#ANNinsta Instagram Competition Launches

anninsta-instagramInstagram Competition!

We want to see the new Wallis Annenberg Hall from your perspective, from working in the Media Center to meeting with a study group. Starting this month, use #ANNinsta to tag your Instagram* photos from the new building and you could win a gift certificate to ANN’s new Illy Café!

Every other week we will select one winner.



The Rules:

  1. Upload your photos to Instagram and include #ANNinsta in the caption
  2. You can enter the contest as many times as you like
  3. Any type of inappropriate content will be disqualified
  4. Entries will be judged on creativity, school spirit and overall aesthetic quality
  5. Judging takes place every two weeks and one winner will be selected
  6. Competition is open to USC Annenberg students only

*Make sure the “Photos are Private” option in your account is set to OFF.

Posted in Hall Pass, News, Student News | Leave a comment

Marketing and Media in an Era of Public Cynicism

2015-Edelman-Trust-BarometerMultinational public relations firm Edelman, business and technological innovation has outpaced the public’s trust — not overly surprising in a year marked by massive data breaches that reached as far as a major motion picture studio, global political unrest and the NFL getting caught turning a blind eye to major domestic violence issues on multiple occasions.

Edelman’s U.S. President and CEO, Russell Dubner, revealed findings from the company’s annual study, the Edelman Trust Barometer, findings to a nearly-full auditorium at Wallis Annenberg Hall on Feb. 25, discussing the current “age of skepticism” in which we live.

Throughout the history of the Edelman Trust Barometer, innovation has been seen as a contributor to the advancement of society and is, therefore, inherently good. The 2015 findings marked the first year in survey’s history that trust in technology actually declined — though it was only from 79 to 75 percent. Still, 51 percent of people surveyed believed that innovation is moving too quickly.

“No one is buying that technology companies are in business to change the world for the better,” Dubner said. “People have come to believe that they just want to make money and are solely about what they can commercialize.”

Business and technology are far from the only culprits, though, as the study found that public trust has eroded in three of the four major institutions evaluated — government, business, non-government organizations (NGOs) and media.

“Trust numbers are down globally nearly across the board, which is of course, bad news,” Dubner said. “Globally, only government saw any kind of an uptick, but even that is still at less than 50 percent.”

Perhaps most interesting, though, was the increase in trust of media. While the data was collected before the fall of the once-revered host of the NBC Nightly News and subsequent questions surrounding another well-known Fox News journalist, Dubner attributed the increase to what he called “the democratization of media.”

“This was the first year we found that online search had outstripped traditional media, as people are neutral at best on their trust of journalists,” he said. “They want multiple sources for information.”

But what sources do they deem trustworthy? According to 72 percent of respondents, friends and family. Academic experts made up the only other group more than 60 percent of respondents cited as trustworthy.

Given the increased prevalence of interactions taking place online, it makes sense that a major part of this democratization of media comes from social. People log in and view their friends’ posts when they look for information.

Others type it into Google.

In any event, though, online search is seen as an increasingly viable source for information about business. In fact, it has become the method of choice for people looking to confirm news, cited by 37 percent of respondents. Television came in a distant second at 20 percent, and newspapers were last at 18 percent.

While the concept of the traditional media going by the wayside is hardly groundbreaking to those in the field, the 2015 Edelman Trust Barometer put a distinctly different context around it by highlighting the public’s distrust of established institutions.

The onus now falls on business and media to find ways to reestablish trust with their consumers. The credibility of the entire media profession depends on it.


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Former Microsoft Marketing Chief and Senior VP Visits USC Annenberg as M2e Executive-in-Residence

MichMathews_2 24

USC Annenberg m{2}e executive-in-residence, former Microsoft CMO Mich Mathews at USC Annenberg, February 12, 2015. For more images from the event, visit USC Annenberg on Flickr.

USC Annenberg’s M{2e} executive-in-residence program brought in former Microsoft executive Mich Mathews, who built the tech giant’s entire global marketing function over her 22-year tenure. During the week-long program, Mathews visited classes and met with students and faculty, capping her time at USC by delivering a keynote address discussing massive shifts in the marketing field and the technological drivers behind them.

