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 Senior Vice President of News Specials for NBC News and MSNBC, where her responsibilities span both television and digital properties.
Rashida leads and executive produces 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 manages the NBC News Decision Desk – a team of data scientists responsible for making all race call decisions on primary and election nights.
Rashida is 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 this role, she served as managing editor for MSNBC’s Dayside programming, driving the editorial decision-making and coverage.
Prior to her time with MSNBC, she was the news director for the NBC affiliate in Columbia, South Carolina, where she rebuilt and rebranded the news team to focus on deep investigative reporting. The station was solidly #1 in the market.
She was also director of live programming at The Weather Channel, leading coverage and programming for some of the network’s most historic weather events-Hurricane Katrina, mass tornado outbreaks and paralyzing snowstorms.
Rashida uses her successful platform to grow and inspire other emerging journalists. She is an active member of several journalism organizations, including the Alliance for Women in Media, where she serves as a Gracie Ambassador, a distinction offered to senior executives eager to support the organization’s mission to support women in journalism. Rashida is also a board member of The Carole Kneeland Project for Responsible Journalism, an organization dedicated to training news managers with the fundamentals, values, and ethics to be powerful leaders in their newsrooms.
In addition, Rashida is a member of The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and the National Association of Black Journalists.
Rashida is a graduate of Hampton University, where she was recently inducted into the Scripps Howard Journalism Hall of Fame and Hampton University’s 40 under 40 Society, both honors acknowledging her outstanding work in the journalism industry.
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.
SOUTH BEND, INDIANA
Marcia Burdick is Senior Advisor to Schurz Communications. She has worked for Schurz since 1988. beginning as News Director at KYTV (Springfield, MO 1988-2000), President/GM at WAGT (Augusta, GA 2000-2002), adding VP-Television Group to her duties in 2001 and was named Senior Vice President of the Electronic Division (cable, TV, and radio) in 2002. She held that position until Schurz divested its radio and TV stations in 2016. In her current role, she works on the company and industry projects.
Burdick has worked continuously in the media since age 14, beginning with an after-school job in radio in her home-town of Rapid City, SD. She moved into television just out of high school, working full time as a weathercaster & reporter while carrying a full college course load.
She has won numerous awards for broadcast both as a reporter and news manager. They include 2 national Edward R. Murrow Awards, many regional Murrows, 4 regional Emmy awards, the national Iris Award, the national Silver Gavel Award, and several dozen state broadcast association awards. Most recently, in 2010, Burdick was awarded The South Dakota Broadcast Association’s “Tom Brokaw Award” for broadcast excellence. In 2012, The Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) awarded Burdick their “First Amendment Leadership” Award. Burdick was named “Broadcaster of the Year” in 2013 by Broadcasting & Cable Magazine.
Burdick is active in the industry and the communities in which she’s lived. She is a past President of the TV Board of the National Association of Broadcasters (the industry’s leading trade association), the NBC Affiliates Association and the (then) Radio-Television News Directors Association. In each case, she was the first women to hold leadership positions. She currently serves on both the Investment Committee and PAC committees for NAB. Locally, Burdick has served on the Boards of Directors of the Augusta United Way (chairman), the Rapid City Convention Visitors Bureau (Chairman), the South Bend Rotary Club and the Studebaker Museum. While in Rapid City, she founded the “KOTA Care and Share Food Drive” which still operates today.
Burdick is frequently invited to present at journalism and leadership training sessions for organizations such as the Poynter Institute for Media Studies, the Radio-Television News Directors Foundation and the National Association of Broadcasters Educational Foundation. She and her husband, John, have four children and six granddaughters.
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 is senior director of International Communications, Media Relations and Airline Partnership Marketing for Boeing, the world’s largest aerospace company. Bernard works with a team of communicators in Seattle and around the world to share the story of Boeing’s advanced and efficient commercial airplanes through global media outreach and communications across multiple platforms. He also provides media counsel and support to Boeing Commercial Airplanes’ CEO and other senior leaders to protect the company’s brand and reputation.
Previously, Bernard served as director of Finance Communications for The Boeing Company from 2014 to 2017. In this role, he provided internal and external communications counsel and support for Boeing's chief financial officer and executive vice president of Corporate Development & Strategy and his leadership team. Additionally, he crafted and coordinated messaging with Investor Relations and provided direction for Finance-related communications for the enterprise.
Before he moved to the corporate role in Chicago, Bernard served as the Executive Communications lead for Boeing Commercial Airplanes' CFO and the Finance organization and provided communications support for the business unit’s president and CEO.
Previously, Bernard led the development of the organization’s external web strategy and online content, and also supported the Business Development & Strategic Integration group. Bernard joined Boeing in 2008 after working for more than a decade in television news. He worked as a reporter, producer, and an anchor at various television stations, including KING in Seattle, KWCH in Wichita, Kansas, and KOMU 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.
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.
Scott Livingston is Senior Vice President of News for Sinclair Broadcast Group, one of the largest and most diversified television broadcasting company in the nation. He was named to this position in 2012 after a long, successful tenure at Sinclair’s flagship station, WBFF-TV in Baltimore. As the leader of 73 news operations, Scott is committed to raising the bar of excellence and building a culture dedicated to serving and advocating for our communities.
Scott spent a decade running the news department as news director at Fox 45. Under his leadership, the news operation won more regional Emmy Awards than all the other news stations in Baltimore combined. Fox45 News also won the prestigious 1996 National Press Photographers Association Station of the Year Award, an honor the photography staff would win again in 2011.
Prior to his promotion to news director, Scott held other positions at WBFF-TV including assistant news director and chief photographer from 1991-1997. He had the honor of winning the 1999 National Edward R. Murrow Award. He also won the Alfred DuPont Columbia University Excellence in Journalism Award for continuing coverage of how violence affects Baltimore’s youth. He has been recognized with 23 Chesapeake Region Emmy Awards and the prestigious Ted Yates Lifetime Achievement Award. He is also a three-time winner of the National Press Photographer Association’s Regional Photographer of the Year. The Associated Press has twice named Scott Photographer of the Year.
Scott has always been a proud Marylander and has spent 30 years covering Maryland news, beginning with his first job in TV as a studio camera operator at WBOC in his hometown of Salisbury.
Excellent storytelling and results-driven content have been the hallmarks of Scott’s success. He has inspired and mentored countless photographers, reporters, anchors and producers throughout his career. Now as Senior Vice President of News for Sinclair Broadcast Group, Scott shares his vision for quality storytelling with journalists across the country. Scott and his wife Maribeth are the proud parents of Brittany and Calvin.
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.
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.
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.