CASTLE ROCK, COLORADO
Michael Fabac is Corporate Director of News and Marketing for News-Press and Gazette Broadcasting. NPG is a family-owned media company with television, radio and newspaper properties in eight states.
Michael started with NPG in December, 2014 and works closely with the group’s news, marketing and digital teams to drive a culture of enterprise journalism and accountability.
Prior to joining NPG, Michael worked as news director at WCMH Columbus, OH, KXAN Austin, Texas, KLRT Little Rock, Arkansas and WNEM Flint, Michigan.
Highlights of his news director career include:
Michael has also enjoyed serving in the communities in which he has lived:
Michael currently works out of KRDO Colorado Springs – the same station where he began his career as an intern during high school. Michael and his wife Debra live in Castle Rock, CO with their two dogs.
Rashida Jones is a news executive with nearly two decades of experience in cable and local news. She is the President of MSNBC, where her responsibilities span both television and digital properties.
Prior to being named President of MSNBC in late 2020, Rashida was the Senior Vice President of News Specials for NBC News and MSNBC and led breaking news and major event coverage for both NBC News and MSNBC, including election nights, Primary and Presidential Debates, political conventions and other major coverage initiatives. Rashida also managed the NBC News Decision Desk – a team of data scientists responsible for making all race call decisions on primary and election nights.
Rashida was also the executive in charge of NBC News’ streaming network, where she created and executed the network’s vision in a competitive landscape full of emerging news products on streaming platforms.
Prior to that role, she served as managing editor for MSNBC’s Dayside programming, driving the editorial decision-making and coverage.
McNeely’s master’s thesis in government was on the 1964 U.S. Senate race that George H. W. Bush lost. He first interviewed George W. Bush in 1978, when Bush was running for Congress. An expert on Texas politics when he joined the Austin American-Statesman in 1978, McNeely retired from the Statesman in 2004. He still writes a weekly column for more than two dozen Texas newspapers and remains the dean of the Texas Capitol press corps. McNeely also received an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellowship and a Nieman Fellowship from Harvard University.
McNeely co-taught a course at The University of Texas on “The Press and Politics” — with Paul Begala, who with James Carville ran Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential race, and then with Karl Rove, chief political adviser to George W. Bush as governor, and as President. McNeely later taught the course at UT by himself, and “Opinion Writing” at St. Edwards University in Austin.
McNeely and Jim Henderson co-authored, “Bob Bullock: God Bless Texas,” published by The University of Texas Press in 2008, about the most powerful lieutenant governor in Texas History. Bullock presided over the Texas Senate with an iron hand. during the administrations of Democratic Gov. Ann Richards, and then Republican Gov. George Bush. The colorful, contentious and driven Bullock was an LBJ aficionado and Democrat who had a large impact on Texas government, including promoting Republican Gov. Bush for president.
McNeely and his wife have five children and nine grandchildren.
Since the Kneeland Project’s inception in 1998, Michael Schneider has been involved as a member and officer on The Kneeland Project’s board of directors. He is Vice President for Legislative and Regulatory Affairs at the Texas Association of Broadcasters (TAB). Michael graduated from the University of Houston with a BA in Radio-Television-Film and a minor in Political Science. He began his broadcast career as an assignments editor and associate producer for Houston’s KTRK-TV in 1980.
Michael says, “Carole Kneeland was a role model, competitor and friend. I grew up listening to Carole on KAUM-FM and watched Carole report on KPRC-TV, her first TV job. A decade later I worked for a Texas governor and was on the receiving end of Carole’s microphone while she worked the Capitol beat for WFAA-TV.”
“In the 1990s, I was Carole’s cross-town competitor,” he continued, “but I counted her as my friend. We could always share a laugh together and commiserate the ‘joys’ of newsroom management. It wasn’t until I joined the Texas Association of Broadcasters that she and I worked ‘on the same team.’ Carole and I led TAB’s open government lobbying effort during the 75th Texas Legislature. We tracked nearly 500 bills (out of 5500) with potential newsroom impact. We spent hours waiting in committee hearings and testifying. With her help, we were able to implement much-needed reforms to the Texas Public Information Act.”
Prior to joining TAB, Michael was news director and assistant news director at Austin’s KTBC. He served the newsrooms of KTBC and Austin’s KEYE as assignments manager. During 1986-1990 he worked in public relations for the State Preservation Board, the agency responsible for the restoration of the Texas State Capitol. He also served as assistant press secretary to Texas Governor Mark White.
