Willow Bay to lead journalism school at USC Annenberg

Annenberg school for Communications and Journalism

Willow Bay will be the new director of the School of Journalism at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, the school announced in a press release Wednesday.

Bay, currently a senior editor at the Huffington Post, also works as a special correspondent for Bloomberg News.

“The breadth of Willow Bay’s experiences, skills and talents is extraordinary,” said Dean (Ernest J.) Wilson. “Her leadership will help our innovative school aggressively continue our path of creating – and defining – the digital future.”

Bay, who begins in July, said in the press release, “I’ve had the privilege of personally hiring and working with some outstanding Annenberg graduates at The Huffington Post.”

“I look forward to leading the school as it educates and inspires the next generation of journalists and public relations professionals for the future and contributes groundbreaking academic research into these fields.”

Correction: In an earlier version we included a note on Bay’s husband, which is interesting but certainly not relevant to her news. So we cut it.

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  • JTFloore

    I consider myself relatively well versed in media personalities but had no idea of the iger/bay connection. and, yes, noting the relationship in bay’s job announcement is relevant in the context of the report AND the significant standing both have in somewhat parallel occupations. the same connection should have been made had the announcement been about him; she should be mentioned. stories about clarence thomas’ wife always include — and justifiably so, absolutely — references to him. this is not an issue to agonize over.

  • Quincy Dukes

    I’ve not followed Ms. Bay’s career closely.

    Is Dean Wilson’s characterization of it—that the breadth of her experiences is extraordinary—accurate, or is it hyperbole?

    On reading USC’s summary of her recent experience in their press release (senior editor for Huffington Post : Los Angeles and correspondent for Bloomberg TV), I lean towards the latter.

  • abeaujon

    Strong point, and one I’ll think about a lot harder next time something like this comes up.

  • http://workavoidancelog.com/ Work Avoidance Log

    Don’t want to belabor this, and your engagement in this thread is much appreciated (also: not disappointed. Glad for the chance to engage in this discussion).

    But this point begs to be underlined:
    “…our stories about men accepting new jobs rarely if ever mention their spouses.”

    They should if that spouse is as powerful and influential as Willow Bay’s spouse.

    Back to Work:

  • abeaujon

    No, of course, no one does. But our stories about men accepting new jobs rarely if ever mention their spouses. Mostly, though, I wish we’d edited this more carefully in the first place. Anyway, sorry to disappoint you and thanks again for your thoughts, and I hope you won’t ever hesitate to let us know when you think we make a wrong call.

  • http://workavoidancelog.com/ Work Avoidance Log

    Understood, Kristen. The story is about her, but as noted above, she does not exist in a vacuum.

    On a news-industry focused website, it may be true that many–even most–readers know the identity of her hubby, but that’s no reason to short-change those who don’t.

    Back to Work:

  • Farmerzdtr

    I assumed everyone knew she’s married to Bob Iger. I don’t see any reason to mention him at all in this story, which is solely about her.

  • abeaujon

    Hi everyone, thanks for your thoughts. Kristen and I decided to remove that line, which went in after we originally published this, because it was inserted clumsily at the end and didn’t seem particularly relevant to the news. Was that the right decision? I think so, but I hear what you’re saying.

    We wanted to acknowledge the change, too, hence the note. I’m happy to talk more if anyone wants: abeaujon@poynter.org / 703-594-1103.

  • http://workavoidancelog.com/ Work Avoidance Log

    Agree with CPO_C_Ryback: Why has this one part of Willow Bay’s bio suddenly become not just superfluous but unmentionable in a story about her new job?

    And since no one has said it out loud on this site yet, she’s long been married to Bob Iger, Chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company.

    Does Willow Bay have knowledge, experience and insight as a result of her current employment as a special correspondent for Bloomberg TV and a senior editor for the Huffington Post, as well as her previous work as an anchor and producer for CNN, ABC, NBC, MSNBC and Lifetime, and as an author? Of course. Will USC Annenberg benefit from that knowledge, experience and insight? Yes again.

    In addition to the contacts, relationships and access that Willow Bay has gained during a long career in media, does she have contacts, relationships and access as a result of her marriage to the head of the world’s largest media conglomerate? Silly question. Will USC Annenberg benefit? The Log cannot imagine that it won’t.

    The Log is disappointed that Poynter thought it was obligated to subtract journalism from this story.

    Back to work:

  • CPO_C_Ryback

    “Correction: In an earlier version we included a note on Bay’s husband, which is interesting but certainly not relevant to her news. So we cut it.”

    So, many have to google the info. And find out that he is a very high ranking media executive. Which is not to take away from WB.

    But what happened to disclosure? When there is so much fussin’ about “inter-locking corporate board memberships?”

    We know who got big divorce settlements. We know about who is married to whom. This self-censorship merely wastes time and resources.