In a presentation titled “The Marketing Communications Revolution: What are the Implications?” she discussed the size of the advertising market and the trends behind changing spending patterns with about 70 students, faculty and alumni . Established marketing models are going by the wayside as brands trend toward digital — undoubtedly a reaction to the new ways in which people consume media.

With three billion people online worldwide, it would be foolish not to pursue that market opportunity.

“When it comes to marketing communication, there has been more innovation in the last several years than in the previous 50,” Mathews said. “The question now becomes, is the ad industry going to reinvent itself or is it going to wither and be replaced by something else?”

Mathews is deeply entrenched in the tech community in Southern California, as an angel investor, an advisory board member for Unilever and a bona fide digital media expert. During her time as a senior vice president and the chief marketing officer for Microsoft, she developed a deep expertise in brand strategy and identity, social and digital media, advertising, public relations, data and analytics.

The technologies and platforms she helped build at Microsoft have become the infrastructure behind this new wave of marketing opportunities for brands.

A number of marketers have even gone so far as to abandon established agency models and crowdsource their creative content. Mathews cited the example of Sony’s model for the advertising campaign around its PlayStation gaming console.

“Talent gets hired in a physical location today,” Mathews said. “But as Sony demonstrated by using MOFILM to find freelance producers for its PlayStation campaign, the idea of crowdsourcing that talent is gaining traction.”

Crowdsourced talent is one issue facing the marketing industry, but the emergence of alternative distribution channels is also a major driver in the massive resources being reallocated to digital. With mobile-friendly video platforms like YouTube, which is seeing upload rates of 300 hours per minute, and Netflix, which saw a billion hours of video streamed just last quarter, advertisers have realized that most traditional models are on their way out.

Another contributing factor Mathews discussed was the opportunity social media delivers to marketers. Not only do platforms with massive numbers of engaged users give brands unprecedented scale, these users are constantly telegraphing large amounts of data about themselves — all of which give brands unique opportunities to target specific content to specific people.

“It’s table stakes now to be on social as a brand,” Mathews said. “Brands have become their own marketers. It’s just a matter of how far you want to take it.”

It’s clear from her optimism about the future of tech that she wants innovators to take it as far as it will go and recognizes that the next-generation marketing professional will need a new, more diverse set of skills.

“We’re seeing the blurring of traditional roles as marketing and product development are becoming the same,” Mathews said. “The data and coding people are iterating and testing constantly, basically creating a feedback loop that never stops.”

While roles will continue to broaden, Mathews is quick to clarify that employers still want specialists, but the ideal candidates will be specialists in more than pre-existing traditional roles.

“This industry will favor people who are visionaries and big thinkers,” she said. “There is the engineering side of tech, but these products all need to be marketed as well, so there is always the need for strategic communications.”

“I’m an incredible optimist on what is coming,” Mathews concluded. “I am envious of you all because what you’re are stepping into is going to be so exciting.”

View the photo gallery from Mathews’ keynote here.

Posted in 2014-2015 School Year, Annenberg News, Digital, Future of Media, Innovation, News | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Quoted: USC Annenberg’s Oscars Round Up


At USC Annenberg, we don’t just cover the news, we make it. “Quoted: USC Annenberg in the News” gathers a selection of the week’s news stories featuring and written by USC Annenberg’s leaders, faculty, staff and others. This special edition of “Quoted” focuses on Hollywood’s biggest night: the Oscars. 

Oscars 2015: Female directors scarce at Hollywood’s major studios

Smith_Stacey_news.usc.eduThe Los Angeles times quoted professor Stacy Smith in a piece analyzing not only the absence of female nominees in the Oscars’ best director category, but all throughout Hollywood film studios.

Only 4.6 percent of films green-lit by major studios like Sony, Universal Pictures and Warner Brothers were directed by women in 2014, a statistic studios say highlights the film industry’s shift towards investing in fewer movies with bigger budgets. This includes more visual-effects-driven films that tend to favor men in the directors’ seat.