Joan Barrett is the VP/GM of KDVR-Channel 31 and KWGN-Channel 2 in Denver, Colorado. Her team produces more than 90 hours of live programming each week. Prior to her appointment, she served as President and General Manager of Sunflower Broadcasting Inc. for 14 years. She managed five television stations managed five television stations and a full-power Spanish JSA/SSA for Entravision.
Before she became general manager, Joan was the news director at KWCH. The Great Bend, Kansas native worked in the television broadcast industry as an anchor, reporter, producer and news manager at stations in: Lubbock, Texas; Topeka, Kansas and Austin, Texas. She was also the vice president of news at KPNX in Phoenix, Arizona. Before coming to KWCH, Joan worked as a consultant and trainer for “The Broadcast Image Group.”
Joan served as the Board President of The Kneeland Project for more than five years and was member of the group of Carole’s friends and co-workers who established the Project. She was instrumental in helping to develop the organization’s one-of-a-kind training, which is based on many of the principles Carole advocated. For the training of new directors, Joan provides training in delegation, decision-making, time management and managing multiple priorities, all based on the lessons she learned from Carole.
She has served on a variety of boards, including: Kansas Association of Broadcasters, Goodwill Easter Seals, the Kansas Food Bank. While in Denver, her team has won the Heartland Emmy for Overall Excellence twice. Under her direction, the KWCH 12 news team won three national Edward R. Murrow Awards. She was also awarded the prestigious Gannett Broadcasting “Award of Excellence.” Joan is a graduate of Kansas State University. She now resides in Westminster with her husband Jeff and their two beagles. Her son Jake is a Chemical Engineer for Procter & Gamble in West Virginia and her son Josh is a Communications Specialist for Boeing at Cape Canaveral.
New Orleans, LA
Sandy Breland is a Senior Vice President of Local Media for Gray Television. She has oversight of a portfolio that includes 16 television stations, a Washington DC Bureau, a National Investigative Unit, and the nationally syndicated political show, “Full Court Press with Greta Van Susteren”. She also has oversight of InvestigateTV ( www.investigatetv.com ), an innovative OTT app that delivers high-quality journalism on demand.
She has participated in the invitation-only “Newsgeist”, hosted by Google and the Knight Foundation. Sandy serves on the Fox Affiliates Board of Governors and previously served as the group’s chairperson. She has more than 30 years of experience in broadcasting and has received some of the industry’s highest honors.
Prior to joining Gray as Senior VP, Sandy served as a Group Vice President for Raycom Media where she was honored with an Emmy for organizing and serving as EP for “Louisiana Rising”. The flood relief benefit concert, hosted by Harry Connick Junior and Randy Jackson, aired on dozens of stations across the country raising badly needed funds.
Sandy also served as Regional Vice President and General Manager of WVUE-TV, the Fox affiliate in New Orleans. During her tenure as General Manager, WVUE was honored with three national Edward R Murrow Awards. She served five years as Vice President/General Manager of WAFB/WBXH in Baton Rouge. Prior to that, Sandy spent two years as Executive News Director of KTVK-TV in Phoenix and eleven years as Executive News Director of WWL-TV, the CBS affiliate in New Orleans. She was honored with a Peabody and National Murrow, for her planning and execution of Hurricane Katrina coverage. Sandy is a recipient of the RTNDF’s First Amendment Award and the Society of Professional Journalists Sigma Delta Chi Award for public service.
Sandy is a member of the LSU Manship Board of Visitors and is past chairman of the Louisiana Association of Broadcasters. Sandy holds a BA in Journalism from Loyola University-New Orleans and has attended continuing education sessions at Columbia University’s Sulzberger Leadership Program, Missouri University’s Management Program for Broadcast Professional, and the Poynter Institute.
Jill Geisler is the Bill Plante Chair in Leadership and Media Integrity at Loyola University Chicago and an internationally recognized expert in leadership and management. She’s the person news organizations reach out to when their managers need solutions, skills and inspiration. Her influence on media leaders ranges from Boston to Bhutan.
She is also the Freedom Forum’s Fellow in Women’s Leadership. Jill leads programs in its Power Shift Project, the goal of which is Workplace Integrity: environments free of discrimination and incivility and full of opportunity, especially for those who have been denied it. She has trained hundreds of media leaders to deliver the Workplace Integrity curriculum she designed and has personally delivered her “Do You Qualify as an Ally?” webinar to thousands of aspiring allies in media and beyond.
