Steven Ackermann comes to the University of North Texas with 40 years of experience in local, regional, national broadcast, and digital journalism. Steve led the newsroom at KOMU 8 for 11 months through the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. KOMU 8 is the NBC affiliate serving 14 counties in Mid-Missouri operated by the Missouri School of Journalism. It is the only commercial television affiliate in the United States functioning as a working student laboratory. Steve also worked as a Special Projects Consultant for the school's Reynolds Journalism Institute.
The intersection of journalism, technology, and innovation has always been his passion using computers to broadcast local election returns to standing alongside the soon-to-fall Berlin Wall to his role at CBS News when it was first to broadcast live from the liberated Kuwait City. Teams that he led launched CBS News Up to the Minute -- the network's long-running overnight news service. CBS Newspath became an industry-model affiliate news service while he was Executive Producer and his team designed and built Belo's Texas Cable News.
Ackermann has been heavily engaged in recruiting and professional development leading to his involvement with professional advisory boards here at UNT and at Texas Tech University. He was Treasurer and a founding Executive Board member of the Lone Star Chapter of NATAS. He developed the Raycom Media Newsroom Leadership Program and has been part of the faculty at RTDNA's Anchor & Producer Leadership Summit. He's also certified to teach the Workplace Integrity curriculum developed by the Freedom Forum Institute.
He was Vice President of News for Raycom Media until the employee-owned company was sold in January 2019. Prior to the sale, Raycom Media was the nation's largest privately-owned local media company owning and/or providing services for 65 television stations and two radio stations across 20 states. Beyond broadcasting, Raycom Media was the parent company of CNHI which included more than 100 print titles in 23 states.
Since the sale, Ackermann continued working with local owners Nexstar Broadcasting and Meredith Local Media in various interim leadership roles. Before Raycom, he was Executive News Director of Belo Corporation's Texas Cable News. Ackermann spent 12 years with CBS News after beginning his television career at WAFB-TV in Baton Rouge. At Raycom Media, he was instrumental in creating the company's InvestigateTV project and the company's Trail of Hope documentary series.
Holding a Bachelor's Degree in Mass Communication from Loyola University in New Orleans, he has been an adjunct instructor at the University of Cincinnati and a guest lecturer at Columbia University, the Manship School of Mass Communication at Louisiana State University. and at Viet Nam Television's VT8.
Ackermann, his wife Meg, and their two children first lived in Dallas in the late 1990s. Meg and Steve moved back to North Texas in 2014. His son, Daniel, his wife, Melissa, and their son live in Winston-Salem, North Carolina; his daughter, Elizabeth, and her husband, Chris, live with their children in Plano. Outside of media, Ackermann served in leadership roles in various synagogues including a term as President of Cincinnati's historic K.K. Bene Israel/The Rockdale Temple.