“Women just aren’t moving into the higher-budgeted, top-grossing fare,” Smith said. “The No. 1 barrier is financial. Women are perceived to lack confidence and to be less trustworthy with resources.”

Study: Oscar Win Lifts Brand Paydays

Jeetendr Sehdev

Women’s Wear Daily cited research by professor Jeetendr Sehdev on the benefits of an Oscar win. According to the study, the exact value of an Oscar to a brand was a 1.5 percent increase in annual sales.

“An Oscar has enormous symbolic value,” said Sehdev. “There is so much credibility and trust that has been building in the Oscar brand over the years. It is the ultimate for an actor and I think people recognize that it embodies the ‘no pain, no gain’ mentality of Hollywood.”

Sehdev’s research also found that Oscar winners are seen as 62 percent more admired, 40 percent less disliked, 25 percent cooler and 37 percent more trusted than non-Oscar winners.

The Sunday Times also cited the Sehdev study, particularly noting that Americans found British actors such as Felicity Jones and Rosamund Pike up to seven times more likable than the those from the U.S.

Social Media Abuzz After Patricia Arquette Delivers Oscars Speech on Wage Equality

Murphy_163p.ashx_1Academy Award winner for best-supporting-actress Patricia Arquette used her acceptance speech as a platform to sound off on gender equality issues, particularly the wage gap between women and men.

CBS Los Angeles interviewed professor Mary Murphy, who praised Arquette for the moment that launched the ‘Boyhood’ actress to the number three most talked about subject on social media following the awards ceremony.

“Patricia Arquette was saying the truth. Women in Hollywood, like women in St. Louis, Missouri are being paid less than men,” Murphy said in reference to documents leaked in the Sony hacking scandal exposing wage discrepancies between women and men within the company.

According to White House statistics, women on average make 77 cents less on the dollar in comparison to men.

Julianne Moore talks Alzheimers and ‘Still Alice’

Davidpropic2_400x400USC Annenberg professor and Senior Producer for CNN Entertainment David Daniel sat down with best actress winner Julianne Moore for an in-depth interview discussing her role as a college professor suddenly forced to grapple with a diagnosis of early-onset Alzheimer’s disease.

“This film leaves you with a physical feeling. I just sat there shattered afterwards,” Daniel shared with Moore.

When asked how the actress prepared for tackling such a sensitive role, Moore said she “didn’t want to represent anything she hadn’t actually witnessed.” Moore went on to explain the extensive research that went into portraying her character, meeting with Alzheimer’s researchers as well as those affected by the disease.

Exclusive: The ‘Yoda Dress’ From the Oscars, Explained

Willow-BayDirector of USC Annenberg’s journalism school Willow Bay turned heads on the Oscars red carpet with a Star Wars inspired gown by Rodarte. Bay was draped in gold and black silk dress outlined by Swarovski crystals and featuring Yoda across the skirt.

Tech Times spoke with Bay on her inspiration for her unique fashion choice.

“I fell in love with [Rodarte’s collection], and Yoda in particular,” Bay said. “What I find so fascinating is how the image appears in photographs. Yoda is crystal clear, wise and strong, even draped along the column of a dress.”

Bay was also paying homage to husband and Disney CEO Bob Iger’s company purchasing Lucasfilm and the Star Wars franchise in 2012. Disney is now making a new Star Wars trilogy in addition to several other stand-alone films.

“With all the anticipation of the new Star Wars release later this year,” Bay said, referring to Star Wars: The Force Awakens, opening in December, “I thought an homage to the original movie and Yoda on the Academy Awards red carpet might be fun.”

Survey: Neil Patrick Harris Outranked by Ellen DeGeneres as Oscar Host

Jeetendr Sehdev

Variety called upon professor Jeetendr Sehdev for more statistical insight into the audience’s perception of Oscar’s host Neil Patrick Harris.

By comparing surveys completed when last year’s host Ellen DeGeneres and Neil Patrick Harris initially announced the hosting gig, 31 percent said that DeGeneres as host meant they were very likely to tune in; rather than the mere 3 percent who responded they would be very likely to watch with Harris as a host.