She is the coach to countless leaders she’s never met, through her book, “Work Happy: What Great Bosses Know,” her management columns for the National Press Club Journalism Institute and Columbia Journalism Review, and her podcasts, “What Great Bosses Know” and “Q&A: Leadership and Integrity in the Digital Age.”
Jill’s first career was in broadcast journalism, where she began as a reporter, photographer, producer and anchor. At the age of 27, she became one of the country’s first female TV news directors at WITI-TV in Milwaukee. Her award-winning newsroom was known for its culture of enterprise and ethics. After 25 years on the front lines of news and news management, she joined the faculty of the Poynter Institute, where she guided its leadership and management programs for 16 years and became known as a master teacher and coach.
Jill has been inducted into multiple media halls of fame, including the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association, the Milwaukee Press Club and the Silver Circle of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. She’s also been recognized by the Radio-TV Digital News Association, The News Leaders Association and her alma mater, the University of Wisconsin, for her contributions to journalism.
She serves on the advisory boards of the Journalism and Women Symposium, the University of Wisconsin Center for Journalism Ethics and the Journalism and Media Ethics Council of the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics.
Jill holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin and a master’s degree in leadership studies from Duquesne University.
Her management mantra is “Life’s too short to work with jerks.”
Bernard Choi serves as Boeing’s vice president of Global Media Relations, where he leads a team that works to protect and enhance the company’s reputation. Bernard and the media team manage complex issues that emerge from Boeing’s global operations, while working to strengthen media and industry relationships and positioning the company as an aerospace and defense leader focused on safety, quality and integrity.
Bernard brings more than 25 years of award-winning storytelling in broadcast television and corporate communications. Since joining Boeing in 2008, Bernard has held key roles in media relations, executive, finance, strategy and customer communications, and pioneered corporate video journalism for the company and helped launch its social media program.
From 2017 to 2021, Bernard was senior director of International Communications & Media s Relations for Boeing’s Commercial Airplanes business where he and a team of communicators and branding specialists shared stories across multiple channels to highlight Boeing’s advanced airplanes. He also counseled and supported the unit’s CEO and other senior leaders. Additionally, Bernard led the Customer Partnership Marketing team that collaborated with airlines and leasing companies to promote Boeing’s airplane family.
From 2014-2017, Bernard served as director of Finance Communications as he provided internal and external communications counsel and support for Boeing’s CFO and EVP of Corporate Development & Strategy and his leadership team. Additionally, Bernard crafted and coordinated messaging with Investor Relations and directed financial messaging for the enterprise.
Prior to the corporate roles, Bernard had his first stint in Boeing’s Commercial Airplanes business where he served as the executive communications lead for the unit’s CFO and his organization. Bernard also supported the president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, developing and implementing communications tactics such as employee messages and video content. Before that, Bernard led the development of Boeing’s external web strategy and online content, and supported the Business Development & Strategic Integration group.
Before Boeing, Bernard worked as a reporter, producer, and anchor at various television stations, including KING-TV in Seattle, KWCH-TV in Wichita, Kansas, and KOMU-TV in Columbia, Missouri. Bernard graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a bachelor of journalism and the University of Washington with a Master in Business Administration.
Bernard serves on the board of directors for The Carole Kneeland Project, a national organization dedicated to assuring ethics and excellence in local journalism. He is a new resident of Washington, DC, a self-admitted history nerd and a late-blooming runner who aims to progress from a half-marathon to the full distance.
Mark J. Lodato was appointed dean of the S.I. Newhouse of Public Communications in July 2020. He leads a team that includes some 200 faculty and staff and approximately 2,400 students.
Lodato joined the Newhouse School after more than 14 years at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, where he most recently served as associate dean and associate general manager at Arizona PBS. At ASU his portfolio included supervision of the Cronkite School’s broadcast and sports curriculum. A member of the leadership team, his duties also included undergraduate recruitment and retention, student services, establishing new media partnerships and development. He is the 2014 recipient of the ASU Faculty Achievement Award for Excellence in Curricular Innovation and a member of the Scripps Howard Academic Leadership Academy class of 2013. Lodato has served on multiple site teams for the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications.
At the Cronkite School, Lodato established new partnerships with leading media corporations including NBC News, ABC News, Meredith Corporation, Scripps Corporation, Fox Sports Arizona, Univision and Cox Communications. He supervised the Cronkite School and Arizona PBS broadcast news operations, including the national award-winning television newscast, “Cronkite News.” Under his leadership, Cronkite School broadcast students consistently ranked among the nation’s best in premier journalism competitions, including the Hearst College Journalism Awards, the Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence Awards and the Broadcast Education Association Festival of Media Arts awards.
