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University of Minnesota renames journalism school for Hubbard family

Effective July 1, SJMC becomes the Hubbard School of Journalism & Mass Communication
April 18, 2017

The School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Minnesota will become the Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communication, the University announced on April 18, 2017, at the School's annual Spring Showcase event. The name change, which officially takes effect July 1, 2017, honors the family that founded, owns and operates Hubbard Broadcasting.

“The Hubbard family is widely known for its pioneering breakthroughs in journalism, so it’s fitting that our outstanding School of Journalism & Mass Communications should now carry this respected name in Twin Cities and American media,” said University of Minnesota President Eric W. Kaler. “This also recognizes the Hubbard family’s remarkable generosity and support over the years for the University of Minnesota.”

Hubbard Broadcasting, based just a mile or so from the University’s East Bank campus, is the parent company of KSTP-TV and KSTC-TV in the Twin Cities, WDIO-TV in Duluth, KAAL-TV in Rochester, Minn., and television stations in New York and New Mexico. The Hubbard Radio Group serves listeners in Minnesota and Western Wisconsin with KS-95, myTalk 107.1 and 1500 ESPN. It owns radio stations in seven other markets across the country, which are among the industry’s most successful brands. Hubbard Broadcasting also owns the Reelz Channel cable TV network.

The University of Minnesota School of Journalism and Mass Communication, part of the College of Liberal Arts, was established as a department in 1922. After the construction of Murphy Hall (the building name will remain unchanged), the department became the School of Journalism in 1941. During the 2016-17 academic year, SJMC served 712 undergraduate majors and 76 graduate students and employed nearly 30 faculty members. Its innovative degree programs include tracks in strategic communication, professional journalism and mass communication for undergraduates; a 5-year BA/MA in health communication; an extensive PhD program; a professional MA in strategic communication; and joint programs in mass communication and law for graduate students. Its mission is to integrate mass communication education; research and outreach; and preparing students for careers in journalism and strategic communication.

The School has had a close relationship with the Hubbard family and Hubbard Broadcasting for many years. Journalists and other professionals from the company frequently visit classes as guest speakers. Journalism students often have the opportunity to tour, intern and work at Hubbard stations.

According to Stanley S. Hubbard, chief executive office of Hubbard Broadcasting, “my father and our founder, Stanley E. Hubbard, was one of the first people to recognize that television could become an important news medium. With that recognition, KSTP became the first locally-owned television station in America to provide daily news service beginning back in 1948 and 1949. This recognition, provided by one of America’s great schools of journalism, honors the memory of Stanley E. Hubbard in a way which will make all who have been involved from ‘day one’ from KSTP-TV with local news production forever appreciative.”

The Hubbard family’s philanthropy has benefited myriad worthy causes, but none more than the University of Minnesota. In 2000, it received its largest single gift from the Hubbards: $10 million for the School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

“The Hubbard family, individually and collectively, are pioneers with bold vision and national leadership in broadcast and satellite communications industries,” said Al Tims, past director of SJMC, who worked frequently with the Hubbards during his 20-year appointment. “Their professional accomplishments, civic engagements and contributions to the University of Minnesota are distinguished and distinctive. It is an honor for the University of Minnesota and a major advancement for the School of Journalism and Mass Communication's national prominence and transformative growth to be named the Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communication.”

The family’s support of the University has also comprised Gopher Athletics, the College of Science and Engineering’s Large Telescope Project, the Masonic Cancer Center and more. In all, Hubbard family gifts to the University total approximately $25 million.

Hubbard Broadcasting has long been known for its pioneering impact on journalism and technology. In the 1920s, Stanley E. Hubbard, father of the current chairman and CEO, launched WAMD Radio, “Where All Minneapolis Dances.” It later became KSTP-AM. In 1939, he bought the first television camera from the Radio Corporation of America, RCA. Nine years later, KSTP-TV broadcast its first programming to Twin Cities viewers, becoming NBC’s first non-owned television affiliate.

Media Contact: Emmalynn Bauer, University News Service, ebauer@umn.edu, 612-293-0831.