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The TV Crew, Fall 2008

The TV Crew, Spring 2008
The CNS-TV News Bureau. Back row, from left: Bureau Co-Director Cassandra Clayton, Stan Heist, Natalie Scurto, Brittany Lee-Richardson, John Wist, Lindsey Denmark, Cassandra Wilson, Lavina Ramchandani, Buereau Co-Director David Burns, and Executive Producer Sue Kopen Katcef. Front row, seated, from left: Samia Badih, Kate Russell, Bianca Gordon and Janelle Lilley. Click to enlarge. (Newsline photo by James K. Sanborn)

Related Link:

About Us has info on all the news bureau staffs.

The bureau chiefs:

Cassandra Clayton oversees production of UMTV’s nightly newscast, "Maryland Newsline." Hired as an NBC News correspondent in 1983, over the next two decades she reported from their Atlanta, Chicago, New York and Washington, D.C., bureaus. She co-anchored a nightly news and talk program on CNBC called "The Real Story," and substitute anchored "Nightly News," "Weekend Edition," "Sunrise" and the "Today" news segment. She most recently reported and anchored for MSNBC and taught broadcast journalism at Howard University.

David Burns also oversees the student-produced Maryland Newsline television program. Burns has worked for CNN and NBC News, in both permanent and freelance capacities, as a videotape editor and field camera operator in the United States and abroad. While living outside the U.S., he worked as a technology correspondent for the IDG Wire Service and for a Polish business and finance weekly newspaper. He has taught journalism courses to students and professional broadcast workshops to reporters in the United States, Poland, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Afghanistan.

The executive producer:

Sue Kopen Katcef is an award-winning veteran broadcast journalist who teaches news reporting, writing and production to broadcast journalism students at the University of Maryland’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism.   She serves as an executive producer for the awarding-winning student daily news show, “Maryland Newsline,” as well as the instructor and faculty adviser (and creator) for  "Terp Weekly Edition," an award-winning radio news magazine produced by her students for the campus radio station, WMUC. Prior to joining the faculty at the College of Journalism, Katcef was a reporter and anchor for WBAL Radio news in Baltimore (she continues to freelance for the station).  She has also worked as a reporter in television with stops at Baltimore’s WJZ and Maryland Public Television. Katcef is currently on the national board of the Society of Professional Journalists and the executive board of the D.C. Professional Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. She is a board member of the Chesapeake Associated Press Broadcasters’ Association.

The graduate assistant:

Stan Heist has 12 years of experience in broadcast television news, working as chief photographer and editor for network affiliates in Baltimore, Richmond, Virginia and Dayton, Ohio. Heist has been honored with several awards during his television career, including nine regional Emmys, four Edward R. Murrow awards and eight Associated Press awards. He was named 2005 National Television News Photographer of The Year by the National Press Photographers Association. 

The graduate students:

Samia Badih, 23, is the homeland security and military affairs reporter for Maryland Newsline.  Badih is a Fulbright scholar from Lebanon pursuing a master's degree in broadcast journalism from the Philip Merrill College of Journalism. She has interned at NBC News Investigative Unit with correspondent Lisa Myers. She has worked as a freelance reporter for the Diamondback, an independent student newspaper, and the Prince George's Sentinel, a local weekly newspaper that covers Prince George’s County. Badih recently participated in a study abroad program at the Salzburg Academy in Austria, which gathered more than 50 students from around the world to discuss media literacy. She wants to become an international correspondent and report on global issues.  She can be reached at samia_badih@hotmail.com.

Bianca Gordon, 23, covers medical and health issues for Maryland Newsline.Gordon earned her bachelor's degree in journalism and chemistry from Baylor University in 2007. During her undergraduate career, Bianca completed internships at NBC-affiliate KCEN in Waco, Texas, and ABC-affiliate KXXV, also in Waco, Texas.  She will receive her master's degree in December and plans to pursue a career in television news reporting and anchoring. She can be reached at bgordon7@umd.edu.   

Janelle Lilley is the transportation reporter for Maryland Newsline. Before becoming a graduate student at the Phillip Merrill College of Journalism, Lilley attended the University of North Carolina at Charlotte where she earned a degree in communication studies and political science with a concentration in international relations. In 2006, she completed an internship at WFAE, the local National Public Radio station in Charlotte, N.C.  Lilley will graduate in December. She can be reached by phone at at jnlilley@umd.edu.

