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'Meet the Press' executive producer inaugurates Ed Renwick Lecture Series

Loyola press release - March 15, 2010

NBC “Meet the Press” executive producer Betsy Fischer will kick off the Ed Renwick Lecture Series at Loyola University New Orleans on Wednesday, March 24, at 7 p.m., with a discussion of her work behind the scenes on one of the world’s leading political/public affairs television programs. Her talk takes place in Roussel Hall on Loyola’s main campus and is free and open to the public.

Named for Loyola’s legendary Institute of Politics founder and longtime director, the series honors Ed Renwick, by hosting national political experts for an annual lecture on politics and current events. The well-known political scientist retired last year after nearly 40 years at Loyola and a career as New Orleans’ preeminent pollster and political analyst for news-ratings giant WWL-TV.

Fischer has been at the helm of the longest running program on television and the No. 1 rated Sunday politics show since 2002. Prior to her appointment as executive producer, Fischer was the senior producer for the program and worked in the NBC News Political/Polling Unit for five years. She began her career with an internship at “Meet the Press” and then became a political researcher for the program while she was still in college. From there, she was promoted up the ranks to executive producer.

In addition to her duties at “Meet the Press,” Fischer served as former NBC anchor Tom Brokaw’s producer for the 2008 presidential debates, party conventions and election night coverage. She served in the same capacity with the late Tim Russert during the 2000, 2004 and 2008 elections.

Fischer received two Emmys for her work at NBC as well as the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Political Journalism and a Gracie Award from American Women in Radio and Television. She has been named to the Washingtonian’s list of the “50 Best & Most Influential Journalists” and “100 Most Powerful Women in Washington,” Politico’s “25 People You Should Know on the Hill,” Washington Life’s “Power 100” and GQ’s “Powerful People in Washington.”

She was recently named a “Young Global Leader of the World” by the World Economic Forum, which recognizes 250 global young leaders for professional accomplishments and potential to contribute to the shaping of the future world.

IOP Director Tommy Screen said Fischer’s talk is a great way to honor Renwick and will be of interest to anyone who wants a behind-the-scenes look at national politics.

“Betsy is at the top of her field,” Screen said. “She has worked on ‘Meet the Press’ for more than 17 years, where she has hosted every significant political leader of our time. Her insights gained from this valuable experience will help each of us better understand the political process —which is exactly what Dr. Renwick aimed to do through the IOP.”

A native New Orleanian, Fischer received both undergraduate and graduate degrees from American University in Washington, D.C. Fischer graduated from Grace King High School in Metairie, La.

For more information on the series, contact Screen at 504-864-7082 or tscreen@loyno.edu. To schedule an interview with Fischer, contact Catherine Koppel in the Office of Public Affairs at 504-861-5448 or ckoppel@loyno.edu.

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