To Live and Learn in LA: The Newhouse LA Experience

If I had to sum up my experience in Los Angeles during the Syracuse University Dick Clark Los Angeles Program—which houses the Newhouse LA program—with one phrase, it would be “more than worth the price of admission.”

As someone who was born and raised on the East Coast, I always wondered what it would be like to live in Los Angeles. Before committing to Syracuse University, I was even interested in attending schools like the University of Southern California and the University of California, Los Angeles. The Newhouse LA program allowed me to spend a semester in a city I might never have had the chance to live in otherwise, and now, I have roots here that will extend far beyond my time here this semester.

a person gets mic'd up in a television studio
Joseph gets a microphone attached to his shirt before a practice take at the CBS Station in Los Angeles. (Photo courtesy of Dhani Joseph)

From the moment I arrived at the Los Angeles International Airport, I felt as if I was in a totally different world than Syracuse—and that was OK. There is no doubt that there was a transition period. From the time difference to the lowest temperature being in the mid 50s in January (although no complaints there), I knew immediately that I wasn’t in Upstate New York.

Instead of living in a South Campus apartment, I was treated to a beautifully modern apartment in Burbank with amenities like pools and a gym, among other things. And although certain buildings on the Syracuse campus —like Newhouse—are stunning in their own right, the Los Angeles program campus is brand new and has a premium feel to it. Syracuse University does an excellent job of providing everything a student needs to feel as comfortable as they would feel on campus and it’s very much appreciated.

a person stands in front of a ferris wheel at the Santa Monica pier.
At the world famous Santa Monica Pier. (Photo courtesy of Dhani Joseph)
two people stand on a beach
Joseph and his friend Danie at Venice Beach. (Photo courtesy of Dhani Joseph)

Of course, it would only be a vacation if it weren’t for the classes. I took seven classes this semester, which is definitely more than most students. But if I had to choose the most memorable courses, it would be the sports production and acting classes.

As somebody who is interested in going into the sports media field, the sports production class—part of the Newhouse LA sports media communications program—was right up my alley. Taught by Jeff Proctor, a former producer at CBS and Fox Sports, the class was all about what goes into producing a sports broadcast.

Arguably, the best part of the class was the field trips, including outings to see the Los Angeles Lakers, the G-League’s South Bay Lakers and the Los Angeles Lakers. We got a behind-the-scenes look at the production truck and the work it took to produce live sporting events.

a person gives a sports broadcast standing on a basketball court
Joseph does a live pregame hit at a South Bay Lakers game, which he attended through his sports production class. (Photo courtesy of Dhani Joseph)

In some cases, we even got to do a pregame report from the field of play that was fully produced by the same professionals that produced the game. For those interested in sports television and broadcasting, that class alone is worth the trip to Southern California.

The acting was taught by former actress Barbara Deustch. Prior to this semester, I had never taken an acting class, nor did I have any interest in doing so. However, I’m so happy that I did. Barbara started us off with improv exercises and by the end of the semester I was performing a scene from the 1992 film “A Few Good Men” in front of a large audience. I always thought acting was an innate skill, but this class taught me that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Outside of classes, I interned with Fox Sports as a features intern over the semester. Getting to work in one of the major sports channels was really cool and I got to meet producers as well as talent for studio shows such as “Speak” with Emannuel Acho, Joy Taylor and others.

When I wasn’t working on classwork and internship responsibilities, there were tons of things to do in Los Angeles. The program offered many events for us such as movie premieres, outings to a Los Angeles Dodgers game and more. We also did some community service by doing a beach clean-up at Santa Monica beach.

Without a doubt, this has been the best semester of my college career, and I am so glad I took a leap of faith to travel across the country for this program.

Dhani Joseph will be a senior in the fall in the broadcast and digital journalism program at the Newhouse School.

