Faculty Spotlight: Northwestern Professor James Webster Discusses the Future of Audience Behavior

For our first Faculty Spotlight of the 2017-2018 academic year, we interviewed Northwestern Professor James G. Webster about media audiences. Webster researches audience measurement, the behavior of media audiences, and media industries. In the responses below, he discusses misconceptions about audiences, how to determine “a hit,” and predictions for the future of audience behavior.


Daniella Smith Aspires To Bring Young Audiences to Opera

By Jacob Nelson

Daniella Smith fell in love with opera when she realized she excelled at singing it.

The new MSLCE student and Seattle native originally began her artistic career in musical theatre, before realizing that her voice was better suited for classical.

“As I watched more opera, I really fell in love with it,” Smith said during a recent interview. She explained, however, that her ambitions have shifted from being on the opera stage to being behind the scenes. “Now, I’m more interested in producing it or being on the other side of it.” (more…)

CBS TV Studio VP of Drama Development Describes Getting His First Break in Evanston

By Jacob Nelson

Rob Luchow’s first break didn’t happen in Hollywood. It happened in Evanston.

As the Vice President of Drama Development for CBS TV Studio explained during the first MSLCE Speaker Series event of the academic year, Luchow was a Northwestern undergraduate working as a waiter at a pizza place near campus when he first opened the door to his career. He was waiting on a table of Northwestern alums who he had just seen at panel where they discussed their jobs as television writers.

“I told them, ‘It was really cool for you to come to campus, I loved hearing you speak, and I’m thinking of moving to L.A.’ They said, ‘Why don’t you come sit with us?’”

To which Luchow replied, “I can’t. I’m your waiter.” (more…)

Dominique Warren Aspires To Be Both Actress And Entrepreneur

By Jacob Nelson

Dominique Warren originally hoped to work in theatre, but now is pursuing a career in film. The reason? Close-ups.

“Theatre is different each night, but in film they capture that moment up close,” the new MSLCE student said during a recent interview. “Film is more intimate because the audience is the camera. The slightest subtlety is picked up on camera and that’s why I believe film is more challenging.” (more…)

CBS TV Studio VP to Speak at First 2017-2018 MSLCE Speaker Series Event

By Jacob Nelson

Before Rob Luchow worked in television, he watched it. Lots of it.

“This was the common routine in my house growing up: At 6 o’clock, my family would put on local news and start cooking dinner. At 6:30, Tom Brokaw. 7 was Jeopardy, and 7:30 was Wheel of Fortune,” Luchow said during an interview last week. He added, with a laugh, “I don’t know when I did homework as a kid.”

Years later, Luchow now works as the Vice President of Drama Development for CBS TV Studio. He will be discussing his career in television at the first MSLCE Speaker Series event of the 2017-2018 year, on Thursday, Oct. 5. (more…)

VP of Comedy Development at Warner Bros. Wendy Steinhoff Shares Words of Wisdom with MSLCE Graduates

The third cohort of MSLCE students crossed the stage to accept diplomas during the MSLCE Convocation Ceremony, held on August 24 in the Alice Millar Chapel in Evanston. 

Families and friends in the audience cheered as one by one the names were called by MSLCE Associate Director Kathryn Lawson and the students, dressed in purple gowns, walked towards Northwestern’s Communication Studies Department Chair Ellen Wartella to receive their degrees.

It’s amazing how quickly this year went past!” MSLCE graduate Quinton Sprull said after the ceremony. He explained that, throughout the program, students “evolved to richer, more analytical creative leaders… It was a great year of growth, accomplishment, and promise.” (more…)

This Summer, MSLCE Student Alex Fah Sang Helped Bring Dostoyevsky from 18th Century Russia to 21st Century Los Angeles

By Alex Fah Sang

At VM Productions US, my internship was in post-production. I worked as an assistant and social media strategist for the upcoming film Dostoyevsky Reimagined: The Making of Notes from the New World, a part of the Dostoyevsky L.A Project. (more…)

MSLCE Student Joe Giovannetti Reflects on an ‘Amazing’ Summer at La Jolla Playhouse

By Joe Giovannetti

My summer in San Diego, California is coming to a close, and it’s hard to sum up everything I have learned in just a few short paragraphs. My experience at the La Jolla Playhouse has been nothing short of amazing. From the knowledge I gained, to the people I’ve met, every day was a new adventure. Most importantly, I learned more about myself along the way. I’ll sum all of this up the only way a millennial knows how: in exclamatory-list format! (more…)

Out of the Classroom and in Los Angeles, MSLCE Student Chip Potter Gets an ‘Incredible Education’

By Chip Potter

From learning film production lingo to receiving a Los Angeles rite of passage (an undeserved parking ticket), this summer has certainly been an incredible education.

From my studies as an undergraduate to my current focus on my graduate degree, I have found it is very easy, and even at times tempting, to work in the abstract. After all, learning leadership qualities in a classroom is quite different than applying those qualities inside an office. However, I realized that my ability to apply what I learned at Northwestern set me apart during my summer working in the Los Angeles film industry. (more…)