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Michael O. Wirth

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CCI Dean

Michael O. Wirth is Professor and Dean of the College of Communication & Information at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Before moving to Tennessee, he served as Director of the School of Communication (1994-2006) and Professor and Chair of the Department of Mass Communications & Journalism Studies (1985-2006) at the University of Denver and as a Senior Fellow of The Magness Institute for cable telecommunications (2000-2006) – a partnership between The Cable Center and the University of Denver.

An internationally known expert in the field of cable telecommunication and broadcast economics, law and management, Mike has conducted research under grants from a number of organizations, including the National Science Foundation and the National Association of Broadcasters. He is the first Guest Professor from the United States to the School of Journalism at Renmin University in Beijing, China (1997), and served as the first Visiting Professor from the U.S. to Zhejiang University's School of Journalism & Communication, in Hangzhou, China (2001). Mike was one of only two academics, worldwide, invited to deliver a keynote speech to China Central Television's International Forum on Chinese TV and Media Development (2003). He also served as a member of the Experts Advisory Board of the Communications Economics Research Program at Curtin University of Technology's School of Economics and Finance in Perth, Western Australia (1997-2000), where he served as a Visiting Professor during Summer 1999. Additionally, he is a member of the National Television Academy's Education Committee. The International Radio and Television Society Foundation, Inc. honored Mike as its 2000 Frank Stanton Fellow.

Mike has extensive training and experience in statistical and research analysis. He specializes in the development of econometric models characterizing various aspects of media economics, marketing and policy. He has co-authored one book, Costs, Benefits, and Long-Term Sustainability of Municipal Cable Television Overbuilds and he is co-editor of the Handbook of Media Management and Economics. He has published numerous scholarly articles and essays which have appeared in such periodicals as Journal of Regulatory Economics, Journal of Economics and Business, Telecommunications Policy, Quarterly Review of Economics and Business, Information Economics and Policy, the Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, the Journal of Media Economics, The International Journal on Media Management, and in scholarly books.

Mike is a member of the editorial board of three scholarly publications: Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, The International Journal on Media Management (for which he served as Guest Editor of a special issue on the future of convergence), and the Journal of Media Economics (for which he served as the Guest Editor of a special issue on the economics of the multichannel video program distribution industry).

Over the years he has provided consulting services for such organizations as Capital Cities/ABC; American Television and Communications Corporation/Time Warner Cable; Knight-Ridder Broadcasting, Inc.; Tele-Communications, Inc./AT&T Broadband; DirecTV; Viacom Cable Inc.; the National Cable & Telecommunications Association; the National Association of Broadcasters; the National Basketball Association; and Women In Cable and Telecommunications.

Mike's undergraduate degree is from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (B.S. in ag journalism/ag honors, 1973), and his graduate degrees are from Michigan State University (M.A. in television and radio, 1974; Ph.D. in mass media, 1977).


302 Communications Bldg.

Ph.D., Mass Media, Michigan State University
M.A., Television and Radio, Michigan State University
B.S., Agricultural Honors/Agricultural Journalism, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Research Interests: 
Media and telecommunication economics, management, law and policy
International Interests: 

Dr. Wirth is interested in the development of Chinese media (economics, management, law, and policy). He has been involved in teaching, research, and professional activities in China and Australia. Wirth also served as Co-director of the Chinese Executive Media Management Program at the University of Denver from 2000-2006.

First Name: 
Last Name: 
Michael O.