Jack Powers

Jack Powers

Associate Professor and Chair, Media Arts, Sciences and Studies
Faculty, Television-Radio

Specialty:Television/Entertainment Industry, Humor and Scripted Programming, Children and Media, Social Effects of Mass Media
Phone:(607) 274-1862
Office:353 Roy H Park Hall
Ithaca, NY 14850


My name is Jack Powers and I'm a faculty member in the Television-Radio program of the R.H. Park School of Communications at Ithaca College.

I mostly teach about the business of entertainment television and research methods, and my primary area of research deals with the social effects of entertainment media on children (especially TV). To this end, I try to include interested students in my research. For example, past projects include a systematic analysis of the nutritional content of foods featured in TV commercials on Cartoon Network, and the second examines how boy and girl characters are depicted in terms of their behavioral, physical, and appearance characteristics on The Disney Channel, Nickelodeon, and Cartoon Network.

In addition, I have a secondary area of research dealing with humor and television.   

In terms of the TV business, I've been fortunate enough to make several trips to Hollywood to meet with the executive producers of ABC's 'Modern Family.'

Over the past several years, the creators and exec producers of the show have allowed me to sit in on table reads, be in the video village while on location, be on set, be present in the meetings between network execs and studio execs, observe the writing process, and even be cast in a non-speaking role in an episode. This unprecedented access to a hit TV show has allowed me to share invaluable information with our students about the best way to gain entry to the highly competitive field of television writing/production (including meeting face-to-face with some of those exec producers while in Los Angeles).   

In terms of my teaching philosophy, I believe in the blending of theory and practice ('learning is doing.)'

Consequently, in all of my classes students leave the course with some kind of tangible product to show in future interviews for jobs/internships. For example, students enrolled in Intro to Media Industries are required to develop and release a smartphone App (dealing with entertainment media) for the Google Play market, and students enrolled in research methods work together in groups to produce an original mass media research project.

In the uber-competitive field of television, I inform prospective students that if they intend to enroll in the TV-R program, they should expect to 1) spend a semester abroad in London or elsewhere interning; 2) spend a semester in Los Angeles as part of of LA Program and obtain 1-2 high-profile internships; 3) work each semester on one or more of our 20+ television shows produced for ICTV; 4) engage in other media activities including working on-air or behind the scenes at one of our 2 radio stations, newspaper, alternative magazine, professional communications production company, etc. 

Our television program is arguably the best in the United States.

Some highlights include (all of these represent grads who have entered the business in the 7 years I've been at IC, so it's only a small fraction of our grads):

  • 100+ grads employed at ESPN
  • 70+ grads employed at MLB Network

Recent grads are working at the following TV shows/Networks/Companies:

  • 'Ray Donovan,'
  • 'Ellen,'
  • 'Mike & Molly,'
  • 'Baby Daddy,'
  • 'Dr. Oz,'
  • 'The Doctors,'
  • 'The Voice,'
  • 'Top Gear,'
  • 'American Idol,'
  • 'Dancing with the Stars,'
  • 'Top Chef,'
  • Nick, Jr.,
  • Nickelodeon,
  • MTV,
  • CBS Productions,
  • 'Late Show with David Letterman,'
  • 'CONAN,'
  • 'Revenge,'
  • 'Once Upon a Time,'
  • 'The Daily Show,'
  • 'Good Morning America,'
  • 'NBC Dateline,'
  • KickTV,
  • Yahoo Video,
  • Renaissance Literary & Talent,
  • 'The Bachelor,'
  • 'Nurse Jackie,'
  • TeenNick,
  • House of Kaizen,
  • HRTV,
  • U.S. Senate (video production),
  • United Nations (video production),
  • Mattel (video production),
  • The Golf Channel,
  • Madison Square Garden,
  • New York Mets,
  • New York Yankees,
  • HBO,
  • FOX Television,
  • The Walt Disney Company,
  • NPR,
  • Turner Broadcasting,
  • Isotope Films,
  • TV Land,
  • truTV,
  • Ant Farm Productions,
  • Media Arts Lab,
  • Jane Street Entertainment,
  • Warner Bros. Television,
  • Paramount Pictures,
  • ABC Family,
  • AMC Networks,
  • The Wall Street Journal (multimedia video producer),
  • College Humor,
  • FunnyOrDie.com, 
  • The New York Times (multimedia video producer),
  • Fanology Social Media,
  • Deutsch Media,
  • Comedy Central,
  • United Talent Agency,
  • SNY Sports
  • 'Modern Family,' and 
  • Bleacher Report (among many others).  

On-air and behind-the-scene news talent can be found on radio/TV stations in

  • Elmira, NY,
  • Ithaca, NY,
  • Denver, CO,
  • Philadelphia, PA,
  • Urbana-Champaign, IL,
  • Los Angeles, CA,
  • Fort Myers, FL,
  • Johnstown, PA,
  • ESPN's Sportscenter,
  • ABC World News,
  • CBS News,
  • 48 Hours,
  • ClearChannel Radio,
  • Boston, MA,
  • New York, NY
  • Sirius XM Radio, and 
  • San Francisco, CA. 

