UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The executive editor of Street & Smith’s SportsBusiness Journal and related publications will visit Penn State for a free public lecture and question-and-answer session in late March as part of the ongoing Conversation Series sponsored by the John Curley Center for Sports Journalism.
Abe Madkour, who is responsible for determining the editorial content and shaping the editorial direction of the leading publications on the business of sports, will address “Sports Business: Covering the Deals Behind the Games” in the wide-ranging session scheduled to start at 7 p.m. March 27 in Freeman Auditorium of the HUB-Robeson Center.
Madkour manages the editorial staff, oversees all the editorial content for the various conferences produced by Street & Smith’s Sports Business Group (including the prestigious World Congress of Sports and Forty Under 40 awards dinner), and serves as the lead moderator and editorial spokesman for all of the company’s events. He joined SportsBusiness Daily as a senior staff writer when the publication launched in August 1994. He was named editor-in-chief in September 1996 and became executive editor of SportsBusiness Journal and SportsBusiness Daily in 2003. He lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, and is a graduate of the University of Vermont.
John Affleck, the Knight Chair in Sports Journalism and Society and director of the Curley Center, will moderate the session.
"From a journalistic standpoint, what happens between the sidelines is just the beginning of the story," Affleck said. "Abe has spent his career exploring the business side of sports — where decisions about the future of the industry get made."
Previous campus visitors for the ongoing Conversation Series have included: John Branch of The New York Times, Rob King of ESPN, Dave Revsine of BTN, Mark Spears and Jesse Washington of The Undefeated and Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated.
Madkour also will be visiting with faculty and students from across the University Park campus as part of Penn State's new, interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Sports in Society.
The John Curley Center for Sports Journalism explores issues and trends in sports journalism through instruction, outreach, programming and research. It was established in 2003 and named to honor John Curley, the first editor of USA Today, in 2006. Curley’s more than five decades of newspaper experience included work as a reporter, editor, publisher and, ultimately, president, CEO and chairman of the Gannett Co. After retiring, Curley taught in the College of Communications at Penn State and was a founding co-director of the center.
The Curley Center’s undergraduate curricular emphasis includes courses in sports writing, covering the business of sports, sports data, sports broadcasting and sports information. Along with core courses, the Curley Center places an emphasis on internships and hands-on experience with broadcast, multimedia and print outlets as well as with league, sport and team publicity operations.
The quality of students as well as the reputation of the program have produced many one-of-a-kind experiences and opportunities. For example, partnerships with news organizations have led to Curley Center students covering the Rio Paralympics, Penn State baseball's historic visit to Cuba, Penn State football in Ireland, the London Olympics, NASCAR, golf's U.S. Open and more.