Press Release back to list
10.21.2002

EMMA L. BOWEN FOUNDATION PARTNERS WITH VIACOM TELEVISION STATIONS GROUP

Non-Profit Organization Aimed at Minority Recruitment To Relocate Offices to CBS Properties

The Emma L. Bowen Foundation, a not-for-profit organization established to prepare minority students for careers in the media, has relocated its offices into CBS properties, it was announced today by Phylis A. Eagle-Oldson, President and Chief Executive Officer of the foundation, and Fred Reynolds, President, Viacom Television Stations Group, comprised of predominantly CBS and UPN stations. The foundation was previously housed in offices at ABC, Inc., but is scheduled to relocate to offices at 533 W 57th Street in the IFF Building, directly across the street from CBS's Broadcast Center in New York, and at CBS's Studio Center in Los Angeles.

Created in 1989, the Emma L. Bowen Foundation is a five year program for minority students interested in exploring careers in the media. The program focuses specifically on scholastic achievement, direct work experience and professional development. In addition to matching students with partner companies, which provide jobs during summers and school breaks, the foundation gives students career development workshops and directs funds for work and college expenses. Students in the program work with media companies during summers and school breaks and are given the opportunity to learn industry-specific skills and manage increasing levels of responsibility. Each student earns a salary and matching scholarship funds, and the foundation monitors students' academic and work performance in addition to providing a variety of professional development workshops to enhance their overall experience. The foundation also sponsors an annual Student Congress in Washington, D.C., where participants of the program get to meet leading media executives and regulatory officials and practice their networking skills.

Fred Reynolds observed that CBS Television, which includes CBS, UPN and the Viacom Television Stations Group, continues to pursue the network's overall mission to help create a diverse workplace and a diverse industry.

"Under the leadership of CBS President Leslie Moonves, diversity is one of the most important issues facing our business today," said Reynolds. "We strive to reflect the communities we serve, and having a pipeline to strong minority talent is of paramount importance to our Company. I look forward to working with the Emma L. Bowen Foundation in our on-going efforts to help minority students enter the work force and develop strong career paths."

"Fred Reynolds, Dennis Swanson [Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Viacom Television Stations Group] and everyone else at Viacom have been huge supporters of the Emma L. Bowen Foundation, and they have backed that up with this tremendous offer," said Eagle-Oldson. "They understand the importance of fostering this kind of initiative, and they know the value that it brings to media organizations as they strive for more diversity. The impetus is clearly on us as an industry to provide minorities the opportunities for career advancement that they may not have had. Viacom has demonstrated its commitment to this important cause, and we look forward to working with them as we seek to turn out the leaders of tomorrow."

Dennis Swanson serves as chairman of the Board of Directors of the Emma L. Bowen Foundation. In addition, Lynn Heymont, CBS's Vice President of Human Resources in Los Angeles, serves as the foundation's West Coast Vice Chairperson.

"The Emma L. Bowen Foundation has consistently developed, groomed and delivered to media organizations some of the hardest-working, most disciplined young professionals in our industry," said Swanson. "Their track record is proof that we can play a vital role in helping talented and deserving minority students achieve great success in this industry.

There are currently 127 students participating in the program, and more than 120 graduates. Seventy percent of students who have finished the program have gone on to forge career paths with media enterprises like ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, the Discovery Channel, Lifetime and the Tribune Co.'s television stations division, among other companies.

The Viacom Television Stations Group consists of 39 stations, including 20 CBS, 18 UPN and one independent station. The Group has duopolies in eight markets.