Some of our more 'famous' alumni include:

  • Bob Iger, Chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company 
  • Daniel J. Heffner, Producer of the SAW film franchise
  • David Muir, Anchor for ABC World News, Primetime Live, and Good Morning America
  • Karl Ravech, Host of ESPN's Baseball Tonight 
  • Kevin Connors, SportsCenter Anchor, ESPN 
  • Lauryn Kahn, Screenwriter of upcoming comedy feature film titled He's F**king Perfect, starring Amanda Seyfried
  • Liz Tigelaar, writer/producer of such shows as Revenge, American Dreams, Life Unexpected (creator), Brothers & Sisters, Melrose Place, Once Upon a Time
  • Bill D'Elia, executive producer/director of Chicago Hope, Boston Legal, Ally McBeal, Harry's Law, Judging Amy (co-creator), The Crazy Ones 
  • Chris Regan, 5-time Emmy winner as comedy writer for The Daily Show with Jon Stewartco-author of America (The Book), writer for Family Guy
  • Barbara Gaines, executive producer of The Late Show with David Letterman
  • David Boreanaz, actor-- most known for his roles on Bones, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Angel 
  • Rod Serling, creator/writer of The Twilight Zone (while not a graduate of the program, he was a lecturer for many years; all of his Emmy awards are housed at Ithaca College, as is his script library) 


On the personal side, I'm a big, big baseball fan (as I'm sure my wife and two kids would attest) and I'm a major media junkie: television (favorite shows include 'Modern Family,' 'The Simpsons,' 'Homeland,' 'Breaking Bad,' 'South Park,' 'The Daily Show,' '60 Minutes,' and 'Charlie Rose);' news (NYT, Hollywood Reporter, Variety, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal); and movies (favorite directors include Tarantino, Scorsese, Spielberg, and Apatow-- among others).   

Feel free to follow me on Twitter (@TVRjack) or send me an email (jpowers@ithaca.edu) if you ever want to contact me.   



  • PhD (mass communications, information science concentration), Syracuse University-- Advisor: George Comstock, PhD
  • MA (journalism/mass communication), The Ohio State University-- Advisor: Lee Becker, PhD  
  • BA (communications and French), University of Mount Union-- Advisor: William Coleman, PhD 



2013 -- present: Associate Professor, Television-Radio Program, R.H. Park School of Communications, Ithaca College, Ithaca, NY 

2006 -- 2012: Assistant Professor, R.H. Park School of Communications, Ithaca College, Ithaca, NY


  • Introduction to Media Industries
  • Mass Media Research Methods
  • Socialization of Children via Television and Media (Senior Seminar) 
  • Entertainment Media Writing

2004 – 2006, Adjunct Instructor, Newhouse School of Public Communications, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY


  • Social Effects of Television
  • Television and Children
  • Media Effects Seminar 


Research Assistant to Professor George Comstock, S.I. Newhouse Endowed Chair, Newhouse School, Syracuse University, (2003 – 2006). 

Digital Convergence Center, School of Information Studies, Syracuse University.


Recent Research Publications:

Comstock, G., Scharrer, E., & Powers, J. (2014). The contribution of meta-analysis to the controversy over television violence and aggression. In Gentile, D.A. (Ed.), Media Violence and Children, 2nd  Edition.  Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.

Powers, J., Comstock, G. (2012). The rumors of television’s demise have been greatly exaggerated: What the data say about the future of television content in a child’s digital world. Journal of Mass Communication & Journalism, 2(4), 2-8.  

Comstock, G., Powers, J. (2012). Paths from television violence to aggression: Reinterpreting the evidence. In. L. J. Shrum (Ed.), The Psychology of Entertainment Media: Blurring the Lines Between Entertainment and Persuasion, 2nd Edition. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.


Recent Conference Presentations:  

Powers, J. (2014). Teaching students how to produce in a digital age (Moderator). Broadcast Education Association (BEA), Las Vegas, NV, April. 

Powers, J., Peruta A. (2013). Look who’s talking to our kids: Representations of race and gender on TV commercials on Nickelodeon. Minorities and Communication Division. Association in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC), Washington, DC, August. 

Powers, J. (2013). Telling stories by developing smart phone apps for the Android market. Broadcast Education Association (BEA), Las Vegas, NV, April. 

Gordon, S., Powers, J. (2012). What ‘South Park’ teaches our children about social issues: A content analysis. Mass Communication Division.  Broadcast Education Association (BEA), Las Vegas, NV, April. 

Powers, J., Peruta, A. (2012). The stuff we sell to our kids: A content analysis of TV commercials aimed toward children. Broadcast Education Association (BEA), Las Vegas, NV, April.

Peruta, A., Powers, J. (2012). Kid appeal: Internet food marketing strategies in the marketing of unhealthy foods to children. Broadcast Education Association (BEA), Las Vegas, NV, April.

Powers, J. (2011). The rumors of our death have been greatly exaggerated: What the data say about the future of television. Mass Communication and Society Division. Association in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC), St. Louis, MO, August.