Lodato joined the Cronkite School after working 16 years as an award-winning television reporter and anchor for television stations in Washington D.C., San Francisco, Phoenix and Ft. Myers, Fla. A native of Menlo Park, Calif., Lodato holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Missouri and a master’s degree in higher education administration from Arizona State University.
Anita Helt was named vice-president & general manager of ABC15, KNXV-TV, the ABC affiliate in Phoenix, in 2011. Previously, Anita was president & general manager KXTV-TV, the ABC affiliate in Sacramento, California. Prior to that she spent more than a decade as vice-president of marketing & programming for KPNX-TV, the NBC affiliate in Phoenix. She started at the station as executive producer of special projects. Before making Phoenix her home, Helt accepted a political appointment where she was responsible for media and public relations for the State of Kansas. She started in television as an anchor/reporter in Kansas and Washington and has received multiple local awards for her reporting and marketing work.
Anita received her degree in communications/broadcast journalism from the University of Washington. She also serves on the boards of Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications as president and the Arizona Broadcasters Association as chair. She and her husband, Kip, are proud parents to their daughter, Lauren. They also have five small dogs who have taken a backseat to their grandson, the cutest ever five-year-old little man, named Hudson.
NEW YORK, NY
Barbara Maushard was named senior vice president, news, of Hearst Television in 2016, after having served since 2008 as vice president, news. She sets strategy for Hearst Television’s news operations and has management oversight of the corporate-level news team. Under Barb’s stewardship, Hearst Television stations have earned television journalism’s highest national honors. In 2016, the news operations received a George Foster Peabody Award, an Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia Award, a National Headliner Award, two Sigma Delta Chi Awards and two national Edward R. Murrow Awards.
Barb has worked at four Hearst stations since 1997, serving as news director at three of them: KHBS/KHOG (Fort Smith/Fayetteville), WISN (Milwaukee) and WESH (Orlando). Under her news stewardship, WISN-TV launched seven and a half hours of local news programming and was honored with both a George Foster Peabody Award and a National Edward R. Murrow, among other awards. Barb joined the company at KMBC-TV in Kansas City. There she was part of a team that won a Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) award. She began career at WHOI in her hometown of Peoria, Ill., later working at WCMH, Columbus and WMAR, Baltimore.
Among other industry roles, Barb serves on the NBC News Channel board, and has served as vice-chair of the ABC News Directors Advisory Board and as a member of the Radio-Television News Directors Association (RTNDA) and the Online News Association. She graduated with a degree in Broadcast Journalism from Bradley University in Peoria.
Ross Ramsey is executive editor and co-founder of The Texas Tribune, where he writes regular columns on politics, government and public policy. Before joining the Tribune, Ross was editor and co-owner of Texas Weekly. He did a 28-month stint in government as associate deputy comptroller for policy and director of communications with the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. Before that, he reported for the Houston Chronicle from its Austin bureau, and for the Dallas Times Herald, first on the business desk in Dallas and later as its Austin bureau chief, and worked as a Dallas-based freelance business writer, writing for regional and national magazines and newspapers. Ross got his start in journalism in broadcasting, covering news for radio stations in Denton and Dallas.
New York City
Anzio Williams is the Senior Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for the NBCUniversal Local, NBCUniversal’s division that is home to three local media groups: NBC Owned Television Stations, NBC Sports Regional Networks, and the Telemundo Station Group, as well as multicast networks COZI TV, NBCLX, and TeleXitos. Together, the media groups and networks deliver the very best in local sports, news, weather, consumer and investigative reporting, and lifestyle entertainment to English and Spanish speakers across any platform and screen.
At NBCUniversal Local, Anzio is responsible for developing and implementing a comprehensive strategy that will make diversity and inclusion a top priority across the division. Before this, he was Vice President of News for NBC10 / WCAU and Telemundo 62 / WWSI for eight years.
A respected broadcast professional with more than 25 years of experience, Anzio has worked at TV stations across the country and held numerous leadership roles with increasing responsibility all the while mentoring and coaching colleagues and journalists to help them advance in their careers. As Vice President of News for NBCUniversal’s Philadelphia stations, Anzio played a key role in the stations’ successful move to their new state-of-the-art facility located within the Comcast Technology Center. He also spearheaded the integration and launch of WWSI, the Telemundo-owned station that has ranked as Philadelphia’s #1 most-watched Spanish-language TV station for local news among key demo groups for many years. At WCAU/WWSI, he’s managed the news teams’ coverage for the most impactful stories including the 2020 protests for social justice, the Eagle’s 2018 Superbowl win, the deadly Amtrak derailment, Pope Francis’s visit to Philadelphia, and Hurricane Sandy’s devastation and recovery efforts, among others.