Not all hope for Harris is lost, though. Sehdev said, “The Oscars are on a viewership upswing, so Neil Patrick Harris will likely ride the wave.”

Eight days on edge may seal documentary Oscar for ‘Citzenfour’

Jonathan TaplinPreceding the Oscars, Reuters turned to director of USC Annenberg’s Innovation Lab Jonathan Taplin for his opinion on the chances ‘Citizenfour’, the Edward Snowden documentary and third installment in director Laura Poitras’ post 9/11 policy trilogy, had in winning the best documentary category.

“‘Citizenfour’ is exactly the kind of movie from a documentary point of view that the Academy loves,” Taplin said, who is also an Oscar voter.

Taplin’s prediction was not far off; ‘Citizenfour’ took home the golden statue for best documentary as well as dozen others from organizations like the Directors Guild and British Academy of Film and Television Arts.

Reuters also quoted Taplin on the nature of just how competitive garnering votes from the 6,000 voters in the Academy can be in the race for an Oscar.

Film studios often invest millions of dollars into marketing their films for votes, including mailing thousands of screener DVDs to voters and guild members, like screenwriters and directors, who have their own awards.

“The number of people voting is pretty small. If you can influence 100 people that might make the difference,” Taplin said.

The Oscars diversity snub no one is talking about

Murphy_163p.ashx_1Mashable looked to professor Stacy Smith for more insight regarding the lack of diversity within this year’s Oscar nominations.

Many attribute this to the Academy Awards pool of elite voters, which in 2012 was 98 percent white and 81 percent male. In 2014 the Academy tried to up the ante on increasing internal diversity by inviting 271 new members, including Pharrell Williams, Lupita Nyong’o and Hayao Miyazaki.

Smith suggests diversity in the film industry can increase by enacting a procedure similar to the NFL’s Rooney Rule where minority candidates are required to be interviewed for coaching and other staff jobs.

“When directors are hired, this rule would ask for the inclusion of women and people of color on the lists of open directing assignments,” Dr. Smith says. The rule would promote transparency and “chip away” at the diversity problem.

Oscars 2015: Plot twists and turns keep show fresh

689b9b3c0d9d58bedf6f6b9000288fdb_400x400Professor Kenneth Turan wrote a review of the Oscars for  the Los Angeles Times, noting the politically charged acceptance speeches “were more the rule than the exception.”

Turan said the most moving moment of the night was the candid speech by Graham Moore, winner of best adapted screenplay for ‘The Imitation Game,’ whose urge to, “Stay weird, stay different” was preempted by mention of his attempted suicide at age 16.

Turan also praised Lady Gaga’s tribute to ‘The Sound of Music’ and Julie Andrews, observing the growth of “continuity within the industry.”

We also put together a Storify compiling USC Annenberg faculty’s take on the Oscars.

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Alumni Column: The Four Questions You Should Ask Yourself Before Jumping

In a new series of columns, each week an alum of USC Annenberg will share stories of their time at the school, discuss their career, and offer advice to students.


Mike Huckman

“Do you miss being on TV?”

That is, by far, the question I am asked most often by clients, friends, family and former co-workers. My answer is always, “Yes and no.”

Yes, I miss being on TV, the adrenaline rush that comes from breaking stock-moving news (my former CNBC colleagues reminisce about my mad dashes down the stairs to the flashcam on the assignment desk when one of the companies I covered unveiled big data, or an FDA advisory committee took a crucial vote, or a stock was being halted for trading due to pending M&A news, etc.) and the ego boost that comes from being “the guy” on my beat, at least in broadcast. And, no, I don’t miss the rest of it.

I’d been toying with the idea of getting out of TV news for a few years before finally taking the plunge at the urging of a few close friends in PR who had grown tired of me talking and waffling about making the move. My agent, at my request, had negotiated an escape clause that allowed me to leave the business and so, I was able to exit CNBC albeit with very mixed emotions at the time mid-contract.

