March 26, 2014 / 8:25 PM / 6 years ago

HuffPo editor Willow Bay to head California journalism school

Walt Disney Company CEO Robert Iger and wife Willow Bay arrive at the 86th Academy Awards in Hollywood, California March 2, 2014. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Journalist Willow Bay, senior editor at The Huffington Post and wife of Walt Disney Co. chief executive Bob Iger, on Wednesday was named the new director of the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School of Journalism.

Bay, also a special correspondent and host for Bloomberg TV, has been working in journalism since the early 1990s, including co-hosting stints at ABC News’ “Good Morning America/Sunday,” CNN’s “Moneyline News Hour” and NBC’s “Early Today.”

Bay said she wanted to put a focus on equipping students with a fluency in covering stories across multimedia platforms as jobs in traditional journalism decline in the digital age.

“There are exciting opportunities to make broader and deeper connections across journalism, media, entertainment, communications and all sorts of digital startups,” Bay said in a telephone interview.

USC Annenberg has historically been considered one of the top journalism schools in the United States, along with other schools like Columbia University, Northwestern University and the University of Missouri. Full undergraduate tuition, living costs and other fees run at around $62,000 annually.

Bay will start her new position in July, coinciding with the opening of the Wallis Annenberg Hall, an 88,000 square foot building that will feature a state-of-the-art newsroom for students, equipped with multimedia technology.

Bay married Iger in 1995 and the two form one of Hollywood’s preeminent power couples. Iger has been Disney’s CEO since 2005 and is planning to step down from that role in 2016.

(This story has been refiled to correct paragraph five to show figure reflects tuition and living costs)

Reporting by Piya Sinha-Roy; Editing by Mary Milliken and Andrew Hay

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