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Johnathan Rodgers

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Information about Johnathan Rodgers

Profile image of Johnathan Rodgers

Profession

Category:
MediaMakers
Occupation(s):
Television Executive

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Peach Cobbler, Black Spaghetti
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Kenya
Favorite Quote:
Everyone Has Their Fifteen Minutes Of Fame.

Birthplace

Born:
1/18/1946
Birth Location:
San Antonio, Texas

Profession

Category:
MediaMakers
Occupation(s):
Television Executive

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Peach Cobbler, Black Spaghetti
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Kenya
Favorite Quote:
Everyone Has Their Fifteen Minutes Of Fame.

Birthplace

Born:
1/18/1946
Birth Location:
San Antonio
See how Johnathan Rodgers is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Johnathan Arlin Rodgers was born on January 18, 1946 in San Antonio, Texas. His mother was a homemaker and his father was a soldier in the United States Air Force. As a “military brat,” Rodgers lived in a number of countries and states. He graduated from Rantoul High School in Rantoul, Illinois in 1963. While at Rantoul, he worked on the school paper and was a member of the wrestling team.

In 1967, Rodgers received his bachelor’s of arts degree in journalistic studies from the University of California - Berkeley. While studying at Berkeley, he was sports editor of the campus newspaper, a member of the football team and pledged to the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity.

From 1967 until 1968, Rodgers worked at Sports Illustrated Magazine. He was the first African American journalist hired by the publication. His beat included track and field and college basketball. His article, “The Plight of the Black Athlete,” highlighted the struggles African American athletes encountered in both the college and professional arenas. From 1968 until 1969, Rodgers served as the editor of urban affairs for Newsweek Magazine.

In 1969, Rodgers was drafted in the United States Army and served at Fort Jackson, South Carolina until 1971. In 1973, he earned his master’s degree in communications from Stanford University, and then worked as a writer / producer for WNBC in New York. In 1974, Rodgers was hired as a general assignment reporter for WKYC-TV in Cleveland, Ohio, and the following year he transitioned from on-air personality to management when he accepted the assistant news director’s position at WBBM-TV in Chicago. This began a successful career at CBS, where he would serve as news director, general manager, executive producer for CBS News and the president of the network’s television station division. In 1998, Rodgers left CBS and was hired by Discovery Networks. During his six years at Discovery, the network increased viewers by the millions and added nearly a dozen new stations. His responsibilities included all aspects of domestic television, programming, affiliate sales, advertising sales, marketing, research, development and communications.

In 2003, Rodgers was hired as the chief executive officer of TV-One, an entertainment and lifestyle cable television network targeting African American viewers. It is owned by Radio One and Comcast Cable.

Rodgers was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on September 24, 2004.

