MMA Meeting: News As a Business

On October 18, the Media Management Association invited Ed McCullough to share his experience being involved in both the editorial and commercial sides of the news industry. McCullough spent more than 30 years working for the Associated Press (AP) in various functions, including news editor in South America and the Caribbean, bureau chief in Europe, and regional director for Latin America. More recently, he was AP's director for the Spanish media markets for eight years, until he became a media consultant in 2017. The AP is a well known news organization with more than 263 locations throughout the world.

McCullough retraced his unusual dual interests in editorial and business operations to his family roots.

"My father was a newspaper editor and my grandfather was a newspaper manager, so one could say that genetically I had both aspects in me. I had the news reporter side of my grandfather and the newspaper editor, or business side, from my father. For about 10 years, I was working on both, news reporting and businesss" said McCullough.

Although he absolutely enjoyed working as a journalist for many years, he later decided to take a different path and focus on the business side. McCullough made it clear that there are ample and profitable opportunities for those students who are attracted to the economics of the news business.

McCullough is a firm believer that it is necessary to follow one's true desires in life and advised students to follow their dreams, but he also urged them to have a plan b to cope with the vicissitudes of the media marketplace.

“If you don’t have a plan b, you also don’t have a plan a," said McCullough. "In the beginning, I had no plan b, I only had plan a because I thought I would always be a reporter. Life can take different routes and turns, and I am now a media consultant and never applied to be a reporter again," he added.

McCullough encouraged students to take advantage of the school’s career advising services, the Stein Family Office of Career Services and Internships, and the vocational opportunities it offers. He also stressed the importance of creating a LinkedIn account because it will be very beneficial in any working field.

McCullough earned a bachelor's degree in international relations and a master's degree in international economics from Georgetown University.