Creative Boot Camp New York City!

Note: If you’re interested in advertising as a potential field for your career, consider applying for this Creative Boot Camp.

The One Club, a non-profit organization located in NY, would like to extend an invitation to students to participate in their free annual Creative Boot Camp New York City! The CBC will take place from Tuesday, January 20th – Friday, January 23rd, 2015. The CBC will be sponsored by Wunderman Advertising Agency and held at their location.

The Creative Boot Camp is a 4-day workshop that introduces students from all educational backgrounds to the creative process in the advertising industry. The goal is to recruit creative students who are not aware of advertising and design as viable career options and introduce them to the art of conceptualizing and building a campaign for a real client.

The CBC¹s are supported by the best advertising agencies in the world by utilizing their top creative talent to serve as mentors and judges throughout the program. Since it’s inception in New York five years ago, we have successfully completed many boot camp sessions with well over a thousand students participating from various cities including LA, Chicago, Atlanta, Austin, San Francisco, and London. We have watched these students go from knowing little to nothing about the field, to using the information and tools they gathered at the boot camp to move on to top advertising training programs, land coveted internship at large advertising agencies and even secure full-time jobs.

  • Provides students with the opportunity to experience what it’s like to work at an agency as a copywriter and art director by creating an advertising campaign based on a creative brief provided by a sponsoring agency.
  • Creates opportunities for networking with top local advertising professionals, who participate throughout the 4-day process as mentors.
  • Participants walk away with a solid advertising campaign to add to their portfolios.
  • Provides free breakfast and lunch to all participants during the course of the workshop.
  • Gives students the chance to compete for an internship position at the sponsoring agency.

Participants are accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis.


Trying to Enroll in MEDST201W Media Criticism?

Over the last few weeks, I’ve received several emails about enrolling students in MEDST 201W Media Criticism for Spring 2015 at CUNY Queens College.

The class has an enrollment limit of twenty-two (22), which is significantly higher than in previous years when the limit was at 18. Due to the higher-than-usual enrollment for this course, I will not “over tally” this course. Enrollment will remain capped at twenty-two students.

If you need this course to graduate, please come to the first class session on Wednesday, January 28, at 1:40 PM. In almost every course, students drop and add in the days and weeks leading up to this semester, and there are a fair number of no-show students as well that I could drop from the course. With twenty-two spots in the course, I don’t see why this would be any different.

In the meantime, keep checking to see if anyone has dropped the course and left an open spot. If you really need this course, your persistence will be key to securing a spot for this course.

If you have any questions, please email me at

Thank you and good luck.

Information Session: What Can I Do After Graduation?

Are you exploring career opportunities? Are you unsure about Graduate School or do you want to go to graduate school later? Are you passionate about a social or political issue and looking for a way to devote your full time to it?

Come explore these questions further at an upcoming information session sponsored by the Office of Honors and Scholarships.

November 19th
Free Hour, from 12:15–1:30
Honors Hall Rm. 12

We will discuss one-year opportunities including public policy work, teaching, non-profit and community service. This session will be particularly useful for seniors, but all are welcome.

Please contact our National Fellowships Advisor, Dr. Moira Egan at or (718) 997–2863 with any questions.

CUNY Graduate Film Program Open House, November 12

Are you interested in earning a Master of Fine Arts in film production? Consider attending the CUNY Graduate Film Program Open House on November 12th at the City College of New York.

Meet with faculty and current MFA students. Sit in on master classes and guest screenings.  Mingle with alumni who will give the inside scoop on why our MFA Program is a terrific, affordable option for film school. The evening will conclude with a reception and conversation with Cynthia Lopez, Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment.

Our two-year MFA is the only graduate-level program of its kind: we are a truly international community, with ready access to the finest talent and production resources of NYC. Our faculty is a close-knit team of professional filmmakers devoted to the success of our students. As a selective, hands-on program, we offer Documentary and Fiction tracks in an affordable and accessible public university, and open doors to the independent film world of NYC and beyond. Our students’ work screens at Sundance, Cannes, Tribeca, and other major film festivals across the globe.

We’re asking you to direct your most promising students toward an incredible opportunity at the City College of New York. We’re dedicated to helping them find their voice and tell their story. RSVP by Nov. 7th, 2014 via:

Popular Music in the Twentieth Century

As promised, here’s a really short and completely biased survey of American popular music in the twentieth century. Putting together a mixtape is a lot of fun, but you always want to add more. But I can’t. Otherwise, all we’d do is listen to music all day.

The playlist has just about everything I wanted to include, but there were some noticeable absences.


It Works on Paper

The American music industry has its birth not as phonographic recordings but as printed sheets of music. The sheet music industry would be dominated by a set of publishers, many of whom were located in midtown Manhattan around West 26th Street. The area was known as “tin pan alley” because of the terrible sounds emanating from budding composers who were hoping to get discovered. (Think of the early rounds of American Idol, if anyone still watches that show anymore). The most popular music player late nineteenth century was the piano. People would buy the sheet music so that would have some software for their hardware. The most popular musicians would be composers not performers. After all, you were the performer!

Tin Pan Alley
Tin Pan Alley

A major star of the sheet music era was the head conductor of the US Marine Corp Symphony, John Philip Sousa. His music is still well known today to most Americans, such as “Stars and Stripes Forever.”

An early and very popular genre of music circulated in the nineteenth century was the rag. Listen to a composer Scott Joplin’s most famous rag, “The Maple Leaf Rag.”

Tin Pan Alley

Most of the most popular music of the twentieth century was composed by musicians who never performed the songs in public. Tin Pan Alley refers to the tradition of composers who penned some very popular songs, many of which became the basis of the “Great American Songbook.” Here’s one such song composed by Cole Porter and performed by a few different acts.