Kate Russell, 23, covers the economy, technology and consumer affairs for Maryland Newsline. In 2007, she graduated from Mississippi College with a bachelor of arts in communication with an emphasis in journalism. Russell interned at CBS affiliate KNOE-TV in Monroe, La., in 2007, where she also worked as associate producer for "Good Morning ArkLaMiss."  She also has held internships with The Radio People in Monroe, The Northside Sun and the Mississippi secretary of state in Jackson, Miss., and MSNBC.com in Washington. Russell will graduate in December. She can be reached at Russell1@umd.edu.

Cassandra Wilson, 42, is a graduate student in broadcast journalism with a bachelor’s degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, N.J. Before coming to Maryland, Wilson worked for the state of Arizona as a health marketing manager where she developed integrated television, Internet and print advertising campaigns for low-income and underserved populations. She was also a member of Kawambe-Omowale African Drum and Dance Theatre in Phoenix. For her leadership, she was recognized as one of “The Top 40 Under Forty” by The Phoenix Business Journal (2004) and “One of Eight Women Making a Difference in the Valley” by The Arizona Republic (2003).  Her career goals include medical and business reporting and documentary production. Wilson can be reached at cassw925@umd.edu.

The undergraduate students:

Lindsay Denmark, 21, is the criminal justice reporter for Maryland Newsline. She is majoring in both journalism and government and politics and will be graduating in the spring with double bachelor’s degrees. Additionally, she is working on a minor in Spanish to become fluent in the language.  Following graduation, Denmark will either pursue a career in broadcast journalism as a reporter or director, or write for a travel company. She has previously interned at Cox Broadcasting’s Washington Bureau and has also been a newscast director for Maryland Newsline for the past year.  She can be reached at ldenmark1@yahoo.com.

Brittany Lee-Richardson, 21, is a senior covering educational issues and policies for Maryland Newsline. Lee-Richardson will receive a bachelor of arts degree in broadcast journalism in May 2009.  She is a sprinter for the university’s track and field team and wants to pursue her passion for sports by becoming a sports reporter and anchor. She has interned with Comcast SportsNet and the sports department at WTTG Fox 5. Lee-Richardson also works with WMUC radio on campus as a reporter for the football and women’s basketball teams. She is a member of several academic honor societies and the student judicial board and has won numerous journalism scholarships. She is originally from Huntsville, Ala., but has lived in Virginia and Maryland since childhood. She can be reached at bleerich@umd.edu.

Lavina Ramchandani, 21, is covering criminal justice for Maryland Newsline.  Ramchandani, originally from New Jersey, is a senior broadcast journalism and criminology and criminal justice major. She recently attended the Salzburg Global Seminar on media and global change.  On campus, she has been involved with College Park Scholars, the Student Global AIDS Campaign and UMTV. She has interned at MSNBC on "Hardball with Chris Matthews" and with ABC-owned and -operated stations. Ramchandani has covered events ranging from the Scripps National Spelling Bee to press conferences to funerals at Arlington Cemetery. After graduation, she hopes to combine her two majors and pursue crime reporting. 
Natalie Scurto, 22, is the ethnic and religious affairs reporter for Maryland Newsline. Scurto will receive a bachelor of arts degree in broadcast journalism and Spanish in December.  She plans to pursue a career in television news reporting and anchoring. Previously, she worked as a newsroom intern for the Washington, D.C., bureau of CNN and more recently as a broadcasting intern for the Baltimore Ravens. She can be reached at nscurto@gmail.com.

John Wist, 21, covers environmental issues for Maryland Newsline.  He has also been a newscast director for Maryland Newsline for the past year.  Previously Wist worked as an intern for XXX ESPN Radio in Silver Spring, Md., and Heintz Media Productions in Great Falls, Va. Wist will receive his bachelor’s degree in May and plans to pursue a career in television news directing and producing.  In his free time, he enjoys hiking, camping and playing intramural sports. Wist can be reached at jwist @umd.edu.

Copyright 2008 University of Maryland Philip Merrill College of Journalism

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