The 2014 Dr. Lewis B. O'Donnell Media Summit featured Al Roker, weatherman and a host of NBC's "Today" show and a 1976 Oswego graduate; media icon Charlie Rose of CBS-TV's "This Morning" and the "Charlie Rose" show on PBS; and Connie Schultz, a syndicated award-winning columnist. Moderator Ken Auletta is writer and media critic for The New Yorker as well as a 1963 Oswego graduate.
Here is audio of the panel discussion, recorded October 16 at SUNY Oswego.
Moderator and panelist biographies:
Ken Auletta | A 1963 SUNY Oswego graduate, Auletta has written "Annals of Communication" for The New Yorker since 1992. He is the author of 10 books, four of them national bestsellers, most recently "Googled: The End of the World As We Know It."
He has written for various newspapers and magazines and appeared regularly as a television interviewer and analyst. He started writing for The New Yorker in 1977.
He has profiled the leading figures and companies of the Information Age, including Bill Gates, Rupert Murdoch, AOL Time Warner, John Malone, Harvey Weinstein, and the New York Times.
Al Roker | As weatherman and a host of NBC's "Today" show, Al Roker greets more than 30 million viewers each week. A 10-time Emmy Award winner, Roker conducts celebrity interviews, cooking segments, technology updates, and a continuing series for "Today" called "Today's Dad," featuring parenting tips for fathers.
The 1976 Oswego broadcasting graduate began his professional career while still in college by landing a job as a weekend weatherman at WTVH-TV in Syracuse.
In addition to his network duties, Roker has carved out a successful career as an entrepreneur. His thriving multimedia company Al Roker Productions Inc. is involved in the development and production of network, cable, home video and public television projects.
Charlie Rose | Media icon Charlie Rose of CBS-TV's "This Morning" and the "Charlie Rose" show on PBS is a world-renowned journalist and media personality who has interviewed such dignitaries as international statesmen Nelson Mandela and Mikhail Gorbachev, Nobel laureates Toni Morrison and Seamus Heaney, and pop icons Julia Roberts and Bruce Springsteen.
The “Charlie Rose” show appears nightly on PBS and in primetime on Bloomberg Television in the United States and around the world.
Since 1991, Rose has aired countless hours with Nobel laureates, and extraordinary men and women of science, politics, art, business, sports, technology, literature and entertainment. These conversations have made the broadcast a cultural and intellectual archive of our time.
Connie Schultz | Columnist Connie Schultz won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for commentary for what the judges called her "pungent columns that provided a voice for the underdog and the underprivileged."
It is a common theme in the work of this columnist for Creators Syndicate and regular essayist for Parade magazine. She was a 2003 Pulitzer Prize finalist in feature writing for her series "The Burden of Innocence," which chronicled the ordeal of Michael Green, who was imprisoned for 13 years for a rape he did not commit. Her series won numerous honors, including the Robert F. Kennedy Award for Social Justice Reporting, the National Headliner Award's Best of Show and journalism awards from both Harvard College and Columbia University.
Dennis Thatcher | Dennis Thatcher has been president and treasurer of Mission Broadcasting Inc. since 2011. He received his bachelor's degree in psychology in 1975 from Cleveland State University, then spent the first 20 years of his broadcast career in his hometown of Cleveland. In 1985, he was recruited to become general manager of a new Malrite television station, WOIO, which quickly grew from being the "new indie" to a Fox (and later CBS) affiliate. In 1994, Malrite purchased the assets of another legendary independent, WUAB, creating what was at that time the largest duopoly in the country.
After stops in Chicago and Texas, Dennis returned to Cleveland in 2004, joining Mission Broadcasting as EVP and Chief Operating Officer.