LA Story: New Space, Sports Program Expands Experiences in Los Angeles for Newhouse Students

A celebratory toast and ceremonial cutting of a ribbon marked the formal opening of the new home of the Newhouse School’s program in the entertainment capital of the world.  

the exterior of a glass enclosed office building in Los Angeles
The new North Hollywood home of the Syracuse University Dick Clark Los Angeles Program. (Photo by Rich Prugh)

Joined by family members of the late Dick Clark ’51, students, faculty, staff, leadership, alumni and friends gathered to dedicate the new Syracuse University Dick Clark Los Angeles Program location in the North Hollywood district of Los Angeles. Newhouse LA will be based in the University’s new home. 

The gleaming new space housed in the shiny, glass-enclosed office building is the result of an extraordinary gift from the Kari and Dick Clark Foundation to significantly expand the University’s presence and impact in the entertainment field. 

“We’re celebrating a truly transformative, generous gift from the Clark Family, so that’s number one,” said Robin Howard, director of the Newhouse LA program. “What the gift allows us to do is really provide expanded programs, to be very creative with the programs that we offer now, to offer students from the school the most robust, experiential learning opportunity that we possibly can. That’s what we’re celebrating today.” 

a person stands at a podium and speaks
Newhouse LA program director Robin Howard gives remarks at the new building dedication. (Photo by Rich Prugh)

The new location is a hub for all things Syracuse in Los Angeles and offers Newhouse LA students a fresh space filled with innovative classrooms, offices, studios and more. It’s a short walk to the Metro station, and a bustling neighborhood filled with restaurants, theaters and housing options, adding to the student experience. 

three people stand together with their arms on each others shoulders and smile
Newhouse LA student Dhani Joseph (center) celebrates with fellow students Owen Tindall (left) and Luke Backman (right). (Photo by Rich Prugh)
two people stand and smile together
Two students celebrate during the building dedication. (Photo by Rich Prugh)

Students in the Newhouse LA program take classes taught by entertainment industry experts while also getting valuable experience through internships and networking events.  

“By coming out to Los Angeles, [students] are not only able to take courses that relate to their own industry, as well as what’s happening here in L.A., but they are also exposed to wonderful job and internship opportunities that often lead to full-time jobs after graduation,” said Newhouse School Dean Mark J. Lodato

a group of people stand and smile at a ribbon cutting ceremony
From left, Anna Proulx, director of the College of Visual and Performing Arts Program, LA Semester; Robin Howard, director of the Newhouse School Program, LA Semester; Newhouse School Dean Mark Lodato; Cindy Clark ’86; RAC Clark; Provost Gretchen Ritter; College of Visual and Performing Arts Dean Michael Tick; John Sykes ’77, president of entertainment enterprises for iHeartMedia; and Joan Adler, assistant vice president of regional programs in Los Angeles. (Photo by Rich Prugh)

The Spring 2024 semester also marks the launch of the Newhouse LA sports media communications program. The program provides production and marketing classes tailor-made for students working to become sports media professionals. It will also offer internship opportunities at a sports media company.  

two people stand together and smile
Newhouse Dean Mark J Lodato is all smiles with Newhouse LA program director Robin Howard. (Photo by Dhani Joseph)

The sports media communications program is open to broadcast journalism, public relations or television, radio and film majors. The goal is to expand access and connections in Los Angeles to a new set of Newhouse students.  

For broadcasting and digital journalism junior Vincent Zakian, one class alone made the cross-country trip more than worth it. He’s taking a sports production class at Newhouse LA with Jeff Proctor, a veteran sports media producer.  

“We’ve gotten a lot of great experiences,” Zakian said. “Professor Proctor has introduced us to [a lot of] different people that can help us in our careers. That’s been amazing. It’s been really career focused which I appreciate.” 

Dhani Joseph is a junior in the broadcast and digital journalism program at the Newhouse School

University Officially Opens New Building for Syracuse University Dick Clark Los Angeles Program (In Photos)

the exterior of the Syracuse University Dick Clark Los Angeles Program in North Hollywood
The new home of the Syracuse University Dick Clark Los Angeles Program in North Hollywood (Photo by Rich Prugh)

Celebrating the enduring legacy of a well-loved alumnus, members of the University community marked the official opening of the new location of the Syracuse University Dick Clark Los Angeles Program in North Hollywood, California on Saturday, March 2.

