Expert Advice

Mary Ann Behhedahl will speak in Idea to Empire class
Mary Ann Bekkedahl will speak in NYU's "From Idea to Empire : New Business Development" class."

We love our faculty members at NYU’s Master of Science in Publishing program, but it’s still nice to have a fresh face in the classroom now and then. Enter the guest speaker, an expert who spends an hour or so imparting a new publishing viewpoint,  strategy or way of doing business to the class. This fall, we’re fortunate to have a number of guest speakers sharing their wisdom with our students.

For faculty members, luring a top publishing executive to NYU’s evening classes after a long day on the job is a feat in itself. In fact, snaring speakers requires the reach of a casting agent, the tenacity of a talent scout and the clout of a speakers’ bureau combined. One must be very persuasive to convince a guest speaker to put together a PowerPoint presentation, scramble around for interesting handouts—think bestselling books or hot magazines—bolt out of the office early (stomach grumbling), and race to NYU in time to face a sea of equally hungry and weary students.

Chuck Cordray, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Hearst Digital
Chuck Cordray, SVP and General Manager of Hearst Digital, will speak in the Capstone Thesis class.

This semester, the prize for best recruiting goes to Elliott Rebhun, Editor and Publisher of Scholastic’s The New York Times Upfront, who has convinced some top talent to address his Capstone Thesis  class. In fact, the speakers are so enticing that students in the Capstone class taught by Deni Auclair, VP for Corporate Development at John Wiley & Sons, will also be invited to hear media executives like Nancy Telliho, Publisher of Arthur Frommer’s Budget Travel and; Chuck Cordray, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Hearst Digital (and an NYU Center for Publishing Board member); and Will Pearson, CEO of Mental Floss, the magazine and website about intelligent thinking. Deni has her own roster of great speakers, including Doug Stambaugh, Executive Director of Business development and Operations at Simon & Schuster Digital.

Other faculty members, too, have worked hard to bring fresh faces (and voices) to the classroom. Newcomer Angus Macaulay, VP and Director for Sports Marketing and Events at Rodale, has invited leading executives from Facebook, Visa, Publicis and Rodale to talk to his class in  Print and Online Advertising. Stephanie Abrutyn and David Bralow have asked some very sharp legal eagles to speak on Publishing and Internet Law. In Michael Palgon’s Intro to Publishing class, leading literary agent Larry Kirshbaum will speak to students. For the magazine section of Intro to Publishing, faculty members Lavinel Savu and Sheryl Tucker have persuaded legendary magazine guru Bo Sacks of the eponymous website and newsletter “Heard on the Web” to talk about the future of publishing.

David Borgenicht, founder of Quirk Books
David Borgenicht, founder of Quirk Books, is a guest speaker this fall in NYU's M.S. in Publishing program.

So who had possibly the easiest job persuading a busy executive to drop everything and rush to NYU after a long day’s work? Doug Parent, a Partner at Clark, Martire & Bartolomeo, who teaches Idea to Empire: New Business Development, invited his wife, Mary Ann Bekkedahl, EVP and Group Publisher of Rodale, to speak to his students. Of course, Doug also lined up other speakers like David Borgenicht, founder of Quirk Books, and Colby Hall, Managing Editor of

These are just a few of the superstars students will get to know this fall in NYU’s Master of Publishing program. If any of you have suggestions for other great class acts, we are all ears.

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