Sunday, December 30, 2007

Professor Donovan Myrie

I have invited Professor Donovan Myrie from Tampa University to speak to you about current media and the E-World. Professor Myrie is a amazing individual who I have had the opportunity to have met several years ago and has always impressed me with his understanding of new modes of communication and technology. I had a opportunity to co-present a paper and presentation on "Changing Technology" with Professor Myrie last year at a conference in Cincinnati. We were the one of the first to discuss the impact of the I-Phone on the digital world we live in. His bio although very impressive doesn't do justice to who he actually is.

Here you go:

Professor Donovan H. Myrie is a three-time Emmy Award winning broadcast journalist. He has worked with prestigious news outlets such as Time Inc., WNBC-TV in New York, KTVT-TV in Dallas and WFLA-TV in Tampa. Myrie was part of the management team of WAMI-TV, the Barry Diller/USA Broadcasting flagship station in Miami (recently dissolved) and New Urban Entertainment Television, a national cable outlet focusing on the diversity of all people of color in major urban communities. His experience includes work as a writer, producer (special projects, field and studio), Operations Manager, executive producer, assistant news director and news director. At WNBC-TV Myrie worked as a production assistant, photographer and live truck operator, before attending graduate school at Columbia University. He graduated with a Masters of Science in Journalism and received the Sol J. Taishoff memorial scholarship at commencement. From Columbia, he gained a summer fellowship with the International Radio & Television Society (IRTS) with an assignment at Time Warner. At Time, Myrie helped form the Magazine Production Group, a company that produced news segments by turning ideas, concepts and magazine articles into television (the forerunner of CNN Newsstand). In just seven months, he was promoted from intern to associate producer to producer to Deputy Executive Producer. Once the company was established he settled back into the role of producer, preferring the creative aspects of the job rather than the administrative. During his three-year tenure at Time, Myrie was invited back to Columbia University, not as a student, but this time as an adjunct professor. There, Myrie taught a television broadcast journalism class: bringing print students (very reluctantly!) into the world of electronic newsgathering. His experience with students in the spring of 1995 eventually led to the restructuring of the program at Columbia to include a more thorough understanding of television broadcasting from the “print perspective”. Myrie has also been invited to Howard University, the University of Texas and the University of Florida as a guest speaker. After Time Inc., He returned to WNBC-TV, this time as the News Operations Manager. At WNBC, he had extensive dealings with the network, other NBC stations and the affiliate news service (NBC News Channel). It was during this time that he started to realize the importance of strategic planning when covering a breaking news situation or disaster; planning that most television stations didn’t address until they were faced with a crisis situation. At WNBC, Myrie was the network administrator for the BASYS newsroom computer system and served as the main liaison for the station’s contracted helicopter program. A side note: he was featured in the Discover Channel 1996 documentary “Choppers on Patrol.” Myrie was with WNBC for an additional two years before moving to the CBS affiliate in Dallas Texas. KTVT was a smaller station, but with bigger opportunities and had just become a CBS affiliate after 40 years as an independent station. At KTVT, Myrie won three Emmy Awards for his work in special projects. He also had extensive dealings with two more affiliate news services, CBS NewsPath and CONUS news cooperative. In April of 1999, Myrie took a job as the News Administration Executive (Assistant News Director) with WAMI-TV, the flagship USA Broadcasting station in Miami. His news program, The Times, was originally envisioned as an alternative to the “body count” style of programming practiced by most news outlets. Later on in the year, he left WAMI-TV to work with another Miami TV station, WFOR-TV. At WFOR, he worked on creating a disaster plan for the station that specifically concentrated on Cuba. As the saying goes timing is everything: during his time at WFOR-TV, the Elian Gonzalez story broke, thrusting Miami and its Cuban politics into the national spotlight. At the close of the century, Myrie consulted with NBC News Channel to help coordinate their Y2K coverage. From there, he consulted with Video Networks Incorporated (VNI, now PathFire) in Atlanta. VNI was in the process of rolling out a new video-on-demand system for NBC News Channel affiliates (NewsTracker). The addressable system allows NBC to encode video and feed it over a satellite transponder (as computer packets instead of traditional video). The result: security and exclusivity of feed video was enhanced (you can not decode the video unless you are on an internal distribution list), affiliate newsrooms were able to view feed video from their desktops, all feed video was now placed on a server (eliminating the need for recording on to tape) and video feed times were reduced (encoded video feeds faster than linear tape based video). In May of 2000, Myrie moved to a fulltime executive producer’s position with New Urban Entertainment Television (NUE-TV). Three weeks after his hiring, he was promoted to news director, taking on the responsibilities of launching the network’s news division. NUE-TV was a Washington D.C. based cable network, targeting African Americans, Asian Americans and Hispanics as its core demographic audience. News programming for NUE-TV included a live, hourly, five night a week newscast, and the development of six regularly scheduled and special events programs over a six-month period. In just four short months of production, Myrie and his news staff were recognized with awards from the Black Filmmakers Foundation, National Association of Black Journalists and the New York Festivals. Just a year after launching, NUE-TV lost its startup financing. Myrie moved to St. Petersburg, Florida and began work on another disaster plan, this one on the 9/11 attacks and subsequent war with in Afghanistan. Battleground Afghanistan is in use at WFOR-TV (Miami), WTTG-TV (Washington), WFLA-TV (Tampa), CNN (New York) and NBC News (Washington DC). In January 2002, he Myrie signed on with WFLA-TV as the Weekend Planner/Assignment Editor. He continued to work with WFLA-TV through October 2002, even though he took on the role as an Adjunct Professor with the University of Tampa (summer 2002) and then a fulltime position as an Instructor with the same university (fall of 2002). At the University of Tampa, Myrie taught two different levels of Studio & Television, Video Production, Writing for Advertising and Public Relations, Communications & Society and Research Methods: An Analysis of 9/11. He was also part of the faculty search committee for a new department media coordinator and served as one of the driving forces to create a new television facility for the university. Myrie continues to work on America’s First War of the 21st Century with the hopes of publishing in 2003. He is also working on a book about commercial aviation called Aviation 101.

More exciting guests to come....


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