Along with family members of the late Dick Clark ’51, students, faculty, staff, leadership, alumni and friends gathered to dedicate the University’s new home in LA, the result of a gift from the Kari and Dick Clark Foundation to significantly expand the University’s presence and impact in the entertainment field.

The expansion of the SULA Semester, a vibrant example of the University’s commitment to Study Away, includes new space for offices, classrooms, studios, additional academic programs, faculty and internships. It is home to LA programs for the Newhouse School of Public Communications and the College of Visual and Performing Arts.

a person speaks at a podium while three other people look on
During the March 2 dedication of the new building of the Syracuse University Dick Clark Los Angeles Program, Vice Chancellor, Provost and Chief Academic Officer Gretchen Ritter, left, speaks about the Clark legacy at the University and the importance of such vital programs as the LA program to provide students with an immersive Study Away experience. She is joined by Anna Proulx, College of Visual and Performing Arts program director, Syracuse University Los Angeles Semester, second from left, and Cindy Clark ’86 and RAC Clark, daughter and son of Dick Clark ’51, respectively. (Photo by Rich Prugh)
a person speaks at a podium in a large, crowded room
Members of the University community gather for the dedication of the new building for the Syracuse University Dick Clark Los Angeles Program. (Photo by Rich Prugh)

Newhouse LA Student Spotlight: Taylor Chaiken

Taylor Chaiken

This semester, I am working as a wardrobe assistant to a celebrity stylist, as well as a fashion PR intern at CLD PR. This has been such a once-in-a-lifetime experience that I could not be more grateful for. Adjusting to the LA culture has been extremely easy for me and beyond exciting. I have been given the opportunity to follow my dreams of furthering myself and expanding my career in the fashion industry, and am lucky enough to be in such a great position for life after graduation. It is definitely not easy balancing two internships, all while taking 12 credits, but the staff and opportunities are so phenomenal that I wake up excited every day. I highly recommend every Syracuse student to take advantage of this opportunity and all of the experiences that come with it.

Taylor Chaiken is a senior majoring in communication and rhetorical studies at the School of Visual and Performing Arts and minoring in public communications at the Newhouse School.

Extraordinary Gift Ensures Dick Clark’s Legacy Lives on in Expansion of Los Angeles Program

One of Syracuse University’s most famous graduates, Dick Clark ’51 started his broadcast career in Central New York and grew to prominence in Philadelphia as host of “American Bandstand.” But it was Los Angeles that offered the greatest opportunity for the visionary who would become legendary for building an entertainment empire that launched countless careers.

Photo of Dick Clark
Dick Clark

“LA remains the center of the broadcast industry, and Dick always wanted to support young people hoping for a career in entertainment,” says his wife Kari, explaining the reasoning behind the Kari and Dick Clark Foundation’s Forever Orange Campaign gift to significantly expand the University’s presence and impact in the entertainment field. Soon to be named the Syracuse University Dick Clark Los Angeles Program, the expansion of the SULA Semester includes new space for offices, classrooms, studios, additional academic programs, faculty and internships. The expansion aligns with one of the strategic priorities of “Leading with Distinction,” the University’s new academic strategic plan which seeks to make study away and study abroad opportunities more accessible to all undergraduate students.

“When Dad moved his company to LA, it flourished,” says Clark’s daughter Cindy, who graduated from the Newhouse School of Public Communications in 1986 and built her own successful career in television and film production in LA. “The expansion of the SULA program is a continuation of my father’s commitment to fostering new talent in the entertainment business. Seeing how the sausage really gets made—it’s just an invaluable experience.”

