Second Annual Media Academy to Bring in Executives from Top Companies | Webster University

Second Annual Media Academy to Bring in Executives from Top Companies

Executives from some of the largest media companies in the United States will be on campus for the second annual School of Communications Media Academy April 5 and April 6

ST. LOUIS (March 30, 2017) – Representatives of some of the largest media companies in the country will meet with students April 5 and 6 as part of the second annual Webster University School of Communications Media Academy. During the two-day event, students will have opportunities to meet these industry leaders and hear them discuss a number of topics about the state of the media today.

“Last year was a great success, and we’re excited to be able to offer Media Academy to our students again. This year we’ve also invited our alumni to participate. It’s a benefit to students and alumni alike when they can interact with industry experts of this caliber to hear their opinions and to share in their insights about key trends in media,” said Eric Rothenbuhler, dean of the School of Communications.

Executives from E.W. Scripps Company, Coolfire Studios and SmithGeiger, LLC will present a panel discussion and interactive workshops over the two-day conference. Together they represent some of the leading companies in cable, video and other media, and one of the top strategic media marketing and consulting firms in the United States.

The conference will start at 2 p.m. CDT Wednesday in the Winifred Moore Auditorium with a panel discussion on media industry trends. Thursday’s speakers will then have an opportunity to give a brief overview of their scheduled presentations. The panel discussion will be streamed live for the extended and international campuses at

Attendees will be able to register afterwards. A networking reception will follow the panel discussion from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in Webster Groves room 135 next door to the auditorium.

Check-in will begin on Thursday at 8:30 a.m. in the Edward Jones Commons of the East Academic Building. Workshops will begin at 9 a.m. and run until 1 p.m. There will be approx. four 50-minute sessions to choose from at 9 a.m., 10 a.m., 11 a.m., and noon. Most 9 a.m. sessions will be repeated at 11 a.m., and most 10 a.m. sessions will be repeated at noon.

Some of the topics and presenters include:

Big Data, The Trade-Off Between Personalization and Privacy
Seth Geiger, President, Smith Geiger, LLC

Ethics and Trust in a Fake News World
Chip Mahaney, News Director, WCPO Cincinnati, E.W. Scripps Company

DNA of a Leader: Modern Media Management Must Haves
Chris Archer, Executive VP, Media Strategies, SmithGeiger, LLC

Will Fake News Rants Ruin Real News Reporting? The Urgent Fight to Keep the Public’s Trust
John Culliton, Senior VP, News Strategy, SmithGeiger,LLC

Turn Your Phone into a Super Snackable Machine
Andrew Finlayson, Senior VP, Digital Strategies, SmithGeiger, LLC

In addition, Jessica Rappaport, Vice President of Marketing with E. W. Scripps Company, Randy Thurman, Creative Services Director, KSHB, Kansas City with E. W. Scripps Company, and Jeff Keane, CEO and Founder of Coolfire Studios have been confirmed.

After the workshops, selected students will exhibit their creative work in the Edward Jones Commons. They will receive feedback from the visiting media executives and School of Communications faculty, while all attendees will enjoy a networking reception to conclude the event. It will also be held in the Edward Jones Commons.

No registration is required for Wednesday's panel discussion or networking reception. Advance registration for Thursday's workshops will open on Monday, April 3, 2017. Students may contact Judy Connolly at or at 314-246-5935 to register. Please see for more information.

About the School of Communications
The School of Communications at Webster University prepares students to excel as skilled professionals in the global field of communications. We provide theory and practice in media courses framed within a liberal arts-based curriculum, augmented by personalized mentorship, and professional development opportunities. Sixteen distinct majors are available at the undergraduate level as well as six master’s degrees in diverse fields of communications. We offer BA and MA programs on the Webster campuses in Geneva, Vienna, Leiden, Thailand, and Ghana, as well as in Saint Louis and online.

About Webster University
With its home campus in St. Louis, Missouri, USA, Webster University ( comprises an action-oriented global network of faculty, staff, students and alumni who forge powerful bonds with each other and with their communities around the globe. Founded in 1915, Webster is a private non-profit university with more than 17,000 students studying at campus locations in North America, Europe, Asia and Africa and in a robust learning environment online. The university is committed to delivering high-quality learning experiences that transform students for global citizenship and individual excellence.