Comet Conference Bio: Mr. Joe Urschel
8 Sep 2010
Joe Urschel is senior vice president/sales and marketing for the Newseum, the interactive museum of news which opened April 11, 2008, in Washington, D.C. He led the team of news and museum professionals that spent six years developing content - exhibitions, video, interactive productions - and services for the seven-level, 250,000-square-foot museum.
Urschel was named executive director in June 1997, just two months after the original Newseum opened in Arlington, Va. From 1997 until the Newseum closed in March 2002, museum attendance grew from 414,000 in its first full year of operation to more than 482,000 visitors in 2001. In less than five years of operation in Arlington, the Newseum welcomed more than 2.25 million visitors.
Urschel joined the Newseum from USA TODAY, where he held several key roles during his 14-year career at the nation's largest circulation newspaper. Those included managing editor/Life section, managing editor/special projects and senior writer. In addition, he wrote a twice-weekly column for the editorial pages.
He was a member of the team that developed "USA TODAY on TV," a nationally syndicated daily news program, and worked as its supervising producer during its year-and-a-half-long run.
Urschel began his journalism career in high school, correcting proofs for Star-Tribune publications, a group of newspapers in suburban Chicago. He joined that group as a reporter and features editor after graduating from the University of Illinois in 1974. He later worked for the Detroit Free Press as a reporter, critic, associate magazine editor and assistant Sunday editor.
He sits on the board of directors of the Peabody Awards, the oldest awards program for electronic media, at the University of Georgia Grady College of Journalism. In addition, he is a member of the board of directors at Destination DC, the convention and tourism corporation for the nation's capital.
His journalism honors include awards from the National Association of Newspaper Columnists and the National Association of Sunday and Feature Editors. He won an Emmy Award for a news documentary on campus crime that he wrote and co-produced.
He and his wife, Donna, a former reporter for the Detroit Free Press, have two children and live in McLean, Va.