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Spring Show Students Impress CBS News’ Chris Licht

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Chris Licht during the Spring Show 2015 portfolio review sessions. Photo by Bob Toy.

Every year at Academy of Art University’s Spring Show, representatives from various industries attend to meet with students and review their portfolios. This year, the School of Multimedia Communications welcomed Executive Producer of CBS This Morning and Vice President of Programming at CBS News Chris Licht.

In between portfolio review sessions, we caught up with Licht to get his take on Spring Show and the current news industry.

What has been your impression of the School of Multimedia Communications and their students?

I knew very little about this program when I came here, but I’m very impressed. They’re very impressive…almost all of them are very impressive. The work that they’ve done, the sizzle reels, their drive and passion; it’s a very impressive group.

You’re the executive producer of CBS This Morning, which has been doing very well. Can you talk to us a little bit about how you feel news is changing?

News is changing and just the access that people have to different online and different platforms, but for a legacy organization like CBS News, that’s actually a good thing for us, because there’s a lot of noise and anybody that has a camera and an iPad can be a journalist, and what we are offering is a place where people know that what they’re getting is actual journalism, it’s been vetted, it has the brand of CBS News. So I think it’s a good thing. The more stuff that’s out there, the more need there is for these legacy news organizations like CBS, but that means we have to evolve as well. You see that we’re on many different platforms. For me, it’s not whether we have a podcast, or whether we’re on the network or whether we have Twitter or Facebook, for us, it’s the CBS News brand consumed however anybody wants it consumed.

What would your advice be for our students that are looking to break into the news industry after graduation?

The advice I give students is persistence and a willingness to do anything at any time for any amount of pay, because you would be surprised that there is a lack of that. It may be a generational thing. But the people who come into our offices and really have the drive and the passion and whatever it takes to get their foot in the door, then they’re going to “wow us,” really get to the front of the line.

And the other advice I always give is know how to write. That doesn’t matter what part of the business you think you want to get into, any part of the journalism business, you have to know how to write and be a good writer.