But, man, the transition was tough. Changing disciplines is not an easy thing to do. After having spent 27 years of my adult life in front of a camera, withdrawing off the TV drug, as a friend of mine once put it, was much more difficult than I had imagined. I’ve come to the realization I will never lose some of the cravings. And there were a number of substantial challenges I was too naïve to have prepared myself for.

There was a moment early on in my new career when I was ready to throw in the towel and try to boomerang back to CNBC. But my agent encouraged me to soldier on and, besides, I had never quit a job except when I was an immature busboy at a restaurant in suburban LA. So, I persevered, eventually got my sea legs, felt more comfortable in my own skin, and slowly but surely built a robust portfolio of corporate consulting business.

When I was a student in what was then the USC School of Journalism (now USC Annenberg), journalism majors myself included used to look down our noses at the PR majors, even though several of my closest friends and a roommate were among them. How do you get a degree in PR? Seriously? It was never in my original career plan to become a PR practitioner, but along with an ever increasing number of former journos who are leaving the business for obvious reasons, here I am: a flak. On the dark side. Every PR cliché. Go ahead and have at it.

But I have found the work to be invigorating, inspiring, stimulating, rewarding, fulfilling, challenging and yes, at times, a little overwhelming. As a former top Wall Street Journal editor who I counseled to help make a successful transition to PR after I had crossed over recently put it: I like helping people. It’s fun.

So, if you ever find yourself in the same boat, considering switching careers and, in particular, joining an agency versus going in-house at a corporation, here are the four questions I think you should ask yourself:

  1. Can I do client service? As reporters, it’s the job of PR people to keep us happy. Now, it’s gonna be your job to keep your clients happy. What has served me well from my reporting days is my nature to almost always be turned on and plugged in. It is very hard for me to leave my BlackBerry (yes, I still use one for work) alone for very long.
  2. Can I generate new business? As reporters, we have to sell story ideas to editors and managers and the finished product to readers, listeners and viewers. But can you sell your services to prospective clients? My style is to let the work speak for itself and to rely on a certain degree of word of mouth, but there is also an element of hustle involved.
  3. Can I keep track of my time? As reporters, we’re measured by our ability to meet deadlines and the quality of our stories. While your work product in PR must pass muster, you also need to be billable. And that means recording the number of hours, or even fractions of hours, you spend servicing client accounts. It’s harder than you might think, but there are apps for it, which can make it somewhat less burdensome.
  4. Can I reboot my brand in PR? As reporters, we are expected to build and grow a social media presence. Twitter was a godsend for me at CNBC. However, I struggled to find my new PR voice @MikeHuckman, especially when I was hampered by a very tentative and cautious approach to the micro-blog format. Now, I think I’m in a happy place. Know that it can take time and a lot of trial and error, but it can be done.

The second most common question I get is a follow-up to the first: “Would you go back to TV?”

Well, as I just indicated, the thought often crossed my mind when I was still struggling to find my footing. Now that I have, I will take the counsel I give to my clients and “bridge” my way out of that one:

“It’s my practice not to speculate on hypothetical what-ifs, but what I can tell you is my new career, after some challenges early on, has turned out to be a great fit.”

Mike Huckman is a 1983 broadcast journalism graduate of USC. He worked as a reporter in various local TV markets from 1983 to 2000 before joining CNBC where he covered the biopharmaceutical and medical device sectors until 2010. Mike then moved to MSL-New York (the Publicis Groupe PR agency) as SVP-Director of Media Strategy and since late 2013 he has been with the life sciences boutique PR/Investor Relations firm, Pure Communications, currently serving as the agency’s Chief Comms Specialist.

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Quoted: Week of February 23


At USC Annenberg, we don’t just cover the news, we make it. “Quoted: USC Annenberg in the News” gathers a selection of the week’s news stories featuring and written by USC Annenberg’s leaders, faculty, staff and others.

The truly personal computer

Castells_275pHow have mobile phones changed the way we think about time? Professor Manuel Castells told The Economist described teenagers’ use of phone a playing out in a “timeless time.”

As our lives become even more phone-based, “activities and exchanges happen in parallel or even backwards (when people’s lives come with timelines, it is a common experience to find out what they said first only after you know what they said next).”

