Chancellor's Recent Speeches

Remarks by Charles B. Reed
Chancellor, California State University
Emerging Trends in the Entertainment Industry
San Francisco State University, Downtown campus
12:30 p.m.
March 18, 2008

Thank you, Bob (Corrigan), for the introduction and for hosting this workshop at your downtown campus.

San Francisco State is the lead campus in this entertainment initiative, and I appreciate all that you, Steve Ujlaki and Joaquin Alvarado from your campus have done. I also want to thank all the CSU campus deans and chairs who have participated in this initiative to make it a success.

I have learned much already today, listening to Stu Tenzer from the William Morris Agency, and from the panel on globalization.

If there is any industry that is changing, it is the media and entertainment industries and the pace is astonishing.

Technology has changed the tools people use to find and communicate information.

The Internet has become an essential medium for people of all ages. According to data developed by Burst Media, nearly 70 percent of people in all age segments say their daily routine would be disrupted if their Internet access was taken away for one week.

For those 55 years and older, the Internet is gradually replacing other media as a source for news, entertainment, and information. And for the vast majority of college students ages 18-24 years old, the Internet is the primary communication vehicle, information source, and entertainment channel.

While creating many conveniences for information users, the new media has effected a disruption in the status quo of the communication and entertainment industries triggering dramatic changes in the way information is created, transmitted and received by consumers.

We have observed changes in the newspaper industry.

Thanks to the Internet, most people can now obtain the news on their own terms. It is no longer necessary to wait for the 6 o'clock news or the morning paper. As soon as we wake up, we can check the national and local papers online and quickly move onto the other tasks of the day. This type of convenience is making newspaper readers gradually turn to online versions of newspapers, radio and television.

New technology also has created the surge of the citizen journalist: individuals who want to generate content are free to do so without editors or the formality of being employed by a media organization. Today, any person with a computer and an Internet connection can publish content online in any type of digital media format: text, photos, audio, video or a combination of any of them.

The shift has moved print advertising to online publications creating major disruptions in the print media industry. Over the past months newspapers across the nation have announced major personnel cuts in all sections of the newspapers. The industry is paring down operations to offset losses due to drops in revenue.

Digital Media also is bringing changes in the advertising and marketing industries.

Since the 1950s ad agencies have been selling to their clients the 30-second spot and delivering it on highly-rated television shows. Until recently, all of us were forced to watch television commercials about cars, cigarettes, corn flakes or diapers whether we were in the market for these products or not.

In the new media order, advertising has the potential to be more efficient. The audience of the TV networks has become fragmented by the surge of hundreds of TV channels and infinite numbers of online sites. In addition, time-shifting devices such as TiVo allow users to watch the shows they want, when they want, and skip all the ads.

Changes in the entertainment industry:

User-generated content is on the rise. Elementary and high school students are using digital cameras and sophisticated software to create their own movies for class assignments.

The new independent filmmakers are pursuing new markets with creative approaches to online content in viral and community-driven channels. Audience is now counted in the millions as first-time filmmakers and seasoned pros distribute their latest releases via social networking and online video sites.

This gives consumers more choices and creates a more robust market for those who produce quality content that, although attractive to many, is not the type of entertainment that fills a movie theater or music hall. This is the ultimate long-tail market, as creative producers find ever narrowing slices of the market to excel in.

Gaming has grown to be a multi-billion dollar industry in our state and led the way in creating new user experiences online. California must maintain its lead in the video game industry as convergence continues to become the reality for entertainment brands.

In short, what we have been seeing over the last 10 years is that technology has acted as a change agent of society.

The web and digital media flipped the communication landscape and brought the democratization of information. What used to be a monologue, has become a dialogue.

The most significant thing that we can say at this conference is that the average college student is at the center of this communication evolution. They are heavy users and producers of digital media. It is their language and their community.

According to research, instant messaging is the most popular online activity among college students of ages 18-24. In addition, they use the internet to download music or videos, do research for their classes, play online games, get the news, and shop.

Today's college student engages in social media through Facebook and MySpace, blogging and podcasting. It has become the way they stay in touch with their friends and communities of interest.

It blows my mind. While my generation is just trying to sort all this out, today's young people are finding the new media as simple as making a phone call.

This brings an important point associated with digital media downloads. It is movie and music piracy. I met with representatives of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) in Beverly Hills, and we talked about the piracy issue.

We want to help make sure that students understand copyrights for content and their role in supporting a marketplace for digital distribution that is legal, evolving, and meets their needs without piracy.

