Cronkite Names First Entrepreneur in Residence

Monday, Aug. 4, 2008


The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University is naming digital media entrepreneur CJ Cornell its first Entrepreneur in Residence at the new Knight Center for Digital Media Entrepreneurship. Cornell, originally from Long Island, N.Y., has two decades of experience developing ventures in video, cable television and online media in Silicon Valley and Los Angeles. He will work with students in the Knight Center, helping them plan, develop and launch new media products. He will hold the faculty rank of professor of practice and the title of Professor of Digital Media Entrepreneurship. The Knight Center is devoted to the development of new media entrepreneurship and the creation of innovative digital media products. It was established at the Cronkite School last year under grants from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. In his new position, Cornell will work with Dan Gillmor, a leader in new media and citizen-based journalism who is the founding director of the Knight Center. Gillmor said Cornell brings “terrific experience in the media and entrepreneurial arenas – he’s already teaching me plenty of things I didn’t know. He’s ambitious for students, to help them turn their ideas into sustainable products and services.” Cornell will work with students from multiple disciplines, including journalism, engineering and business, on Knight Center projects, with a focus on the business aspects of launching and sustaining new products and services. He also will co-teach with Gillmor a seminar on Digital Media and Entrepreneurship. “ASU is pioneering the future of media and writing the new rules for ‘the journalist as entrepreneur,’” Cornell said. “I am incredibly proud to be part of leading this groundbreaking program, training the first generation of journalists in the post-YouTube, post-Facebook, citizen media era. We’re going to see some astonishing results from this program and from our graduates.” Cornell serves as a board member or adviser to six digital media ventures involved in the creation of advanced digital video channels for targeted audiences. He is a recognized innovator in new video, music and user-generated products and tools for the Web, TV and other consumer platforms. A periodic lecturer at San Jose State University’s Graduate School of Business on business, entrepreneurship and venture capital, Cornell has written numerous articles and papers on media and television strategy and technology. He received his bachelor’s degree in electrical/mechanical engineering from SUNY Stony Brook in New York, his master’s degree in management from the New York Institute of Technology in finance and business, and his PhD in marketing from Columbus University in Daphne, Ala. Cornell’s hire brings to nine the number of full-time faculty staff at ASU devoted to digital media. He joins Gillmor; Jody Brannon, a former editor at, and and now national director of the Carnegie-Knight News21 program; Assistant Professor Serena Carpenter, a new media scholar; Retha Hill, former vice president for content for BET Interactive now directing the New Media Innovation lab; Arizona Republic Editor-in-Residence Aric Johnson, who runs a multimedia reporting program; Jason Manning, director of Student Media and former political editor of; Associate Professor Carol Schwalbe, who helped launch; and Leslie-Jean Thornton, a former newspaper editor whose research focuses on convergence and new media.