Course Overview

In the city where new technologies create magic, and dreams can come true, students learn how the rapidly changing media ecosystem works. This class will dispel the myths that Hollywood is an above-the-line private club for the power elite. It will open student’s eyes to the vast career opportunities available in an industry that’s being retooled–thanks to seismic shifts in technology that have led to streaming distribution, changing viewing habits, big data, social media and globalization. Students will learn how the new rules of the game are impacting creative outputs and changing the business bottom line. And students will be armed with practical tools to meet new challenges facing the industry going forward related to:

  • News and Entertainment
  • Advertising and Marketing
  • Social Media and Gaming

This class functions on two levels: Learning and Projects
Team projects allow students to apply class teachings to real world challenges.

Each section of the class will last approximately 50-minutes with a 10-minute break. Lunch will last 30-minutes.

There will be some pre-class learning/projects and whenever possible, guest speakers and field trips will be incorporated into the curriculum.

All students who successfully complete the course will receive a Certificate of Completion and have the opportunity to request a Syracuse University noncredit transcript.

Course Objectives

  • Explain how the communications industry is evolving in the OTT era and how the changes are impacting the entertainment industry including consumers, studios, talent agencies, advertisers, marketers, writers, editors and producers.
  • Understand how Content is King and where story ideas come from. They will learn how the industry is meeting new business challenges with new types of digital content, more direct interaction with consumers, the use of more data and groundbreaking new technologies.
  • Understand how important it is to know your audience and be able to describe how viewers are consuming media and who is watching what, when, where and how.
  • Create different kinds of media projects; Scripted programming pitches, unscripted programming pitches, news stories, marketing campaigns.
  • Feel more confident speaking in front of guest speakers and an audience of their peers.

“I loved building a connection with my TA and classmates, and spending time working on a subject I’m passionate about.”

— Ryan W., Summer College – Online Student 2021

Course Information

Course Prefix and Number: TBD

Format: On Location: Los Angeles (Sherman Oaks), CA (commuter, only)

Eligibility: Students must be of rising high school junior or senior status – or a 2022 high school graduate. Students must be able to commute to and from the Los Angeles (Sherman Oaks, CA) location for class. 

Credit: Noncredit

Grading: Pass/Fail


  • Commuter, only: $2,500

Newhouse Scholarship:

A course-based scholarship opportunity is available to students who apply for pre-college courses out of the Newhouse School. Applicants who select a Newhouse course will automatically be considered for the Newhouse scholarship without the need for an additional essay. 

Program rates are subject to change and will be approved by the board of trustees. Discounts and scholarships are also available.

Program Information

Summer College – On Location: Experience what college is really like in one of Syracuse University’s homes on the west or east coasts! 

Course Dates and Details

ProgramCourse DatesLocationClass Time (Pacific Time)Credit/NoncreditStatus
Summer College – On Location2-Week Session: Monday, July 18 – Friday, July 29, 2022Los Angeles (Sherman Oaks), CAMTWThF;
10 a.m. –
2:30 p.m.
Students will break for roughly half an hour for lunch. Class times subject to change.

Course Requirements


Students should budget for required textbooks and supplies. Students should have a laptop, and professional clothing for any field trips.

Typical Day

Tentative Schedule

10 a.m. – Noon: Class Learning, Guest Speakers, Student Participation
There will be a 10minute break in the middle of the 2-hour period.

Noon – 12:30 p.m.: Lunch

12:30 – 2:30 p.m.: Team activities related to the day’s class learning
10-minute break

Field Trips

We are hoping to include 1 or more field trips during the course of the class depending upon Covid restrictions. Field trips may take us on a movie studio tour, to a meeting with a professional in his/her office and enjoy lunch in his/her studio commissary, and a visit to a Network/local news bureau to observe how news shows are assembled and see how news studios and control rooms work.
We will have in-class and remote guest speakers. The guest speakers will be professionals in the entertainment, news and marketing industries.

End Event

We plan on having a “wrap” event to celebrate the student’s successful completion of the semester and to give them an opportunity to “pitch” their work to a panel of entertainment experts.

Faculty Bios

Linda Ellman

Professor Linda Ellman is a three time Emmy Award-winning and Oscar short-listed veteran of television news and entertainment with more than 30 years experience in Local and Network News, Network, Syndicated and Cable programming.

Ms. Ellman has executive produced, produced, written, directed or consulted on programs for such companies as NBC, Paramount Domestic Television, Eyemark Entertainment, Lifetime Television, E! Hearst Entertainment, 20TH Television, Proctor and Gamble and Hasbro.

Ms. Ellman launched her own production company in 1997 when she created the Emmy Award-winning syndicated crime show, “Save Our Streets.” Under the banner of Ellman Entertainment, Ms. Ellman produced and directed the Oscar short-listed documentary, On Native Soil: Documentary of the 9/11 Commission Report, narrated by Hilary Swank and Kevin Costner. Crafting compelling stories out of mounds of material is one of Ms. Ellman’s strongest suits. As a seasoned biographer, Ms. Ellman wrote and directed dozens of Lifetime Television’s Intimate Portrait episodes including ones on such notable women as Sherry Lansing, Sharon Osborne and Audrey Hepburn.

Ms. Ellman has created and executive produced several primetime cable series and created and executive produced several daytime cable and syndicated TV series.

Ms. Ellman also created and executive produced and directed programs for corporate sponsors:

  • Reality Cable Series: “Home Made Simple” for Proctor and Gamble
  • Game Show: “Pictureka!,” Family Game Show for Hasbro
  • “DirecTV Hometown Heroes,” for DirecTV

Ms. Ellman is a graduate of Boston University’s School of Public Communications, where she studied journalism and public relations. Following college she embarked on a career as an on-air reporter at the NBC affiliate in Phoenix, Arizona (KTAR) and then in San Diego (KGTV). Realizing her best future as a journalist was behind the scenes, she became a Producer for NBC Network News, based in Burbank. As a network news producer, Ms. Ellman was an eyewitness to history at most of the major news events of the ‘70s, ‘80s and early ‘90s– from wars and natural disasters to presidential campaigns and conventions– from Tiananmen Square to the opening of the Berlin Wall. In 1991 Ms. Ellman broke into syndicated television as Supervising Producer of Entertainment Tonight. In 1993 Paramount tapped her to executive produce “Hard Copy.” Under her watch ratings quadrupled, and “Time Magazine” named “Hard Copy” one of the “Ten Best Television Programs of the Year.”

Since the Fall of 2015, Professor Ellman has been teaching the Syracuse University’s Los Angeles Semester TRF Newhouse Capstone Class: Hollywood Game Changers, about the rapidly changing media ecosystem. She is also on the Board of the Hope Street Margolis Family Center, a Community Education, Health, and Recreation Resource of California Hospital Medical Center, located in one of the poorest neighborhoods of Los Angeles.

Ms. Ellman has been grooming young producers, editors and shooters for decades. Her former “students” now hold top jobs at several Network, Cable and News outlets. Ms. Ellman’s best advice to students is simple: “Never take no for an answer. There are no problems –only solutions. Anything is possible!”

Ms. Ellman is a member of the Directors Guild, the Writers Guild and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

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