UB Alumni in Journalism

Wolf Blitzer (BA History 1970) anchors CNN’s The Situation Room and Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer, a Sunday talk show broadcast in over 200 countries. He has moderated several presidential debates and also led CNN’s Emmy-winning “American Votes 2006” coverage. He has also established a strong reputation as an international news reporter, traveling the globe to cover such stories as Israel’s war with Hezbollah and the second anniversary of the war in Iraq. His career started in 1972 at the Reuters News Agency in Tel Aviv. From there he went on to become correspondent for the Jerusalem Post in Washington D.C., a position he held for 15 years before becoming the network’s military affairs correspondent at the Pentagon. He has numerous awards, including an Emmy for his handling of the Oklahoma Bombing and an Ernie Pyle Journalism Award from the American Veterans Awards. He has authored two books, most recently Territory and Lies, published by Harper and Row in 1989.

Lauren Cabell (BA Communication 1992) has worked for the last three years in Paris as news editor and designer for the International Herald Tribune European edition. She began her career as sports reporter for UB’s Spectrum and after graduation went on to work for such prestigious papers in the US as Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Los Angeles Times, and Chicago Tribune. Ms Cabell won a Distinguished Alumni Award in 2007.

Ben Cady (BA English 2005) is serving as chief speechwriter to New York Governor David Paterson. He got involved in speechwriting while serving as an executive assistant on Eliot Spitzer’s gubernatorial campaign. When Governor Spitzer took office, he was named chief speechwriter, and he has continued in that position since Governor Paterson took office in March. He has worked on everything from speeches for the Chautauqua Institute and NAACP national convention to the Governor’s annual State of the State Address and Budget Presentation, as well as the first-ever State of Upstate-Address.

Ellen Fleysher (BA American Studies 1966) is currently a producer at Fox News Channel, and has enjoyed a wide-ranging career in journalism and broadcasting.  Prior to her current position at Fox News Channel, Ms. Fleysher produced for CBS network news, was a news anchor for local television news in New York, served as Deputy Commissioner in charge of public information for the New York Police Department, and was a newspaper reporter for the New York Daily News.  Ms. Fleysher’s work has been honored with a Gracie Award and multiple Emmy’s as well as recognition by the National Association of Black Journalists, the Anti Defamation League, the New York State Bar Association, and the Women’s Bar Association.  Ms. Fleysher received her BA with honors in American Studies from the University at Buffalo.  After graduating from UB, Ms. Fleysher received her Master’s Degree from the Annenberg School of Communications at the University of Pennsylvania.  Ms. Fleysher has also received an honorary doctorate in humane letters from Marymount College.

Terry Gross (BA English1972) is a broadcast journalist, widely known as the host of NPR’s Fresh Air, a position she has held since 1975. She got her start in public radio at WBFO in Buffalo, NY, where she hosted and produced assorted arts, women’s and public affairs programs most notably This is Radio. A few years later she moved to Philadelphia and began her long affiliation with Fresh Air. Her book, All I Did Was Ask: ConversationsMusicians and Artists was put out by Hyperion in 2004. Fresh Air received a Peabody Award in 1994, and in 1999 Gross was given a Gracie Award in the category of National Network Radio Personality and in 2003 was honored with an Edward R. Murrow Award.

Steven Liesman (BA English 1985) is senior economics reporter at CNBC Inc., focusing on among other things the Federal Reserve Bank. He can be seen on “Squawk Box” every weekday between 6 and 9 am. Before coming to CNBC, he worked at The Wall Street Journal, covering monetary policy issues as well as international economics. Mr. Liesman’s earlier newspaper experience includes working an energy reporter, functioning between 1996 and 1998 as The Wall Street Journal‘s Moscow bureau chief. The reporting team to which he belonged won a Pulitzer Prize for their account of the collapse of the Russian financial markets. He is now busy covering the international financial crisis we are reading so much about in the news!

Michael P. Silverblatt (BA English 1974) has been for the last 17 years a host and producer at Bookworm-KCRW, one of the nation’s most highly regarded talk shows. A few of the many writers he has interviewed include Wole Soyinka, John Updike, Art Spiegelman, Carlos Fuentes, Joyce Carol Oates, Leonard Cohen, Amy Tan, E. L. Doctorow, Salman Rushdie, Umberto Eco, and Toni Morrison. Before creating “Bookworm” for KCRW-FM in 1989, he worked in motion picture public relations and script development.

