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May 22, 2023

NAB Leadership Foundation Kicks off Inaugural Emerson Coleman Fellowship

WASHINGTON, DC -- The National Association of Broadcasters Leadership Foundation’s (NABLF) inaugural Emerson Coleman Fellowship class met for the first time in-person at Hearst Tower in New York City last week. During the opening session, program participants had the opportunity to participate in TV upfronts, hear from industry executives and attend a live taping of the Tamron Hall show.

Through a partnership with Hearst, the Emerson Coleman Fellowship aims to increase the diversity and representation of individuals pursuing careers in broadcast television programming and production. Fellows are paired with a host television station to learn more about programming and production, in addition to training, professional development seminars, a capstone project, and a one-on-one mentoring session with the fellowship’s namesake, broadcast professional Emerson Coleman.

Coleman had a distinguished 32-year career at Hearst Television, serving as senior vice president of programing for 25 years until his retirement in 2022. Opening remarks were provided by NABLF Board member Jordan Wertlieb, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Hearst, and Coleman gave the closing remarks, encouraging the fellows to take full advantage of the invaluable opportunities of the program.

The 2023 Emerson Coleman Fellowship class includes:

  • Raksha Pokharel, intern, WBAL, Baltimore, MD
  • Jackson Lockhart, intern, KOAT, Albuquerque, NM
  • Maximillian Boudreaux, intern, with CoxReps, New York, NY
  • Sulaiman Bastien, intern, Fox at WTTG, Washington, D.C.
  • Ryan- Simone Duncan, intern, WTTG, Washington, D.C.

“The broadcast industry is better off because of Emerson Coleman’s decades-long career,” said NABLF President Michelle Duke. “Honoring his legacy with this fellowship is a way to share his experience, advice and wisdom with the next generation of aspiring broadcasters. This special week in New York gave our fellows a behind-the-scenes look into the heartbeat of the industry, with experiences and insights that will shape their future careers in broadcast.”

Charter sponsors of the Emerson Coleman Fellowship program are: Brooks Pierce, CBS Media Ventures, Comcast NBCUniversal, CoxReps, Debmar-Mercury, Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution, Eyewitness Kids News LLC, FOX, Katz Media Group, SmithGeiger, Soledad O’Brien & Brad Raymond, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Warner Bros. and Weigel Broadcasting Co.

About NAB Leadership Foundation

The National Association of Broadcasters Leadership Foundation (formerly the NAB Education Foundation) rebranded in 2018 in recognition of its role in developing broadcasting’s future leaders. The Foundation is dedicated to advancing the industry through leadership, diversity and community service. Learn more at

About NAB

The National Association of Broadcasters is the premier advocacy association for America's broadcasters. NAB advances radio and television interests in legislative, regulatory and public affairs. Through advocacy, education and innovation, NAB enables broadcasters to best serve their communities, strengthen their businesses and seize new opportunities in the digital age. Learn more at


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