Dr. Sam Swan's background encompasses over 45 years in broadcasting, broadcast management, broadcast education, and international media training. Dr. Swan began his broadcasting career in 1967 as a radio news reporter and anchor at KFVS-AM in Cape Girardeau, Missouri where he later became news director. He also performed many other duties including sales, production, and on-air music announcing. Swan later served as the anchor/host for a two-hour morning show on KFVS-TV in the late 1960s. From 1968-1970 he served as anchor for the 10:00 p.m. newscasts on KFVS-TV.
Following completion of an undergraduate degree in communication from Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, Swan accepted an assignment to work in Sri Lanka for six months in 1970-71. In Sri Lanka he lived with host families in order to better understand the people and culture of the country while consulting with the Farm Broadcasting Service on the development of radio quiz programs designed to reach young farmers.
Dr. Swan served as a radio-television specialist for the University of Missouri from 1972 -1978 where he produced and hosted numerous radio and television programs broadcast on stations throughout Missouri.
He earned a master's degree in communication from Central Missouri State University in 1974 and completed a Ph.D. in communication from the University of Missouri in 1978.
Dr. Swan was named Electronic Media Leader at the University of Minnesota. In that role, he led a faculty of five broadcasters in the production and distribution of numerous radio and TV programs that were broadcast throughout Minnesota.
In 1981, Dr. Swan became Head of the Department of Radio-Television at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois. At SIU, Swan headed a faculty of 14 and student population of 600 students. He also provided leadership for public radio and public television stations.
In 1985, Dr. Swan became Head of the Department of Broadcasting at the University of Tennessee. In that role Swan led a faculty of 7 and a student population of 400. He was responsible for the donation of a 50,000 watt commercial AM station to the university. He designed and programmed the station as an all-news station for the Knoxville market. He also managed a non-commercial FM station for students at the university. On the television side, Swan conceived and continues to produce a weekly news and public affairs program for WBIR-TV, the NBC affiliate in Knoxville.
He served as Interim Director of the School of Journalism and Electronic Media at the University of Tennessee from 2005-2006.
Dr. Swan was named Director of Internationalization and Outreach for the College of Communication and Information in 2006. He has helped develop five study abroad programs for the college and lead a group of students to Prague in May of 2014. He developed the CCI Global Communication Scholars Program in Sydney, Australia in 2016.
Dr. Swan has been a leading international media trainer since 1996. He has conducted over 150 workshops in more than 40 countries on broadcast management and broadcast journalism. Many of the workshops have been conducted in Central and Eastern Europe. Most of the workshops were sponsored by the Voice of America Office of International Media Training, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, IREX, US State Department, Internews, and other agencies. Thousands of broadcast managers and journalists have participated in workshops in Russia, Latvia, Ukraine, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania, Serbia and Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, and Armenia. Dr. Swan conducts annual workshops for students at the University of Zagreb in Croatia and serves as a consultant for BTV in Sofia, Bulgaria.
Dr. Swan has also conducted several workshops in Africa and Asia for broadcast managers and journalists. He has traveled to Nigeria, South Africa, Namibia, Ghana, Tanzania, Angola, and Rwanda to do workshops. In Asia, Swan has worked extensively in Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, and Indonesia. He has also conducted workshops in Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, and Suriname.
Swan has also conducted several more than a dozen workshops for visiting groups of international broadcast managers in Washington D.C. and at the University of Tennessee including groups from Slovakia, Macedonia, Albania, Bulgaria, Nigeria, Kosovo, Bosnia, Latvia, and Serbia.
Dr. Swan is the author of the book, Broadcast Management for Eastern Europe, published by the International Broadcasting Bureau in Prague. He has written more than 60 articles distributed to affiliates of Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. His teaching interests include broadcast journalism, broadcast management, and international broadcasting.
PhD, Communication, University of Missouri