Prior to joining NBCUniversal, he spent 12 years with Hearst Television working as News Director at KCRA in Sacramento and WDSU in New Orleans. At WDSU, he spearheaded the station’s coverage of Hurricane Katrina, the storm’s aftermath, and multi-year recovery efforts. Before this, he worked as Assistant News Director at NBC affiliate stations in Orlando, Florida, and Charlotte, North Carolina. At WESH, he managed the team’s coverage for the biggest hurricane season in Florida while at WCNC he directed the team’s reporting on the Columbia Shuttle disaster. Before this, he oversaw newscasts and special sports programming for WLWT in Cincinnati and managed weekend news coverage at WSVN in Miami. He launched his career in broadcast as a Sports and News Producer for WFMY in Greensboro, North Carolina.
A recipient of nine Emmy Awards for Outstanding Achievement, Best Newscast, Breaking News, and Continuing Coverage, he was a member of news teams honored with six Edward R. Murrow and two George Foster Peabody Awards.
Anzio earned a bachelor’s degree in Broadcast News from North Carolina A&T University and a Master of Business Administration degree from Temple University’s Fox School of Business Executive MBA program. He is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists, the Urban League of Philadelphia, 100 Black Men of Philadelphia, and is a Board Member for the American Association of Diabetes Philadelphia Chapter.
Roberto is a broadcast veteran with over three decades of TV, Radio and Digital media experience. He has served 23 of those years with the Univision Communication Inc. (UCI), most recently named President and General Manager of Univision New York’s two TV and three radio stations. Prior to his current role Roberto was Vice President and General Manager of Univision Arizona’s eight television and five radio stations along with various digital properties.
Roberto was named by AZ Business Magazine as one of Arizona’s Most Influential Hispanics Business Leaders. Roberto’s experience includes managing a top market TV and Radio stations, whose creative client solutions represent revenue growth year-over-year and strategic new business focus and innovative vision resulted in various company accolades.
Though Roberto’s business acumen is high, he exceeds in his dedication to community empowerment. The Rocky Mountain Southwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences committee bestowed on Robert the Emmy Governor’s award for the station’s year-long Education initiative, which is the highest honor given to a local broadcaster for it public service commitment.
Roberto is a graduate of University of Texas, El Paso with a BA in Broadcast Journalism, UCLA Anderson School of Business Executive MBA and National Association of Broadcast Leadership Training program.
Roberto was recently accepted into the 2019 David Rockefeller program organized by the Partnership of New York City. He is on the board of the New York State Broadcasters Association and has served on the Board of the Phoenix Greater Chamber of Commerce, the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (AZHCC), The Arizona-Mexico Commission, Arizona Broadcasters Association, ASU Walter Cronkite School of Journalism Endowment Board and ASU Morrison Institute Latino Public Policy Center Advisory Board.
Stacy Baum has managed all aspects of corporate, non-profit, and political development and communications activities. But at heart, Stacy is a producer. “A month after I graduated from college, Carole Kneeland hired me to be her 5:00 producer at KVUE in Austin and the remarkable lessons I learned there have not been forgotten,” explains Stacy. “It is not an exaggeration to say that Carole changed my life, shaped the direction of my career, and taught me powerful lessons that I am privileged to pass along to colleagues and my family.”
Stacy has served as vice-president of marketing & development for Educare Colorado, a $15M early childhood non-profit organization; a press secretary for a Member of Congress; marketing director at KUSA-TV in Denver; and marketing research director for Gannett Broadcasting. In addition to her work on The Kneeland Project, Stacy is the Community Initiatives Director for KDVR & KWGN in Denver, and operates ClearBridge Communications, where she has provided fundraising, marketing research, public relations, and strategic planning for her clients since 2003. She won an Emmy in 2013 for her leadership for the Women & Girls Lead initiative at Rocky Mountain PBS, and was part of the amazing team that won the 2018 Service to Community Award for Television – Large Market for FOX31’s Serving Those Who Serve initiative.
A graduate of the University of Colorado @ Boulder, Stacy and her husband Michael lived in both Austin, Texas and Washington, DC before returning to Colorado to raise their two children.