See how Johnathan Rodgers is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Johnathan Rodgers' interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Johnathan Rodgers lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Johnathan Rodgers describes his mother's background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Johnathan Rodgers talks about his maternal family's success
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Johnathan Rodgers considers the significance of Juneteenth celebrations
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Johnathan Rodgers describes his father's background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Johnathan Rodgers recalls the significance of his father's U.S. military career
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Johnathan Rodgers describes his maternal grandmother
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Johnathan Rodgers explains his paternal ancestry
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Johnathan Rodgers describes his earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Johnathan Rodgers remembers holiday celebrations from his childhood
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Johnathan Rodgers recalls a typical day growing up in San Francisco, California
  • Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Johnathan Rodgers remembers the Oakland, California community in which he grew up
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Johnathan Rodgers remembers his time at Brookfield Elementary School in Oakland, California
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Johnathan Rodgers describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in Oakland, California
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Johnathan Rodgers considers generational shifts in African American culture
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Johnathan Rodgers reflects upon his elementary school in Japan
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Johnathan Rodgers remembers living in Japan during the Vietnam War
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Johnathan Rodgers describes his temperament growing up in Oakland, California
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Johnathan Rodgers talks about attending Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Oakland, California
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Johnathan Rodgers reflects upon his childhood aspiration to be a journalist
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Johnathan Rodgers talks about his family's move to Okinawa Island, Japan during his teenage years
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Johnathan Rodgers describes his changing temperament as he matured
  • Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Johnathan Rodgers reflects upon the way his aspirations evolved as a young adult
  • Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Johnathan Rodgers remembers his time at Rantoul Township High School in Rantoul, Illinois
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Johnathan Rodgers remembers his teachers and interests at Rantoul Township High School in Rantoul, Illinois
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Johnathan Rodgers recalls his favorite subjects and activities at Rantoul Township High School in Rantoul, Illinois
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Johnathan Rodgers talks about visiting Champaign-Urbana, Illinois as a high school student and his classmates' perception of him
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Johnathan Rodgers shares his perspective on the Civil Rights Movement's impact on American society
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Johnathan Rodgers reflects upon his decision to attend the University of California, Berkeley in Berkeley, California
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Johnathan Rodgers remembers his social activities as a student at Rantoul Township High School in Rantoul, Illinois
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Johnathan Rodgers recalls his perspective on the Civil Rights Movement while living in Rantoul, Illinois
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Johnathan Rodgers remembers his civil rights participation at University of California, Berkeley in Berkeley, California
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Johnathan Rodgers describes the impact of media coverage of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy's assassination in 1963
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Johnathan Rodgers talks about his journalistic aspirations and activities at University of California, Berkeley in Berkeley, California
  • Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Johnathan Rodgers remembers his leadership aspirations as a student at University of California, Berkeley in Berkeley, California
  • Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Johnathan Rodgers recalls boycotting Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s speech at University of California, Berkeley in Berkeley, California, pt. 1
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Johnathan Rodgers recalls boycotting Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s speech at University of California, Berkeley in Berkeley, California, pt. 2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Johnathan Rodgers explains his reason for pursuing sports journalism
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Johnathan Rodgers remembers his reception as an African American sports journalist in the 1960s
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Johnathan Rodgers remembers joining Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity at University of California, Berkeley in Berkeley, California
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Johnathan Rodgers remembers interning at Time Inc. in New York, New York
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Johnathan Rodgers talks about researching 'The Plight of the Black Athlete' for Sports Illustrated in the late 1960s
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Johnathan Rodgers talks about journalism chronicling the treatment of African American athletes during the 1960s
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Johnathan Rodgers talks about writing for Sports Illustrated
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Johnathan Rodgers recalls becoming editor of Newsweek's urban affairs section
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Johnathan Rodgers describes his experience at Newsweek
  • Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Johnathan Rodgers remembers refusing to sign United States Oath of Allegiance when drafted by the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War
  • Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Johnathan Rodgers remembers his experience in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Johnathan Rodgers explains his decision to attend graduate school at Stanford University in Stanford, California
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Johnathan Rodgers describes his experience at Stanford University in Stanford, California
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Johnathan Rodgers explains why he entered television management
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Johnathan Rodgers reflects upon the movement of African Americans into television management and production
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Johnathan Rodgers recalls lessons he learned while reporting for NBC News in Cleveland, Ohio
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Johnathan Rodgers talks about leaving NBC in Cleveland, Ohio to follow his partner, Royal Kennedy, to Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Johnathan Rodgers recalls being hired as assistant news director at WBBM-TV in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Johnathan Rodgers details his transition from television reporting to management
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Johnathan Rodgers explains the impact of television ratings on management decisions
  • Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Johnathan Rodgers recalls his programming goals as assistant news director at WBBM-TV in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Johnathan Rodgers talks about his membership in the National Association of Black Journalists
  • Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Johnathan Rodgers talks about his return to television production at KCBS-TV in Los Angeles, California
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Johnathan Rodgers describes the long-news format at KCBS-TV in Los Angeles, California
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Johnathan Rodgers talks about his role as station manager at KCBS-TV in Los Angeles, California
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Johnathan Rodgers remembers becoming an executive producer for CBS News in New York, New York
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Johnathan Rodgers recalls his experiences as executive producer of 'CBS Morning News'
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Johnathan Rodgers recalls becoming general manager for WBBM-TV in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Johnathan Rodgers explains the purview of owned and operated television stations and general managers
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Johnathan Rodgers talks about the changes to network news broadcasts in the mid-1980s
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Johnathan Rodgers describes his responsibilities as president of CBS Television Stations
  • Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Johnathan Rodgers talks about his transition from CBS Television Stations to Discovery Networks U.S.
  • Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Johnathan Rodgers shares his enthusiasm for Discovery Networks U.S.
  • Tape: 6 Story: 11 - Johnathan Rodgers describes his tenure as president of Discovery Networks U.S.
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Johnathan Rodgers describes the development of non-fiction programming at Discovery Networks U.S.
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Johnathan Rodgers remembers discarded ideas for channels at Discovery Networks U.S.
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Johnathan Rodgers talks about the success of The Learning Channel's programming
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Johnathan Rodgers describes his collaboration with HistoryMaker Alfred Liggins III to form TV One
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Johnathan Rodgers details TV One's audience demographics
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Johnathan Rodgers describes the relationship between TV One and Comcast Cable Communications, LLC
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Johnathan Rodgers reflects upon his vision for TV One
  • Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Johnathan Rodgers talks about the reason for showing reruns on TV One
  • Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Johnathan Rodgers details TV One's original programming
  • Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Johnathan Rodgers talks about TV One's production and distribution
  • Tape: 7 Story: 11 - Johnathan Rodgers explains why 'Get the Hook Up' is his favorite TV One show
  • Tape: 7 Story: 12 - Johnathan Rodgers shares TV One's distribution goals
  • Tape: 7 Story: 13 - Johnathan Rodgers reflects upon his life
  • Tape: 7 Story: 14 - Johnathan Rodgers talks about his relationship with his wife, Royal Kennedy
  • Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Johnathan Rodgers talks about balancing his and his wife's careers
  • Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Johnathan Rodgers shares advice for pursuing a career in television management or reporting
  • Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Johnathan Rodgers shares his perspective on the future of television programming
  • Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Johnathan Rodgers describes his concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Johnathan Rodgers describes how he would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Johnathan Rodgers talks about the impact of involving African Americans in television management and production