Professor Robert Gustafson, head of the Media Management area in the Department of Cinema and Television Arts and the Director of the CSUN Entertainment Industry Institute was in Shanghai from January 11-24, 2012.
While there, Gustafson met with faculty of sister institution, the Xie Jin Film and Television Art College of Shanghai Normal University. Dean "Ben" Bingxiang Zhao hosted Gustafson and all the Art College faculty at a combined end-of- semester and New Year's party. The festivities included treasure hunts, raffles, numerous toasts, songs and trivia games with cash prizes.
Dean Zhao and Gustafson toasted absent friends Dean Robert Bucker of the Mike Curb College of Arts, Media, and Communication and Dr. Justine Su, without whom none of these wonderful relationships would exist. Gustafson won a small towel and some mysterious canned paste in a raucous raffle.
Gustafson also met multiple times with Shanghai Media Group (SMG) Chief Director, "Leon" Yong Li, at his new Dongfang Television Stations headquarters in the Pudong district. Chief Director Li was a visiting scholar in the Department of Cinema and Television Arts where Gustafson was his mentor.
Chief Director Li and Gustafson met to plan the creation of the SMG - Los Angeles Branch. SMG recently added branches in London, Singapore and Hong Kong.
In early June 2012, Gustafson will return to Shanghai and bring 6-8 senior-level television industry professionals to SMG to assist Chief Director Li in training SMG employees and the establishment of the LA branch office.
In July/August, Li and several SMG executives will visit Gustafson in Los Angeles to see various television facilities and finalize space for SMG-LA.
The SMG-LA branch will initially produce a Mandarin language entertainment news/talk program that will be distributed to Mandarin speakers throughout the world. Later, SMG-LA plans to produce a variety show.
In all cases, SMG-LA plans to use bi-lingual persons as on-air talent and hopes to have CSUN alumni in both the creative and management areas.
This is probably the first time that a China Institute visiting scholar has later established an American office and professional facility.