“Dad was always of the mind that nothing beats a practical hands-on experience in this business,” says Clark’s son RAC, who has produced thousands of hours of live event and entertainment programming and created Lion’s Heart Entertainment in LA. “You get to be in the belly of the beast.”

Fund Named After Larry Barron ’87 Aims to Carry on Late Alumnus’ Legacy of Helping Students Make Connections in Media and Entertainment Business 

A new fund named after the late alumnus Larry Barron ’87 aims to carry on the TV executive’s legacy of connecting students aspiring to work in the media and entertainment business with key industry professionals for mentorship, networking and internship opportunities. 

Larry Barron headshot
Larry Barron

Two students will be chosen each year as part of the Larry Barron Fund for Mentorship (LBFM) program, which will include a four-day trip to Los Angeles for meetings, meet-and-greets, tours and other activities to connect recipients with established media and entertainment executives.  

Applications for the inaugural LBFM recipients are due 6 p.m. ET on Nov. 30. Those selected will be notified by Dec. 15, 2023, and the trip to Los Angeles will take place March 11-14, 2024, during spring break.  

Barron died in 2020. The fund was organized by his longtime friends Carl Weinstein and Scott Bergstein, both 1988 graduates of Newhouse. 

“We are very grateful to Larry’s friends, colleagues and Syracuse University for all their efforts to make LBFM a reality to honor our son,” said Barron’s parents, Roberta and Hal Barron. 

Barron’s prolific career included producing or consulting on hit shows including CBS’ “The Amazing Race,” “Paradise Hotel,” which aired on Fox, and “America’s Next Top Model,” which aired on multiple networks. He was co-creator and executive producer of Fox’s “Couples” and VH1′s “What Chilli Wants.”  

Barron also served as senior vice president at Fremantle Media before launching his own production company, Larry Barron Entertainment, in 2013.

He graduated with a dual degree in television, radio and film from Newhouse, and management and marketing from the Whitman School of Management. While in school, he was a disc jockey, station manager and general manager at student-run Z89 (WJPZ-FM).  

Barron helped to lead the station on its transition to FM radio, a critical period in WJPZ history. In 2012, he was named part of the first class of inductees into the WJPZ Hall of Fame.  

Weinstein and Bergstein fondly recalled Barron’s enthusiastic outlook, infectious personality and a capacity to make “everyone feel truly special.” 

“His ability to inspire, connect and mentor young people was superhuman. The entertainment industry is full of people who were touched by Larry,” Weinstein and Bergstein said in a joint statement.  

Many worked with Barron, some worked for him and others got their first break because of him. 

“Larry instinctively knew that getting a start in the competitive business of media and entertainment would require not just smarts and hard work, but a little help from established professionals in the business,” Weinstein and Bergstein said. “It is fitting that Larry’s legacy of mentoring will live on through this program.” 

Barron started his professional career at CNN before moving to Los Angeles to pursue his passion of becoming a television producer and focusing on content formats including pop culture, reality TV and game shows. 

But Barron took his love for Syracuse University wherever he went, his family and friends said. He stayed deeply involved with the University through his life, especially through Syracuse University Los Angeles (SULA) and the Newhouse LA program.  

“Larry Barron’s steadfast commitment to Syracuse stretched from his days as a student and leading WJPZ to mentoring the next generation of leaders in media and entertainment,” Newhouse School Dean Mark J. Lodato said. 

“We are thankful for the partnership with his friends and family that has resulted in this tremendous opportunity for Newhouse students,” he added. “What an appropriate tribute to Larry’s dedication to the University.”

Embrace The Magic of LA

Peipei Liu

Hi! I’m Peipei Liu, a TRF senior. From the moment I stepped foot in LA for my SULA summer semester, I knew I was in for an unforgettable experience, which has captured my eyes to the wonders of the entertainment industry. By taking the course The Art of Producing, I gained a deeper understanding of the role and responsibilities of a producer. Through engaging discussions, hands-on projects and guest speaker interviews, I expanded my knowledge of producing and honed my skills in creative aspects of producing across pre-production, production and post, which laid the foundation for my future career development. I highly recommend taking this class! While interning at Partizan Entertainment as a production intern, I witnessed the creative process firsthand when assisting industry professionals. Currently, my fellow interns and I are working on our final project, coming up with a commercial pitch. LA is an interesting place to explore, from museums and beaches to a wide variety of cuisines. The diverse and vibrant cultures contribute to the entertainment industry, which has become my inspiration for growth and creativity. I will miss life here!

