PROFILE: Comm. Week Guest Gary Corbitt

By Gian Louis Thompson |
Photo courtesy Gary Corbitt

Gary Corbitt has led a long and illustrious career in the field of Communications. However, prior to his journey with communications, Corbitt was unsure of where his life would take him.

Corbitt called New York City his home for many of his early years. He lived in the Bronx as an only child. His mother worked as a nurse and his father, a physical therapist. During his high school years, Corbitt competed in track and field. Like many high school students, Corbitt knew not what he wanted to pursue for higher learning.

Upon his high school graduation, Corbitt went on to follow a marketing and business interest at Howard University in Washington, D.C. It was there where he developed a love for the business aspect of communications. Corbitt believes that passion should be held for anything pursued in life and provides valuable words for any young people.

“Strive for something that you’re passionate about. Students should mind that area that they love,” said Corbitt.

Upon acquisition of a bachelor of arts in Marketing from Howard University, he earned the position of Senior Research Analyst with the ABC Television Network in New York.

Then, in 1974, Corbitt decided that he would take a position at WJXT Jacksonville as Research Director. He remains at this position to this day.

“I’m fortunate that I still love what I do,” said Corbitt.

In 1984, Corbitt was named Research Director for Post Newsweek Stations, Inc. Corbitt also represents Post Newsweek as a Board Member of the Media Rating Council (MRC), and the Broadcast Education Association (BEA). He also currently holds a position on the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Committee on Local Television Audience Measurement (COLTAM). Here, he is leading an effort to cultivate the broadcast research industry called the Broadcast Research Initiative (BRI). For the future, Corbitt hopes to link the worlds of both of his passions.

“I’m working to link the [broadcast research] industry with the academic world,” said Corbitt.

Corbitt is also a team member representing the industry for the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism & Mass Communication. He also chairs the University of Florida Telecommunications Advisory Board. For his local endeavors, Gary is a board member of the Jacksonville Community Council Inc. (JCCI).

Corbitt primarily continues his education today by reading books and periodicals. He has offered this knowledge and expertise to his community by speaking at national conferences on local market research and ethnic research issues, including forums to teachers and students.

For leisure, Corbitt is a frequent long-distance runner. He also enjoys golfing, Jazz and oldies music, and reading “everything.”

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