Here’s Benny Goodman’s big band performing with Peggy Lee. Note the ethnically insensitive opening line.

Here’s another version by one of America’s most famous crooners, Bing Crosby. The “Chinks” and “Japs” line remains.

This recording by Ella Fitzgerald is a much slower and sultry version. Also, the opening line is different than the other two versions.

Note how these songs feature a very particular pattern: verse-chorus-verse. Note the length: around three minutes, due to the capacity of the 10-inch, 78-rpm record.

Rock ’n’ Roll

Rock ’n’ roll signals the end of the Tin Pan Alley era.

One of my favorite songs to exemplify the split between the composer and the performer was “Hound Dog.” The song was most famously performed by Elvis Presley.

But the song was first performed, to some renown,by Big Mama Thorton.

However, the song was written by neither of these performers. It was composed by two Eastern European Jewish kids from Brooklyn, Michael Lieber and Jerry Stoller.

One particular noteworthy rock ’n’ roll song is “Rock around the Clock” by Bill Haley and the Comets. It was one of the first rock ’n’ roll songs to hit number one on the Billboard charts.

The song appeared on the popular movie Blackboard Jungle and became a hit for younger audiences of the day.

Multitrack Recording

Multitrack recording enabled some very innovative experiments in recorded music. In class, I mentioned that multitrack recording enabled stereo and, for a short time, quadrophonic recordings. But early on, it made possible trying out new combinations of sounds. Rock music, usually featuring only a couple of guitars and drums, could now utilize string and wind instruments.

One of the most famous examples of this multichannel recording was the Pet Sounds album by the Beach Boys. Notice the gradual layering of sounds, such as those instruments that weren’t part of a live rock ’n’ roll band performing.


Our tour of music in the twentieth century ends with Motown. The textbook describes how a music composer who couldn’t break into the mainstream music business founded an independent record company that released pop records by African-American performers. Here’s one of the label’s earliest recordings, “Please Mister Postman,” by the Marvelettes.

Motown would become one of the most quintessentially American musical forms of the twentieth century. Headquartered in Detroit, it was a long way from New York and Tin Pan Alley.

Careers in Sports Broadcasting

Students interested in hearing from a QC alumnus about how his education at QC helped his career should attend the following event.

12:15–1:30 PM

Michael Cohen, ’83 is the winner of 8 National Emmy awards and 15 nominations, Michael Cohen’s diverse broadcasting career has ranged from sports to entertainment, and reality TV. He has created shows, launched successful startup broadcast and media properties produced major events and led talent development. His Executive Producer and Producer credits include some of the world’s biggest events working for all the major networks including NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX and ESPN. He headed up the production for two FIFA World Cups, a Women’s World Cup, 15 MLS Cups and All Star Games, been a part of the production team for nine Olympic Games, the World Series, the Super Bowl, Indy 500, Kentucky Derby, Wide World of Sports, 14 NFL Drafts and the inaugural X Games.

Facebook Field Trip

The Center for Communication is organizing a field trip to Facebook’s New York office on Thursday, October 9. Details below.

Get Social on Our Trip to Facebook

For more than a decade, Facebook has been connecting millions of people all over the world. The phenomenally successful social network is now partnering with traditional media companies and disruptors to connect users directly to breaking news. Join us to meet with the team that handles advertising, PR and sales, and find out what’s in store for the next ten years.

  • Adam Isserlis, Corporate Communications
  • Jennifer Skyler, Head of Consumer Communications
  • Andy Mitchell, Director, News and Global Media Partnerships

Students only.

Space is limited. If you’d like to attend, please complete this form. We will contact selected students with further details.

News after Newspapers

As promised, here are the links I wanted to share with you in the context of today’s class.

  1. Edward R Murrow, “This is London.” Listen to this program and note how we get a picture of London under the Blackout.
  2. Mat Honan liked everything on Facebook…and You’ll Never Believe What Happened Next!
  3. And if you want to see how the old media (the New York Times) works in the present day, watch Page One: Inside the New York Times. It’s available on iTunes, Amazon, and Netflix.
  4. Aaron Swartz helped develop RSS (and also was a developer for Reddit). RSS is a standards based solution that allows you to subscribe to new stories on a website and compile those stories into your own personal feed. The most popular use for this was Google Reader, which Google retired last year to great anger. People, including me, liked that they could read their favorite websites without having to visit those websites. RSS was, around 2005, the embodiment of The Daily Me. Today, those news curation roles are served by proprietary, commercial services such as Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr.

AM and FM Radio Explained

Yesterday, I gave you a pretty confusing explanation of how AM (amplitude modulation) and FM (frequency modulation) worked.

Here’s a film from our military that explains how the two bands differ.

They also explain the carrier frequency (or rest frequency), which is the frequency you tune your radio when you listen to a particular radio station, such as 90.7 MHz when you want to listen to Fordham’s own WFUV-FM. In the case of FM, the frequency is modulated but centered at that rest frequency.

Conglomeration, or Why Sony Makes Most of Its Profit from Insurance

Last week, I explained how media companies converge into a variety of different businesses that might not even be related to media.

Sony, for instance, is one of the most recognizable companies in the world, especially for their electronics, motion picture and music businesses. But as Dan Frommer explained in 2011, the most profitable part of the business is financial services:

Sony’s profits these days come from what may seem like an unexpected source: Its financial services business, which includes life insurance, non-life insurance, and banking. (At least before the rest of Sony wipes those profits out — overall, the company expects to lose more than $1 billion this fiscal year.)