Joseph Nye’s ‘American Century’

Philip Seib. Photo by Maggie Smith

In a 1941 editorial in Life magazine, publisher Henry Luce called on his readers to “create the first great American century.”

Professor Philip Seib referenced Joseph Nye’s new book “Is The American Century Over?” to answer this question.

“[Nye’s] answer is a carefully constructed ‘No,’ which is based partly on the fact that there is no logical successor to convincingly claim dominance over the next century,” Seib said. “Even the U.S. finds itself sharing the world stage with a growing cast of states and non-state actor, all with influence enhanced by new information and communication technologies.”

When memory misses a beat, music can offer dementia patients new meaning


Professor Judy Muller spoke to PBS about her research on the benefits of music in providing help to people suffering from several forms of dementia.

Muller explored her theory through a group of musicians called The Fifth Dementia, a humorous reference to the fact that all of the members suffer, to varying degrees, from dementia.

“For them, music reaches past memory to a place deeper than memory,” Muller said. “The wives and families of these men say the music has made a difference, lowering their depression and raising their energy, and there’s science to support that.”

Making Media Smarter

Johanna Blakley

Managing Director and Director of Research at the Norman Lear Center Johanna Blakley wrote about making media smarter for the UOC “Open Thoughts Smarter” blog.

“The tremendous data sets offered emerging from social media networks offer us the opportunity to understand ourselves, and our engagement with media,” Blakley said. “We want media makers to have a far more sophisticated and detailed understanding of their audiences needs, values and taste.”

Blakley has been co-principal investigator on USC’s research initiative: The Media Impact Project for the last two years.

“I’m optimistic that we can help make media more accountable to audiences and contribute to a better understanding of the role that media plays in people’s lives,” Blakley said.

Press and Japanese Internment in World War II


Professor Richard Reeves had his class discussion, about the internment experiences of the Japanese on the U.S. West coast and how the press fueled hysteria over sabotage, broadcast on C-SPAN.

“Because of the way the press reacted to [Pearl Harbor], the country reacted the same way,” Reeves said. “There was a great deal of censorship in World War II … and the censorship went so far as that until D-Day in 1944, news media were not allowed to show pictures of dead Americans. … That ended with [D-Day] because the press knew Pearl Harbor was coming. And, through the press, the public knew it was coming.”

Reeves also touched on how the experiences of Japanese Americans varied widely depending on where in the U.S. they lived.

“Like gerrymandering in politics, the lines had to be drawn pretty carefully,” Reeves said.

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Storify: The official naming of the USC Annenberg Media Center

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Quoted: USC Annenberg’s Media Center named for Julie Chen, Leslie Moonves and CBS


quotedAt USC Annenberg, we don’t just cover the news, we make it. In this special edition of “Quoted” we’ve gathered a selection of news stories on the new name of the Media Center, including coverage of the naming ceremony on February 25.

USC Annenberg’s Media Center Named for CBS’ Leslie Moonves, Julie Chen

Local News coverage of the Media Center’s new name

CBS News’ Los Angeles affiliate, KCAL9 reported from USC Annenberg’s newly named Media Center.

In their evening news coverage, KCAL9 reporters noted the incredible technology available to students at USC Annenberg. There was also a live report from the Media Center, which reporter (and USC Annenberg alumna) Suzanne Marques concluded with “Fight on!”

The local CBS news radio, KNX 10.70, also reported the naming of the Media Center. In their later coverage of the event, KNX spoke with Willow Bay, director of the School of Journalism.

“It is a converged Media Center, where all of our student-run journalism platforms sit side-by-side,” Bay said. “We’re really the only school that does that.”

KCBS-TV also reported on the Media Center, as did LA-18.

USC Annenberg’s media center named for CBS’ Leslie Moonves, Julie Chen

In their coverage of the Media Center naming, the Los Angeles Times noted: “Moonves and Chen join an elite group of Hollywood heavyweights who have cemented their legacy with a prominent USC building named in their honor.” For instance, filmmakers Steven Spielberg and George Lucas each have buildings in the School of Cinematic Arts complex named after them.

