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Entrepreneur in residence named at Cronkite School

August 19, 2008

Digital media innovator CJ Cornell has been named Entrepreneur in Residence and a professor in the new Knight Center for Digital Media Entrepreneurship at Arizona State University.

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 at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, helping them plan, develop and launch new media products. He also will hold 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 independent studies 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 eight the number of full-time faculty in the Cronkite School devoted to digital media. He will join a faculty that includes Gillmor, Jody Brannon, a digital media leader who has held top editor positions at, and; Retha Hill, former vice president for content for BET Interactive and a former editor at; Carol Schwalbe, who helped launch and served as the online producer for the Traveler section of the National Geographic Web site; Leslie-Jean Thornton, PhD, a former newspaper editor whose research focuses on convergence and new media; Serena Carpenter, PhD, a prolific researcher in online journalism, news quality, citizen journalism and blogs; and editor-in-residence Aric Johnson, who runs the multimedia reporting program at The Arizona Republic.