Fellows enjoy tour
of Atlanta media


A group of School of Communications Fellows traveled to Atlanta, one of the top media centers of the South, to tour and visit with professional communicators Sept. 30-Oct. 2. Led by faculty members Kelli Burns, Ray Johnson, Gerald Gibson, Stacy Saltz and George Padgett, they made specially tailored visits to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Weather Channel, CNN, Grey Worldwide and The World of Coke.

Click here to see a slide show featuring photos from the Elon 2004 tour.

The AJC is owned by Cox Enterprises, which includes Cox Communications (the nation's fourth-largest cable company), Cox Television (15 stations in 11 markets), Cox Radio (the nation's third-largest radio company), and Cox Newspapers, which is one of the top 10 newspaper groups in the U.S. This media company had its beginnings in 1898, when a 28-year-old former schoolteacher, James Cox, bought the Dayton Evening News Co. for $28,000. Cox Enterprises revenues for 2001 were $8.6 billion, and company headquarters are situated in Atlanta.

Since 1982, The Weather Channel has brought timely weather information to the world. Beginning as the first 24-hour, seven-day-a-week television network devoted entirely to weather, it has expanded across several mediums to bring the breaking weather to its viewers and users. The immediate real-time relay of severe weather watches and warnings is the most vital service provided by The Weather Channel. Information from the National Weather Service, such as severe weather alerts and current conditions, is transmitted to custom equipment at each cable location, as are thousands of customized weather forecasts prepared by The Weather Channel meteorologists. The Weather Channel's Web site is consistently rated in the top five for news, entertainment and information by Media Metrix. The site, www.weather.com, features current conditions and forecasts for more than 77,000 locations worldwide, along with local and regional radars. School of Communications Advisory Board member Debora Wilson, chief operating officer of The Weather Channel, and her team at the popular network treated the group to a thorough, entertaining presentation, an outstanding tour and full run of the facilities.

The Elon students visited downtown Atlanta's Olympic Park, site of the 100th-anniversary Olympic Games in 1996, in close promity to CNN Center. The students also toured Turner Field, home of Major League Baseball's Atlanta Braves. They saw the Braves Museum, walked through the team lockerroom, hung out in the dugout, walked around the field of play, checked out the press box and skyboxes and frolicked in the public areas of the contemporary stadium complex with its commercial fixtures, pop art and odd furnishings.

They went on the tour of CNN and its broadcast facilities. In the late 1970s, cable television mogul Ted Turner hired 200 new employees and founded the Cable News Network, which first began to broadcast in June of 1980 to an audience of about 1.7 million households. In 1995, Turner introduced CNN International, sending CNN around the world, and began CNN.com. Today, CNN's news group is owned by Time Warner, and it includes a number of television and radio networks and Internet sites. The group as a whole reaches an audience of about 1 billion people worldwide.

Corporate communications, advertising, marketing and promotions were the main topics of study for the Elon group at both Grey Worldwide and the World of Coca Cola, a museum built in tribute to a product and its public image.

Grey pulled out all of the stops, with a number of executives taking time out of their busy schedules to inform the students about their areas of interest and share what it's like to work in the highly competitive corporate communications field.

At Coca Cola's massive interactive museum - a shrine to the building and burnishing of a product's image - students viewed films, saw historic advertising displays, viewed television ad campaigns and also had the opportunity to sample various products bottled by Coca Cola for people in other nations.

Participating fellows included Kyle Anderson, Matt Belanger, Jason Boyer, Kevin Cimino, Jody Cohen, Ben Deloose, Melissa Echols, Ashley Feibish, Matt Friedman, Calley Grace, Kristen Kennedy, Catherine Marshall, Andrew Martin, Mike McCormick, Kristopher Moody, Scott Myrick, Krista Naposki, Michael O'Connor, Sara Pollock, Jeffrey Rickel, Ted Rolfvondenbaum, Amanda Schlak, Brittanie Shroyer, Brittany Smith, Michael Spears, Meghan Walsh and Erin Winterbottom.

This is the second consecutive year of the Atlanta tour, which includes a number of special activities, including a dinner with Atlanta-area alumni and Advisory Board members.



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Last Modified:  10/18/04
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