USC Annenberg’s Future-Focused Media Center Named For Julie Chen, Leslie Moonves And CBS

Getty Images published a collection of images from the naming ceremony. Photographer Tommaso Boddi captured the event.

​USC Annenberg names media center after Les Moonves, Julie Chen

The Los Angeles Business Journal quoted Leslie Moonves, president and CEO of CBS, as he spoke at the naming ceremony.

“This is a best-in-class, next-generation newsroom that our family and CBS are proud to be part of,” Moonves said. “USC Annenberg has developed a leading-edge, fully converged environment for the creators and journalists of tomorrow, and we’re thrilled to support its future success.”

Leslie Moonves, Julie Chen’s Names to Adorn USC Media Center

The Hollywood Reporter quoted USC president C. L. Max Nikias in a story on the Media Center’s new name. Nikias had said the Media Center “is the centerpiece of innovation in a building, the Wallis Annenberg Hall, that represents innovative thinking.”

Yahoo! News picked up the Hollywood Reporter’s story.

USC Media Center Named For CBS’ Leslie Moonves, Julie Chen

Variety also reported on the Media Center’s new name, and noted the new Wallis Annenberg Hall’s grand opening back in October.

LA Observed included Variety’s story in its Wednesday news and notes.

Media Center named following major donation

USC student newspaper the Daily Trojan spoke with Leslie Moonves, president and CEO of CBS. “What the Media Center does is give you all the mechanisms for being out there,” Moonves said. “This truly is better than any studio I have seen across the country. It really is extraordinary.”

The Daily Trojan’s story was also noted in Jim Romenesko’s “Morning Report.”

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USC Annenberg Media Center – Naming Ceremony – February 25, 2015


(L-R) President and CEO of CBS Corporation Leslie Moonves, wife and host of of CBS's "The Talk" Julie Chen, Director Willow Bay, Sarah Banet-Weiser and Dean Ernest J. Wilson III during USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism naming event for the Julie Chen/Leslie Moonves and CBS Media Center, Wednesday, February 25, 2015. USC Photos/Gus Ruelas

(L-R) President and CEO of CBS Corporation Leslie Moonves, wife and host of of CBS’s “The Talk” Julie Chen, Director Willow Bay, Sarah Banet-Weiser and Dean Ernest J. Wilson III during USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism naming event for the Julie Chen/Leslie Moonves and CBS Media Center, Wednesday, February 25, 2015. USC Photos/Gus Ruelas

The 20,000-square-foot, two-story hub of digital media production and education at USC Annenberg — the Media Center — was named on Feb. 25, 2015, for alumna Julie Chen, Leslie Moonves and CBS.

Fully converging audio, video and text production for delivery on all platforms, the Julie Chen/Leslie Moonves and CBS Media Center organically combines USC Annenberg’s student-run digital, television, radio and public relations operations.

A crowd of more than 200 students, faculty, staff, trustees, alumni and friends of USC Annenberg gathered in Wallis Annenberg Hall for the ceremony.

The big reveal #ANNMC #ASCJ

A video posted by @uscannenberg on

To commemorate the occasion, we’ve created this one-stop-shop for news, videos, social media and more related to the Media Center.


USC Annenberg’s future-focused Media Center named for Julie Chen, Leslie Moonves and CBS

Feb 25 – The hub of digital media production and education at USC Annenberg, the state-of-the-art Media Center in the new Wallis Annenberg Hall, was named for alumna Julie Chen, Leslie Moonves and CBS, the school announced today.

Julie Chen discusses her time at USC Annenberg and reflects on the future of journalism.

Take a look through photos from the event in the Media Center Naming album on Flickr.

Screen Shot 2015-02-26 at 11.39.17 AM

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USC Annenberg’s Media Center Named For Julie Chen, Leslie Moonves And CBS

Students working at the newly named Media Center put together a news package for the event, interviewing the donors, USC Annenberg leaders, and students.


