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Archive for June, 2009
Joe Dashiell, a 1980 Washington and Lee graduate, was presented with the George A. Bowles Jr. Award for Distinguished Performance in Broadcast News by the Virginia Association of Broadcasters on Friday (June 27) at the organization’s annual meeting in Virginia Beach. The Bowles Award goes annually to the broadcast reporter or news director in Virginia who is distinguished in the field of broadcast news. According to the VAB Web site, Bowles’ candidates “must have longevity in Virginia broadcasting and be respected by his or her peers and the local community.” Joe certainly qualifies, having started at Roanoke’s WDBJ7 immediately after his W&L graduation in 1980. Since then he has manned all three WDBJ newsrooms, spent five years covering the general assembly in Richmond and is now a senior reporter. Way to go, Joe.
As expected, President Obama said Thursday that he was going to forward Meredith Attwell Baker’s name as his nominee to a Republican seat on the Federal Communications Commission. The probability of that nomination had been widely reported, including on our page earlier this week. In the Reuters story announcing the president’s decision, Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson, the top Republican on the Senate Commerce Committee, said that “Meredith Baker will be a strong, independent voice.” And, at the same time, Verizon issued a statement in support of the nominee. Susanne Guyer, Verizon senior vice president of federal regulatory affairs, said: “This is yet another smart nomination. Meredith Attwell Baker has the experience and qualifications to be a very effective commissioner.” She also received strong support from the Consumer Electronics Association which issued a statement applauding the nomination and adding “In her earlier role at NTIA, Baker handled implementation of the vital coupon program for digital television converter boxes, and she deserves credit for helping to ensure the success of the DTV transition. Baker has spent her career as an advocate for new technologies and her policy decisions have been in favor of innovation and economic growth. She is a strong proponent of broadband technology and has worked to build a national broadband strategy.” The full slate of nominees for the FCC is Chairman Julius Genachowski (D) and Commissioners Michael Copps (D), Robert McDowell (R), Mignon Clyburn (D), and Meredith Attwell Baker (R).
Each June the Chicago Web site Newcity Lit, which is part of Newcity magazine, publishes a list titled “Lit 50: Who really books in Chicago.” The list is designed to be a pecking order of the most important writers and publishers in Chicago. So it’s not necessarily any great surprise that Oprah Winfrey is No. 1 on the list based on her book club picks and the success of her “O” magazine. Ten spots below Oprah is where you’ll find Washington and Lee alumnus Christian Wiman, Class of 1988. Christian is editor of Poetry magazine, and his entry in the Lit 50 list reads as follows: “As editor of Poetry magazine, Christian Wiman has been upholding the traditions of the 97-year-old publication, which remains an independent voice for poetry and has been known to champion young writers publishing for the first time. The June 2009 issue features pieces by D. Nurske, A.E. Stallings, Averill Curdy and more. Wiman’s 2007 collection of personal essays, “Ambition and Survival: Becoming a Poet,” beautifully revealed as much about the writer as his books of poems.” If you haven’t ever read any of Christian’s poems, you can start with this week’s New Yorker, where you’ll find “Five Houses Down” on pages 60 and 61. Or you can read it online by following this link. You can also read a fascinating interview with Christian from this past March on the Web site Bookslut.
At least two Washington and Lee alumni have recently been given new assignments in Washington. After spending the past two years as deputy press secretary for Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd, Washington and Lee alumna Justine Sessions, class of 2005, has been elevated to the position of press secretary for the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, which Dodd chairs. Even before that announcement was made on June 17, Justine was being quoted on a variety of banking-related issues. Meantime, over at the Committee on Education and Labor, Lillian Pace, a 2002 graduate, has been appointed policy advisor for the Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education by U.S. Rep. George Miller of California, the committee chairman. Lillian had been serving as legislative director for U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY), a former member of the House Education and Labor Committee. She’d also served in communications and legislative roles for three other congressmen.
Andrew Keller, class of 1992, is co-executive creative director for Crispin Porter + Bogusky, which is widely considered one of the hottest ad agencies in the country these days. Earlier this month Creativity magazine did a Q&A with Andrew that is a great read. You can read the online version of the interview here. Among the many interesting aspects of the interview is Andrew’s contention that a recession is not the time to pull back in terms of advertising and marketing but the time to go for it. He compares the current economic climate to the immediate post-9/11 period, when Crispin Porter + Bogusky won several major awards for launching the MINI in the U.S.–the campaign that Andrew credits with “making him” in the business. You can see examples of Andrew’s work for MINI and for such other products as Volkswagen, Burger King and Hulu at BestAdsOnTV.com.
Meredith Attwell Baker, a member of Washington and Lee’s Class of 1990, is considered the odds-on choice to be named to the vacant Republican seat on the Federal Communications Commission. The Wall Street Journal reported that Meredith was the choice almost a month ago, and the actual appointment could come at any point, apparently. Meredith most recently served as acting assistant secretary for communications and information and acting administrator of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) under President Bush. In that role, she was on the front lines of the transition to digital television and the distribution of coupons that helped individuals buy converter boxes for their old TV sets. A major feature story in TVNewsday, an industry publication, traces Meredith’s career from W&L, where she majored in journalism and Spanish, to now. The article labels her a “light-handed regulator.” Stay tuned.