Elizabeth Licata (BA English 1984), editor of the  Buffalo Spree and the biannual Buffalo Spree Home, has been working as a professional journalist in the Buffalo area for over twenty years, including a stint as Art Editor of Buffalo’s Art Voice from 1996-1999. Her writing has been published in the Village Voice, the Buffalo NewsArt in AmericaArt & Antiques, among other publications. Since becoming editor of Spree in 1999, Ms Licata has overseen a complete makeover of the magazine into an award-winning city/regional publication. Previously, Ms. Licata worked as a curator at the Castellani Art Museum (1991-1999), where she organized several national touring exhibitions and co-edited two books: In Company: Robert Creeley’s Collaborations and Consider the Alternatives: Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center 1975-1995; she was also Board President of the Allentown Association from 2002-2004 and is currently Board President of Squeaky Wheel/Buffalo Media Resources. In 2008, Ms Licata was recognized in a Washington Post article as a member of the GardenRant.com team of bloggers. With a motto of “uprooting the gardening world,” Garden Rant is regularly read by the international horticultural industry as well as by thousands of gardeners. She also maintains her own blog, GardeningWhileIntoxicated.com.

More UB English Alumni in Journalism

1968: Alan Steinberg (BA 1968) is a journalist consultant at Double Play Media.

1972: Lynne B. Entine (BA 1972) is a writer and editor.

1972: Meryl Sue Cohen (BA 1972) is a producer at Paramount Pictures Corporation.

1973: Tom Toles (BA 1973) is a political cartoonist for the Washington Post and previously worked for the Buffalo News. He has won a Pulitzer.

1976: Amy H. Dunkin (BA 1976) is an associate editor at Business Week.

1978: Corydon B. Ireland (BA 1978) is staff writer at the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle.

1987: Yonat L. Shimron (BA 1987) is a reporter at the News and Observer.

1989: Mark G. Marabella (BA 1989) is a writer at Buffalo Artvoice.

1992: Sandra Berger (BA 1992) is a video-film producer.

1993: Ann E. Deck-Miller (BA 1993) is a managing editor and general manager at Buffalo Law Journal.

1996: Lisa A. Rapaport (BA 1996) is a reporter at the Sacramento Bee.

1997: Fabienne Valerie Le Roux-Swain (BA 1997) is a photo producer at Self Magazine.

2001: Allison J. Farrell (MA 2001) is a reporter at Lee Newspapers.

2006: George Zornick (BA 2006) worked on “Sicko” with Michael Moore.

2006: Kevin Fryling (MA English 2006) works for The Reporter.

2007: Jeremy Burton (BA 2007) is a city hall reporter in Scranton, Pa.

2007: Nicole Coleman (BA 2007) works at the Journal-Register, aMedina, NY newspaper.

UB Alumni on the Buffalo News Staff

James Brennan (BA Political Science 1971) is technology and science editor at the paper.

Louise Continelli (MA Humanities 1980) is a reporter.

Samantha Cristmann (BA 2005) business reporter

Andrew Galarneau (UB American Studies 1988). See Journalism Certificate Program.

Keith D. McShea (UB English 1995) is a sports reporter.

Sara Paulson (BA English 2003) works in the library.

Charity Vogel (PhD English 2004; MA English 2000) See Journalism Certificate Program.

UB Alumni in Washington, D. C.

JoAnn Armao (BA History 1974) is an editorial page writer for the Washington Post

Pam Benson (BA Speech Com and Political Science 1976) is a Senior Producer at CNN

Howard Kurtz (BA English and Psychology 1974) is a media reporter for the Washington Post and hosts CNN’s weekly program “Reliable Sources.”

James Militello (BA Psychology 1979) is a sports reporter for the Associated Press

Joseph Mianowany (BA Speech Communication 1977) is a freelance writer, previously at United Press International.

Tom Toles (BA English 1973) is a political cartoonist for the Washington Post.