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Four Industry Veterans Join Media Institute Board of Trustees

FOR RELEASE: December 9, 2008

Contact: Richard T. Kaplar
The Media Institute


Washington, Dec. 9, 2008 – Four communications-industry veterans with extensive Washington experience were elected to the Board of Trustees of The Media Institute at the board’s annual meeting today in Washington. The new trustees are Susan Eid of DIRECTV, John Lawson of ION Media Networks, Susan Mann of Microsoft, and Steve Vest of Time Warner.

Susan Eid is Senior Vice President of Government and Regulatory Affairs for DIRECTV. Eid oversees all federal and state regulatory and legislative issues impacting DIRECTV.  Prior to joining DIRECTV in 2004, Eid served for three years as a senior public policy advisor to former FCC chairman Michael Powell on all media issues including satellite, broadcast, cable television, and broadband issues.

John Lawson is Executive Vice President, Policy and Strategic Initiatives for ION Media Networks.  Lawson came to ION from his role as President and CEO of the Association of Public Television Stations (APTS), the national advocacy organization for U.S. public television. Lawson was a founding board member of the Open Mobile Video Coalition (OMVC) and was elected to its Executive Committee.

Susan O. Mann serves as Senior Director of Intellectual Property Policy for Microsoft Corporation.  Previously, Mann worked for nine years as a principal in the government relations firm of Griffin, Johnson, Dover & Stewart. Mann has also served as Administrator for the Office of Legislative and International Affairs at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and as an aide on Capitol Hill.

Steve Vest serves as Senior Vice President for Global Public Policy with Time Warner Inc. He began his career on Capitol Hill as Legislative Assistant to Rep. Bill Richardson (D-N.M.) and later as Legislative Director and Chief of Staff to Rep. Thomas J. Manton (D-N.Y.). Since 1997, Vest has held industry posts with News Corporation, Gemstar—TV Guide International, and most recently NCTA.

“These four individuals bring to the board a wealth of communications-industry and government experience that will be of great value to The Media Institute,” said Patrick Maines, president of the Institute.

The Media Institute’s Board of Trustees is comprised of representatives from the broadcasting, cable, satellite, online, and print industries, as well as communications attorneys.  The board is chaired by former FCC chairman Richard E. Wiley, senior partner of Wiley Rein in Washington, D.C.  For more information about the Institute, visit