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Willow Bay named director of USC's journalism school

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Journalist Willow Bay has been named director of the journalism school at USC's Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, the university announced Wednesday.

Bay, 50, is a senior editor at the Huffington Post and a special correspondent and host for Bloomberg TV. She also has been a producer, author and television news anchor, and is married to Bob Iger, chairman and chief executive of Walt Disney Co.

“The breadth of Willow Bay’s experiences, skills and talents is extraordinary,” said Ernest James Wilson III, dean of the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, in a statement. “Her leadership will help our innovative school aggressively continue our path of creating -- and defining -- the digital future.”

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Bay has co-anchored ABC's "Good Morning America/Sunday" and CNN's "Moneyline News Hour," and was the lead writer and producer of CNN's weekend news program "Pinnacle."

Bay also has experience in sports journalism. She co-hosted "NBA Inside Stuff," the long-running basketball news show that aired on ABC and NBC.

She will begin the job in July. Bay said in a statement that she has gotten to know Annenberg graduates while working at the Huffington Post.

"I look forward to leading the school as it educates and inspires the next generation of journalists and public relations professionals for the future and contributes groundbreaking academic research into these fields," she said. 

Bay, one half of one of Hollywood's most prominent couples and known for her on-camera journalism, is a high-profile hire for USC. The previous two directors of the journalism school have been award-winning print journalists. 

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Former Los Angeles Times editor in chief Michael Parks was named interim director of the school last April. Parks, who won the Pulitzer Prize for international reporting in 1987, had previously been director of the journalism school from 2001 to 2008. He left The Times in 2000. 

Geneva Overholser was director of the school of journalism from 2008 until mid-2013. She had a long stint as editor of the Des Moines Register in the late 1980s and 1990s, leading the newspaper to a Pulitzer Prize for public service.

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