Peipei Liu is a senior in the television, radio and film program at the Newhouse School.

Elizabeth Gardner ’18: Creating Content for the Academy of Country Music

If you tune into the 16th Annual Academy of Country Music (ACM) Honors broadcast Monday night on the FOX television network, Elizabeth Gardner ’18 hopes you’ll appreciate her work. She’s not a performer or presenter, but Gardner played a crucial role in putting the show together—writing the script that will guide host and four-time ACM Award winner Carly Pearce. This is Pearce’s third time hosting the ceremony and Gardner’s third year writing the script.

Elizabeth Gardner

“The first year I wrote it, ACM Honors wasn’t televised so it was just a live in-house event,” says Gardner, ACM’s senior manager of content and editorial. “Last year, it was televised on FOX, and this year it’s returning to FOX. So, it’s really exciting to see my work on national television.” 

Gardner started at ACM as an intern during her senior year in college, while attending Newhouse’s Syracuse University in Los Angeles (SULA) program. The television, radio and film major decided to spend her final semester away from campus so she could immerse herself in the TV/Film industry. She says she’s been inspired through connections with successful alumni and she credits her Newhouse professors, and Bob Boden in particular, with providing real world lessons and inspiring her to get out of her comfort zone.

Editor’s note: Though her role at ACM includes responsibilities for scripting shows like the ACM Honors Ceremony, Gardner is not a member of the striking Writers Guild of America. 

Laughing Around LA

Jordan Bullock headshot
Jordan Bullock

While most people get to know a city through its landmarks or restaurants, I get to know cities through their comedy scenes. I have been working my way around LA, going from comedy club to comedy club, performing, watching and meeting famous actors and comedians. For me, the best part is getting to talk to comedians that I have been fans of for a long time and watch them work a room right in front of me. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Angel Moore Tanksley, Finesse Mitchel, Affion Crocket, Kym Whitley and more. To get firsthand advice and encouragement from people whose work I grew up watching was super valuable to me. From a stage perspective, I have even been able to perform for people I am a fan of. To hear that they like my comedy is one of the biggest compliments I could get as a comedian. One of the coolest opportunities I have gotten to be a part of so far is sitting front row at a TV comedy special taping. I will be filming my own comedy special for my senior capstone, so seeing all the elements that go into producing one was very insightful. I have thoroughly enjoyed the city of LA thus far and look forward to making my way out here post-graduation.

Jordan Bullock is a senior in the television, radio and film program at the Newhouse School.

A Non-Syracuse Student’s Experience in Newhouse LA

Emma Hill portrait
Emma Hill

My name is Emma Hill and I am an incoming junior at Southern Methodist University, studying corporate communications and public affairs. As someone who loves to try new things, I was immediately excited and intrigued when my sister, a now senior at Syracuse University, told me about the Newhouse LA program. Last summer, she did Newhouse LA and could not stop gushing about how much she loved it. I instantly knew that I wanted to do it, yet recognized it could be challenging given that I do not go to Syracuse. My worries were immediately eased after the first day of meeting everyone. I am so beyond happy to be around such amazing people not only in the program but in my internship as well. So far my experience interning as a PR intern at Kovert Creative has been amazing. I have learned so much about PR in the short time that I have been interning and am beyond thankful that I was given this opportunity. My day-to-day roles at Kovert Creative consist of creating press clips, press memos, pitching talents, researching various people and brands as well as shadowing people in the PR industry. I have loved getting to know how the industry runs and am excited to come back to LA next summer to intern again.