TFI Technology Conference Speaker

August (Augie) Grant

J. Rion McKissick Professor of Journalism, School of Journalism and Mass Communications, College of Mass Communications and Information Studies, University of South Carolina

J. Rion McKissick Professor of Journalism and Director of the Center for Teaching Excellence at the University of South Carolina

Dr. August E. (“Augie”) Grant is a technology futurist who specializes in research on new media technologies and consumer behavior. His teaching and research combine the study of traditional and emerging media, with emphases on media management, organizational structure, integrated communication and consumer behavior. He specializes in integrating both quantitative and qualitative research to provide a rich understanding of consumer behavior. In the past twenty years, he has conducted or supervised more than 120 survey research projects. On the qualitative side, he has conducted more than 60 focus groups since 1998. He has written numerous journal articles and conference papers dealing with adoption and use of emerging communication technologies, broadband services, audience behavior, and theories of new media.

Grant is also one of the most prominent academics working in the field of convergent journalism. He is coeditor of Understanding Media Convergence: The State of the Field and co-author of Principles of Convergent Journalism, both published by Oxford University Press. He work in media convergence includes founding and serving for five years as Executive Editor of The Convergence Newsletter, chairing nine national conferences on convergent journalism since 2002, and directing the Newsplex Summer Seminar program to train academics in convergent journalism.

Dr. Grant is best known as Editor of Communication Technology Update and Fundamentals, a biennial review of the latest developments in consumer electronics, telephony, electronic mass media, and satellite technology. The Update, as of 2014, in its 14th edition, is produced in cooperation with Austin-based Technology Futures, Inc. It is used extensively in industry and has become one of the top-selling textbooks in the field of Communication Technology.

His first teaching job was at Sam Houston State University in 1983. After completing his doctorate at the University of Southern California, he joined the faculty of the University of Texas at Austin. He was the UT representative to the Texas Association of Broadcast Educators from1989 through 1997. During that time he served as President, Secretary, and Treasurer of TABE, as well as representing TABE on the Texas Association of Broadcasters Board of Directors. He also served on the board of the Texas Broadcast Education Foundation, spearheading fund-raising events to fund new scholarships for prospective Texas broadcasters. Since 1994, Grant has been a consultant to the Texas Association of Broadcasters, conducting a variety of research projects including TAB’s annual Public Service Study. Grant currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Broadcast Education Association.

Dr. Grant has also been published in virtually every major academic journal in the communication field, including Journal of Communication, Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media, Journal of Media Economics, and Communication Research. The major theme of his research studies is the application of theory to understand practical problems and emerging phenomena in the communication industries. Dr. Grant is also a frequent speaker on consumer behavior and market opportunities for emerging technologies.

Dr. Grant began a career in local broadcasting while earning his undergraduate degree in Telecommunications from the University of Florida. His subsequent work in radio, television, and corporate communications inspired him to return to the University of Florida to earn a Master’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication. He subsequently joined the faculty of the Radio-Television-Film Department at Sam Houston State University. The appeal of a career in research led to doctoral studies at the Annenberg School for Communications at the University of Southern California. After completing his doctorate, he began a new dual career as an academic and industry consultant, with clients including the Fox Broadcasting Network, the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Group W Productions, and Nielsen Media Research. After spending nine years with the Department of Radio-Television-Film at the University of Texas at Austin, he became the founding Director of the Center for Mass Communication Research in the College of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of South Carolina. From 1998 through 2000, he was Director of Market Research for a 2Wire, Inc., a telecommunications start-up located in San Jose, California. He rejoined the USC faculty in 2002.