This conference is about finding new frames of collaboration between the CSU and the entertainment and digital media industry. It is about learning how we can work together to better prepare our students to work in the industry during this period of transition. And also to prepare the entrepreneurs that will take the leap of creating the new ventures that will emerge in the near future.

So I am glad to be here to learn about the trends in the industry, and to tell you about how the California State University will continue to work with you on this important project.

First, some background for those of you who don’t know much about the CSU:

  • The CSU is the largest university system in the country
  • 23 campuses
  • 450,000 students – 56 percent are students of color
  • 46,000 employees
  • 2 million alumni
  • We are the economic backbone of this state and contribute 90,000 graduates into its workforce annually.
  • For every dollar the state invests in the CSU, we return $4.41
  • CSU expenditures create $14 billion in annual economic impact
  • We support more than 207,000 jobs in California.

We produce annually 46 percent of the state's undergraduates in the media, culture and design industries. More specifically,

  • 88 percent of the radio and television broadcasting degrees
  • 66 percent of the journalism and mass communications degrees
  • 59 percent of the visual and performing arts degrees and
  • 58 percent of the fine arts and art studies degrees.

All this adds up to an incredible impact on your industry.

But we always have questions: are we doing a good job? Are we supplying the skills that your industry needs?

To determine that, we held an event in 2005 at our Cal State L.A. campus to listen to industry leaders tell us what they wanted from our graduates.

What we learned is similar to what we learned at sessions we held with leaders in other industries where the CSU has a major impact – agriculture, engineering, and hospitality, for example.

You wanted graduates who could work in teams, who could write, use technology, and think and communicate globally.

From that session and our continuing connections with all of you, we have developed the CSU Entertainment Industry Initiative that responds to those needs.

It has three components:

  1. Technology Investment: We upgraded our programs system-wide to provide leading edge hardware and software for our students to learn and produce. By coordinating our efforts with all CSU campuses across the state, we achieved a unified platform for innovation that rides on California’s Next Generation Network-CENIC. This means that our graduates will enter the workforce ready to work with the most technologically advanced equipment.

  2. Media Internship program: We established an internship program that provides opportunities for CSU students in all regions of the state to receive on-the-job training and mentorship in media companies. Ninety-one students were placed in the first year.

  3. Visiting Fellows Program: We now have industry professionals as guests in our campuses to provide guidance and mentorship to our students. Fifty professionals interacted with CSU students in 2007.

This is our second session with your industry. We are holding it at San Francisco State because the digital media industry is flourishing here.

You may know that nearly all of our campuses have some kind of program in the entertainment and media fields. Those campuses are:



Channel Islands




Dominguez Hills

Long Beach

Los Angeles

San Francisco

Monterey Bay

San Jose


San Luis Obispo


San Bernardino

San Diego


Faculty members from these campuses are here today. Please stand and be recognized.

Where do we go from here?

As we heard in the first panel, we need to be global in our thinking because the rest of the world is trying to outdo us in this field.

California has always had the reputation for innovation and entrepreneurship – look at what has come out of Silicon Valley, for example – and we need to build on that for your future and for our students.

The CSU provides a high quality, affordable educational path to your future workforce.

We need to continue working together on the next set of changes in this industry so that we keep our state competitive and maintain our creative leadership in the global economy.

Digital media and entertainment represent billions of dollars to the state’s economy, generating thousands of high paying jobs for our workforce. We want to keep those jobs here and not in other states or countries so that CSU students can put their learning to use in California.

What will we do together?

We have developed a partnership with San Francisco State, community organizations and industry to develop the workforce in digital media, entertainment and technology in Northern California.

We are now exploring developing a similar partnership in Southern California.

CSU will partner with industry to incubate new technologies for the digital media and entertainment industries in a Next Generation Internet environment we are helping to create through initiatives like CineGrid and National Public Lightpath.

We are beginning a new model that seeks to meet the growing challenges of a state as large as ours in an industry as diverse as digital media and entertainment. We can do that by convening people like you, the great thinkers and the great teachers that make California the leader in innovation.

As I mentioned at the beginning of my remarks, our first meeting with industry was to listen and incorporate your needs. We did much of that.

We still need to listen to what you have to say, and you need to help us continue to develop the programs that will provide you with the CSU students who can power your industry.

So I look forward to the rest of the day to learn more about the trends and how our students can get those jobs.

Let me stop here and take questions. Thank you.