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John E. Craft, Curator of Cronkite Gallery, Professor
John Craft has taught in the broadcast area of the Cronkite School since 1973, making him the senior member of the faculty. During that time he has taught courses in broadcast production, direction, station operations, announcing and documentary, as well as telecommunication management courses such as Introduction to Broadcasting, Broadcast Programming, Media Sales, Cable Television and Telecommunication Management.
He was the director of graduate studies for more than a dozen years. In that position he taught graduate courses in Media Ethics and Mass Media and Society as well as leading the School’s graduate program to a No. 8 ranking in the nation in the “U.S. News and World Report” on best graduate schools.
Craft is the lead author of a major textbook on American electronic media and a major contributor to a second textbook on corporate video. Craft has produced, directed or otherwise contributed to numerous television programs, both at public television station WOUB-TV in Ohio, and later as an independent documentary producer and director.
His award-winning documentary programs on Route 66 have had international distribution and have been broadcast on public television stations in nearly 80 of the top television markets in the United States. In addition, they have been distributed through commercial television stations and the home video market, and have been shown on cable networks such as the History Channel. Copies of “Arizona Crossroads: Along Old Route 66” and “Arizona Memories” currently are available through the internationally distributed Route 66 Magazine and through the Arizona Route 66 Historical Association.
In addition to accomplishing traditional scholarly and creative work as a professor at Arizona State University, Craft has served as a media consultant for some of the country’s largest corporations, as well as for many public school districts. He was employed to establish a video services unit for Samaritan Health Services of Arizona (now Banner Health), and went on to develop patient education television systems for several other hospital corporations in the Southwest.
The Times Mirror Corporation hired Craft to consult in cable franchising and local origination studio and channel development. He performed similar duties for other cable television systems and corporations. Craft worked for Honeywell Corporation and Allied Signal Corporation, as well as others, evaluating corporate video facilities across the nation. He planned, constructed and programmed cable television local origination channels for closed retirement communities and developed studios for public school systems throughout the country.
Craft has been active in service to professional organizations at the local, regional, and national levels. He has served two terms as a national trustee of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. In that position he had the opportunity to represent the academy on trips to study the television systems in the United Kingdom, Ireland and China. He served for nearly 20 years on the board of governors of the Rocky Mountain Southwest Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, was president of that organization and has been a presenter at the Academy’s annual regional Emmy events.
He is a member of the Academy’s Silver Circle Society, honored for more than 25 years of outstanding service to the broadcasting profession.
Craft also was on the board and served as president of the International Television Association, and was on the board and was treasurer of an Arizona cable television professional organization. He has been active in the Broadcast Education Association, the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication and the Visual Communication Association. He is a member of the Phi Kappa Phi honorary association.
Craft often is called on by print and broadcast outlets to comment on media issues. His quotes have appeared in local, national, and international newspapers and magazines. He has appeared on radio and television programs throughout the United States and in several European countries, as in China.
As an Arizona Humanities Scholar, Craft often speaks to civic, educational and professional organizations.
Prior to arriving at Arizona State University, Craft taught media courses at Ohio University and the Hancock County branch of West Liberty State College in West Virginia in addition to working in instructional media.
He was instructional television programming coordinator at Ohio University, in-service coordinator for educational television of Southeastern Ohio and director of educational television and audiovisual services for the Hancock County ( West Virginia ) Schools. As director of educational television, he developed one of the first public schools operated instructional televisions in the nation, with three channels of on-demand instructional television programming available to more than 10,000 students.
In addition, a schedule of more than 40 hours per week of programming was produced and distributed to residents of local communities through what now is termed as cable educational access channels. Much of this programming was produced in the school district professional television studio by more than 50 high school students taking classes in television production, under the direction of four professional staff members.
Craft worked at WOUB-TV in many broadcast positions and had production credits on many nationally distributed television programs as director of staging and lighting for the station. He acted and designed sets and lighting for several seasons at Ohio Valley Summer Theatre and at Mount Union College Summer Theatre. He received a bachelor’s degree in technical theater from Ohio University and later a master’s degree in radio and television and a doctorate of philosophy degree in mass communication at Ohio University.
Craft has two daughters. Lauren is a veterinarian in Laguna Beach, Calif., and Jennifer is a television account representative at KAET-TV, the public television station operated by Arizona State University. He enjoys travel, and collects and restores antique clocks and toy electric trains from the 1920s and ’30s.