College of Media welcomes respected journalists for virtual event

by Shelbi Voss

The College of Media kicked off Mediapalooza earlier this week with broadcasts by both Good Morning Illini and UI7 Live. Tonight the department celebrates its future with a virtual event for the Richard and Leslie Frank Center for Leadership and Innovation in Media.

Tonight’s event will feature Emmy award-winning journalist Leslie Frank, chief White House Correspondent for NBC News Peter Alexander and College of Media alum Judy Hsu, who is a current ABC 7 Chicago anchor. The speakers will talk about media and innovation and will host a question and answer period for students at the end.

Last fall, Richard and Leslie Frank donated $7.5 million to the college to help create the highest level of professional development for its students. The donation was the largest in the department’s history and will support students in enhanced professional experiences and technologies. It will also support upgrades to both Gregory Hall and Richmond Studios. Tonight’s conversation will be the first of numerous events to be hosted by the Frank Center.

Richard Frank graduated from the university with a degree in marketing. He is a former president of both Paramount Television Group and Disney Studios. His work oversaw the creation and production of many popular films and TV shows including Family Ties, Cheers, Golden Girls, Home Improvement, and The Lion King. He also served as the President of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. In 2007 he was awarded the Syd Cassyd Founder’s Award.

Leslie Frank has reported on some of the most high profile stories in recent decades, including the 9/11 attacks and the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. She was a reporter and anchor for KABC in Los Angeles and also sat as the main anchor for KCPQ in Seattle. It was there that she was awarded the Emmy for Outstanding News Anchor. Today, the Franks run Frank Family Vineyards out of Napa Valley. It is one of the most successful family owned and operated wineries in the region.

The virtual conversation will be held from 7-8 p.m. Registration is required and can be found here.