Quoted: USC Annenberg’s Media Center named for Julie Chen, Leslie Moonves and CBS

In this special edition of “Quoted” we’ve gathered a selection of news stories on the new name of the Media Center, including coverage of the naming ceremony on February 25.

Screen Shot 2015-02-26 at 2.59.07 PMStorify: The official naming of the USC Annenberg Media Center

Many students, faculty, staff, trustees, alumni and friends of USC Annenberg took to social media to share their excitement over the Media Center’s new name and the generous donation from Julie Chen, Leslie Moonves and CBS.

From photos of the ceremony shared on Instagram to tweets quoting the benefactors and other speakers, the Media Center filled our newsfeeds.

IMG_2090What’s Behind the Curtain: Media Center announcement guesses

Before USC Annenberg officially announced the naming of the Media Center to be The Julie Chen/Leslie Moonves & CBS, for three days a black curtain hung in the Media Center, intriguing students and making them wonder what could it be?

julie-chenAnnenberg Alum Julie Chen Speaks with Students About Changing Journalism Field

Journalist and television personality Julie Chen stopped by the new Wallis Annenberg Hall in August to speak with students about her own USC Annenberg experience and the changing nature of the journalism field.

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USC Annenberg Media Center Reacts to #AdviceForYoungJournalists

The Twittersphere erupted when #AdviceForYoungJournalists became a trending topic. Students working in the Media Center came together to flip the switch by offering #AdviceFromYoungJournalists.

Winner of Hearst Journalism Award Stassy Olmos (Courtesy of Stassy Olmos).

USC Annenberg Journalism Student Wins Hearst Journalism Award

Competing against more than a hundred other journalists from colleges and universities across the nation, senior Stassy Olmos received top honors and a scholarship for two packages she originally reported and produced in USC Annenberg’s JOUR 402: Broadcast Reporting class.

Alex Gold Neon Tommy_2

Master Class: Meet the master (student) behind Neon Tommy’s social distribution

Alex Gold, a second year Master’s of Strategic Public Relations student, is working from the inside out, helping the editorial staff at Neon Tommy create strategies for promoting stories through social media.

Ani Ucar

Master Class: Meet the graduate student who helps keep the Media Center running smoothly

Ani Ucar serves as the news director for Neon Tommy, and was instrumental in having the Media Center running like the newsroom it was intended to be.

Screen Shot 2015-02-25 at 2.18.09 PMNew Media Center is “one big sandbox for all our student productions”

Now that the new school year is underway, students have had the opportunity to play in the “sandbox” that is the converged Media Center at Wallis Annenberg Hall.

Mirian Fuentes and Kate Guarino, left to right respectively, express what they admire about the new building during the Wallis Annenberg Hall grand opening reception.

USC Annenberg Students Share Their Thoughts On New Building

On every level of ANN on October 1, guests were welcomed to walk in and view facilities like the media center where students were hard at work. But USC Annenberg students were welcomed in at the start of classes this year, giving them a chance to become familiar with the new amenities that will be instrumental to their education.

A Look Back: Take a look back at our coverage of Wallis Annenberg Hall from concept to construction


Wallis Annenberg Hall Interactive Timeline: From ground breaking to grand opening, follow the development of USC Annenberg’s new building.

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What’s Behind the Curtain: Media Center announcement guesses


On Wednesday, February 25, USC Annenberg officially announced the naming of the Media Center to be The Julie Chen/Leslie Moonves & CBS. For three days a black curtain hung in the Media Center, intriguing students and making them wonder what could it be?

Curious students took to social media in order to make their guesses.

Would it be a Hall of Fame, or a cupcake ATM? One user jokingly guessed “Are they gonna name the Media Center after me?” and @dlegas05 thought of a fun guess with “A wheel of fortune-style wall.”

On Twitter, alum Mike Huckman cleverly guessed “A significant contribution.”

ATVN interviewed a few students who had some colorful guesses from “free laptops” to “more screens” and even a “$5 Million bouncy castle”. One student even suggested naming the Media Center after Brad Pitt or Steven Spielberg, while another passionately stated that Annenberg needed a fountain of its own.

Enjoy the full video below.

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