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Beth Moellers
IU School of Journalism

George Vlahakis
University Communications

Last modified: Wednesday, August 26, 2009

"Last Lecture" author, NPR CEO and Fox Sports' Joe Buck to speak at IU Journalism Speaker Series

Aug. 26, 2009

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Three distinguished journalists will speak in Bloomington this fall as part of the Indiana University School of Journalism's Speaker Series.

Speaking and answering questions at free, open to the public lectures will be Wall Street Journal columnist Jeff Zaslow, National Public Radio Chief Executive Officer Vivian Schiller and Fox Sports broadcaster Joe Buck.

Since its inception in the fall of 2006, the Speaker Series has brought to campus highly regarded journalists and authors including Steve Kroft, Anna Quindlen, Nina Totenberg, Elizabeth Gilbert, Lisa Ling, Frank DeFord, David Halberstam and Christopher Hitchens.

All the talks will take place at Buskirk-Chumley Theater, 114 E. Kirkwood Ave., in downtown Bloomington and will begin at 7 p.m.

The first speaker in the series will be Zaslow on Sept. 14. He co-wrote the best-selling book "The Last Lecture," the story of the late professor Randy Pausch's last talk to Carnegie Mellon students about celebrating life and living it to its fullest.

For his column, "Moving On," Zaslow focuses on life's transitions, and when he heard about Pausch, who had terminal cancer, he decided to attend the lecture as a possible column topic. Zaslow's resulting column and the video of the talk that circulated on the Internet propelled Pausch to international attention, and soon he and Zaslow were compiling the story into book form. Today, it has been translated into 44 languages and has spent weeks as No. 1 on the New York Times bestseller lists.

Vivian Schiller

Vivian Schiller

Print-Quality Photo

In addition to his continued reporting for the Journal, Zaslow is at work on a book about yet another American whose philosophy on staying focused in times of trouble captivated readers' attention. He and Capt. Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, who safely landed his jet in the Hudson River, are co-authoring "Highest Duty," set for release this fall.

Schiller will speak and visit the IU Bloomington campus on Oct. 19. She made the switch from print to broadcast earlier this year when she moved from the senior vice president and general manager of The New York Times to National Public Radio, where she is CEO. In this position, she oversees all NPR operations, including the organization's partnerships with more than 800 member stations.

While she's new to radio, Schiller does have broadcast and multimedia experience. She spent four years as general manager of Discovery Times channel, a joint venture of The New York Times and Discovery Communications. Under her leadership, Discovery Times Channel tripled its distribution while achieving critical acclaim for its award-winning journalistic programming.

Schiller also served as senior vice president at CNN Productions, where documentaries produced during her tenure won two Peabody Awards, two Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia University Awards, and five Emmys. At the Times, Schiller oversaw the day-to-day operations of, the newspaper's Web site.

The final event in the fall series on Nov. 10 will feature Buck, a six-time Emmy Award-winner who handles lead play-by-play duties for Fox Sports' Emmy Award-winning coverage of Major League Baseball and the National Football League.

His career path may inspire journalism students. His broadcasting career began in 1989, while he was a telecommunications undergraduate at IU. That year, he called play-by-play for the Louisville Redbirds of the American Association, a minor league affiliate of the Cardinals, and was a reporter for ESPN's coverage of the Triple-A All-Star Game.

In 1994, he was the youngest announcer to call a full slate of NFL games on network television. Before that, he was a radio and television announcer for the St. Louis Cardinals from 1991 to 2007.

Buck is the son of the late broadcasting legend Jack Buck, whose career spanned parts of six decades. They are the only father and son to each call the Super Bowl on network television.

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