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Ross McDuffie
August 17, 2022

Cutting-edge curriculum and mentoring lead to executive leadership in multimedia

As president of Madison Media Partners in Madison, Wisconsin, Ross McDuffie ’07 oversees the 200-person company that produces the Wisconsin State Journal,, The Capital Times and additional media brands. Through multiple platforms, the company creates content and curates conversations with people throughout Wisconsin and the upper Midwest.

McDuffie got his professional start as a communication major at Berry College, where forward-thinking coursework and mentoring prepared him for real-life industry change. “My Berry experience built a foundation I’ve used to lead on the front lines of modernizing an industry in flux.” he says. “I am a thought leader in the communication industry because I trained under trailblazing thought leadership at Berry. Visual storytelling, writing for digital platforms, the proliferation of social platforms as a pillar of societal change — the communication department covered these topics in the mid-2000s.”

After graduating from Berry, McDuffie jumped into the media industry locally and received two Emmy nominations for his visual journalism work. Eager to explore new horizons at the crossroads of storytelling, audience insight and media strategy, he spent another decade in Georgia, focusing on sales, marketing and business intelligence for The McClatchy Company.

In 2020, Lee Enterprises recruited McDuffie to lead Madison Media Partners, one of their flagship markets. He started as vice president for sales and was promoted in December 2021 to president of the multimedia company.

“The way we tell stories and the way we support and create content has changed dramatically over the decades we’ve been in business, and my primary focus is helping to navigate that transformation,” he says. “We do that through continuing the legacy of quality local journalism — telling the stories of south-central Wisconsin and making sure our platforms and product suite remain the best in the region.”

Years after graduation, McDuffie notes the lasting impact of his professional development at Berry, especially the two years he worked for Professor and Department Chair of Communication Brian Carroll. He was involved at all levels, from assisting with publishing a book to teaching courses and organizing events.

“Dr. Carroll also challenged me to think more globally, introducing me to new cultures and research that went beyond coursework alone,” he says. “Carroll’s insatiable hunger for learning and the example he set for being a lifelong learner continue to inspire me to this day.”

Photo Credit: Ruthie Hauge, visual journalist for The Cap Times

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