Sep 24, 2019
Jeffrey Cole has been at the forefront of media and communication technology issues both in the United States and internationally for the past three decades. An expert in the field of technology and emerging media, Cole serves as an adviser to governments and leading companies around the world as they craft digital strategies.
In July 2004 Dr. Cole joined the USC Annenberg School for Communication as Director of the newly formed Center for the Digital Future and as a Research Professor. Prior to joining USC, Dr. Cole was a longtime member of the UCLA faculty and served as Director of the UCLA Center for Communication Policy, based in the Anderson Graduate School of Management. Cole founded and directs the World Internet Project, a long-term longitudinal look at the effects of computer and Internet technology, which is conducted in over 35 countries. At the announcement of the project in June 1999, Vice President Al Gore praised Cole as a “true visionary providing the public with information on how to understand the impact of media.” Nineteen years into the project, the World Internet Project, through its unique data on Internet users around the world, is the leading, unrivaled international project examining the ways in which technology changes our lives.
Cole regularly presents trends and insights of the project to the White House, FCC, Congress, Department of Defense and heads of governments around the world. He has worked closely with the CEOs of GroupM, Ericsson, Telstra, Wesfarmers and others. On the advisory side, his long-term relationships have included Microsoft, Sony, Time Warner, AT&T, AARP, CBS, NBC, ABC, CPB, PBS, HP, Coca-Cola and many more as they learn to navigate the digital future. He also sits on Unilever’s (the world’s second largest advertiser) Global Digital Strategy Board.
In 2016 Cole was one of the founders of the Global Disruption Fund (GDF), a technology investment fund based in Australia (www.globaldisruptionfund.com.au). Cole is one of the members of the Investment Committee identifying innovative companies and those about to be disrupted, making investments based on his work. The Fund is now worth close to $1 billion and growing; it achieved a 40% return in its first year. Since 2017 he has written a popular and widely circulated column on disruption, media, technology and entertainment (www.digitalcenter.org/cole).
Under Cole’s leadership, the Center has conducted deep examinations of the entertainment, sports media, transportation and banking industries to identify where the next wave of disruption will occur. More than just identifying trends, the Center works closely with industry to create policies and make the concrete changes that will keep them competitive. That work includes all five (formerly six) motion picture studios, all four networks and now streaming companies, as well as sports networks, leagues, automotive companies and banks.
In the 1990s, Cole worked closely with the four broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox) dealing with television programming issues under an anti-trust waiver that allowed the networks to work together for the very first time. He issued annual reports to the television industry, Congress and the nation. Upon the release of the 1996 report, Cole held a joint press conference with President Bill Clinton, who referred to the Center for Communication Policy as “the premier educational institution setting trends in entertainment.” Nationwide there was unanimous praise for the quality of the reports and their contribution to the television content debate.
Cole has testified before Congress on television issues and has been a keynote speaker at more than 750 conferences on media and technology (many can be seen on YouTube). He has worked with the White House during the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations on media and telecommunications issues. He regularly makes presentations across the U.S., Europe, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa.
Cole was a member of the Executive Committee of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (ATAS) from 1997 to 2001 and was the founding governor of the ATAS Interactive Media Peer Group. At UCLA, Cole taught over 35,000 students. In 1987 he received UCLA's Distinguished Teaching Award.
Mitch McConnell, whom Democrats had started to call “Moscow Mitch”, backed a $250 million spending bill last week to help states beef up election security. McConnell had previously blocked two bills that would have boosted security and required paper ballots.
Facebook has suspended tens of thousands of apps after an internal audit revealed that they could either have be a threat or didn’t respond to Facebook’s requests for information. Facebook says the move comes after a review of millions of apps following the Cambridge Analytica scandal. The FTC fined Facebook $5 billion over the summer for privacy violations. Meanwhile, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was in town meeting with members of Congress and President Trump at the White House, meetings which sources say were “constructive”.
Well, there’s not much else we can say about the 71st Emmy Awards other than the fact that this year’s awards offered shockingly little diversity. National Urban League CEO Marc Morial and FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel penned a joint Op-Ed in the Hill released prior to the awards discussing this year’s lack of nominees of color. For example, not one woman of color was nominated for lead actress in a comedy. This year, just 26 nominees were people of color, compared to 38 last year. Just three people of color ended up winning—RuPaul Charles won for hosting RuPaul’s Drag Race, Jharrel Jerome won for When they See Us, and Bill Porter won for Pose. When are we gonna stop begging these people to include us, fam? Seriously.
The FCC released its open meeting agenda. The meeting will take place at 10:30 at the FCC. A proposal for $950 million in funding for Puerto Rico’s communications infrastructure is first on the agenda.
The New York Times is ending Spanish language coverage. “While the Español site did attract a new audience for our journalism and consistently produced coverage we are very proud of,” the Times said in a statement, “it did not prove financially successful”. New York Times in Español launched in response to President Trump’s hate speech against Mexicans.
NBC/Universal has launched a new streaming service dubbed Peacock, which is slated for launch in April. NBC/Universal will join the long list of new Netflix streaming competitors including the likes of Disney, Apple, and HBO Max.