Rick Kaplan has been a broadcast journalist for more than 40 years for four major news networks, in positions ranging from field production and news coverage to senior decision-making and program creation.
He now heads a consulting and production company that he founded, KAPLAN MEDIA PARTNERS, which works with a variety of communications companies, from television networks to the Internet.
TELEVISION PRODUCTION AND NETWORK NEWS
In the late 1960s Rick’s career in television production began in Chicago, but he quickly made the move to network television as an Associate Producer for the CBS Morning News and for new legend Walter Cronkite on The CBS Evening News from 1974-1979. He returned to CBS in 2007 as Executive Producer of The CBS Evening News with Katie Couric through 2011.
From 1979 to 1997, Kaplan held a variety of high-level positions at ABC News and the ABC Television Network, including Senior Producer for ABC News World News Tonight; Executive Producer for Good Morning America News; for ABC News Nightline and Primetime Live; and for ABC News World News Tonight with Peter Jennings; as Senior Vice President of ABC News he oversaw the news division’s hard news programs which include World News Tonight, Nightline, This week with George Stephanopoulos, World News Tonight Saturday and Sunday, World News Now, and World News This Morning as well as ABC News’ Political Unit; he was also Executive Producer of “This Week with Christiane Amanpour”; and Executive Producer in Charge of Political Coverage, Specials & the 2012 Elections.
As President from 2004-2006 he is credited with stabilizing the previously volatile MSNBC schedule, improving daily news coverage, and better coordinating various cable-broadcast network news assets. He also produced major news events including Election Night 2004 and A Concert for Hurricane Relief, the latter being a one-hour musical event that aired across all NBC networks.
As President of CNN-U.S. from 1997-2000, Kaplan was responsible for all news and programming at the flagship network of the CNN News Group. He further enhanced the network’s reputation as the world’s television news leader by instituting a highly-rated news class of instant news specials, revamped the network’s programming lineup with a new program schedule and anchor teams, and increased the number of hours of hard news programming during the weekends.
In addition, for more than 15 years, Mr. Kaplan has been actively involved with journalism departments at a number of leading universities teaching, lecturing and working as a Fellow.
Adjunct Professor and Lecturer
University of Illinois College of Communications in Champaign-Urbana University of Illinois (Awarded honorary Doctor of Letters); Duke University; Columbia University; Cornell University; Wellesley College; Boston College; Columbia College; University of Southern California; University of California, Berkeley
In January of 2001, Rick was chosen to be the visiting Lombardi Lecturer at the Shorenstein Center for Press, Politics and Public Policy of the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He was asked to remain at Harvard for the complete academic year and was named a Fellow of the Shorenstein Center. In August of 2003 he was appointed an adjunct Fellow and he continues to consult and lecture at Harvard in this capacity.
AWARDS AND HONORS
Mr. Kaplan has received numerous awards for his work, including 47 Emmy Awards, 4 Overseas Press Club Awards, 3 George Foster Peabody Awards, 2 George Polk Awards, 4 Ohio State Awards, 4 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards and 2 Gold Batons, 12 Headliner Awards, 8 Cine Eagles for Journalistic Excellence, and the Distinguished Service Award and Bronze Medallion from the Professional Society of Journalists, Sigma Delta Chi.
In August of 2012 Rick founded KAPLAN MEDIA PARTNERS, a company dedicated to producing quality news programming and structured to assist private industry as it navigates the new world of social media while meeting the challenges of dealing with mainstream media. KMP will offer media training, deliver crisis management expertise, and consult with organizations on improving their intra-corporate communications.
KMP is currently working with HBO and series creator Aaron Sorkin on the network’s program NEWSROOM as a Creative Consultant for Season Two (September 2012-2013).