By: Livia Lazzaro
On February 19, 2016, the Department of Communication Studies hosted its first Spring ’16 Brown Bag seminar in the Mayo Concert Hall. The distinguished guest speaker was Bob Mauro, President of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS), who discussed changes in the television industry over recent decades —changes that have encompassed broadcasting, cable, and new media.
Mr. Mauro took the audience down memory lane as he discussed his impressive career path from its beginnings in the corporate finance division of CBS to numerous senior leadership positions. He worked on almost all of the network’s news shows, such as 60 Minutes, CBS Reports, The CBS Morning News, and The CBS Evening News. In his second tour of duty with CBS, he served as Vice President for Network Operations, Production and New Business Development. In his talk, Mr. Mauro discussed trends in the television industry through the lens of his personal and professional experiences. He discussed the importance of fact-checking in journalism, branding, investing, strategizing, and using new media. Of the future trends in this ever-changing communication landscape, Mr. Mauro said that “the first rule is that there are no rules,” reassuring the audience that opportunities abound in the television industry.
Mr. Mauro’s talk was filled with invaluable advice to students who aspire to work in the industry. “Follow your dreams,” Mr. Mauro advised. “Find something that gets you to want to come back to it day in and day out.” Mr. Mauro admitted that many of the positions he has held were demanding and stressful. Yet his love for the profession brought him back, keeping him “young, smart, aggressive, and passionate.” Stressing the importance of always learning new skills, Mr. Mauro pointed out that the financial side of the industry is of crucial importance and he encouraged students to take accounting and finance classes to develop strong business acumen.
Even though the daily rigors of his successful career often kept him in the office or on the road for long stretches of time, Mr. Mauro took pains to remind everyone that hard work should be balanced with family. “I wouldn’t be who I am today if it weren’t for my wife who is in the audience today,” he said, jokingly, about “Saint Florence,” who along with his three grown daughters and four grandchildren enrich his life immeasurably.