Gray Television Launching Journalism Training for Mississippi Schools

By Kevin Eck 

Gray Television said it’s creating a media training center in partnership with its Jackson, Miss. NBC affiliate WLBT.

The station group said The Gray Media Training Center will “prepare students for today’s unique operating environment, while simultaneously improving diversity, equity, and inclusion in media.”

The choice of WLBT is a symbolic one. More than 50 years ago, the FCC revoked the station’s broadcast license because its then-licensee failed to serve the public interest and specifically failed to serve the Black community in the Jackson area.


Gray said the center will educate and train students who attend Mississippi colleges and universities with a focus on Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the state, namely Jackson State, Alcorn State, Mississippi Valley State, Rust College and Tougaloo College. Students who are selected to participate in the Center’s programs will learn about broadcast and digital journalism along with hands-on training in production, sales, operations, IT, engineering, coding and marketing.

“We want to teach and train the students of today in a real-world environment, so they can become the future leaders of our industry for decades to come,” said Gray executive chairman and ceo Hilton H. Howell. “We’re excited about this project and the opportunities it will create for students and for our industry.”

“We are truly honored to host this training facility,” said WLBT vp and gm Ted Fortenberry. “For the past several decades, WLBT has been a local institution that affirmatively serves the entire local community. Starting this year, the WLBT team and resources will be directly involved in expanding opportunities in media for Mississippi students and especially for students of the state’s HBCUs through cutting-edge, immersive training programs right here in Jackson.”

The Gray Media Training Center is expected to officially launch in late August.