Entertainment and Media Studies faculty Shira Chess and Taylor Cole Miller attended the annual National Association of Television Program Executives Miami Marketplace and Conference.
Attending the conference is more than 5,000 media executives and 1,100 content buyers. This year’s event took place Jan. 16-18.
Pictured with Chess and Miller is Lew Klein, described as a legend of the television industry. Klein is currently on the NATPE executive committee and is president of the NATPE Educational Foundation.
Chess and Miller attended as part of the NATPE Faculty Fellowship Program. It provides selected college and university media faculty with complete access to the sessions and activities of the annual NATPE Miami Marketplace & Conference, with the goals of exposing educators to current television issues and practices, and fostering improved communication and cooperation between educators and the industry.
Lew Klein is the former president of Gateway Communications, former executive producer of pioneering dance show American Bandstand, and one of the founders of NATPE more than 50 years ago. He also oversaw programming for The Triangle Group and was a director of Dick Clark Productions.
The industry veteran also has an active academic career, teaching at the University of Pennsylvania, Temple University, and also the Sorbonne in Paris, France.
“Taylor brings fresh energy and insight into the scholarly outreach arm of Peabody,” said Jeffrey P. Jones, executive director of Peabody. “His research areas align with where we need to go and want to be in the future.”
Miller teaches courses in media studies, broadcast histories, and digital/docu-series production. His research uses a cultural studies approach to analyze the TV industry, media distribution, and production cultures especially at their intersections with issues of gender and sexuality.
“As a broadcast historian who is also training a new generation of media makers to be critical thinkers, I am right where I’m supposed to be here at Peabody,” Miller said. “I think success in history is better marked by significance than popularity, and Peabody’s interest in recognizing stories that matter—even in the smallest of markets—directly connects to my interest in how television serves various publics.”
In his new role, Miller will serve as co-coordinator and liaison with the Media Center’s seven Fellows, will work with the Peabody Student Honor Board and the Peabody-Facebook Futures of Media Award, and assist in the Peabody Digital Network and Peabody Archive.
Miller will also handle Media Center programming and production, including serving as primary interface with the Peabody Archive, housed in the University of Georgia’s special collections libraries. With the director and the communications team, he will help strategize, plan, and execute programming for the Peabody Digital Network, utilizing archival content as appropriate.
Miller received bachelor’s degrees in journalism and Spanish from the University of Kansas; a master’s degree in radio/TV/film from the University of Texas-Austin; and his doctorate in media and cultural studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Prior to joining Grady College, he taught courses in television criticism, critical internet studies, and new media production at the University of Wisconsin, served as an editor for Mother Earth News, and worked as a jack-of-all-trades at an independent cable TV station.
Miller’s current work investigates the transgressive and queer potential of television syndication. Additionally, he has been working with Norman Lear and Louise Lasser to write cultural histories of Lear’s first-run syndicated serials “Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman” and “All That Glitters.”
About Peabody Media Center
The Peabody Media Center is a scholarly research center and media production arm of the prestigious Peabody Awards. The Media Center creates public programming that spotlights the yearly award winners and finalists, as well as critical scholarly engagement that addresses today’s changing media industry landscape. Resources unique to the center include the Peabody Archive, part of the third largest collection of audiovisual materials in the United States, and the Peabody Academy, which focuses on inspiring storytellers of the future. Peabody Fellows are a distinguished group of television and media studies scholars from across the country who provide fresh perspectives and commentary on how and why stories matter and their impact on media, culture, and society.
In October, Taylor Cole Miller, assistant professor of Entertainment and Media Studies, conducted a one-on-one filmed interview with TV icon Norman Lear, the legendary creator of some of the biggest shows in the 1970s including “All in the Family,” “The Jeffersons,” “Sanford and Son,” and “Maude.”
The two talked about a collection of his lesser-known shows such as “Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman” and “All That Glitters,” as well as his current projects, the “One Day at a Time” reboot for Netflix and his new pilot, “Guess Who Died,” for NBC.
The interview, which took place in Lear’s production offices in Beverly Hills, will be featured in a documentary Miller is producing on the history of sexual nonconformity on American television.
This segment below was filmed about a week after Bob Schiller, one of Lear’s writers for “All in the Family” and “Maude” passed away. He reminisced about how they kept adding a few years to one another’s lives through laughter.
“If there is anything that adds time to life, I think it’s laughter,” Lear said.
Lear was recognized by the Peabody Awards this past May with an Individual Award for revolutionizing and democratizing “a traditionally timid, overwhelmingly white-bread medium with a collection of recognizable, risible characters whose racial and gender diversity was as unprecedented as their biases and brash opinions.”