American Civil Discourse in Our Polarized Times: A Conversation with C-SPAN Founder Brian Lamb

November 15, 2023
1:00 pm
- 2:00 pm EST



Please join us for a moderated nonpartisan conversation with Founding Director of the C-SPAN Networks, Brian Lamb, about the state of American civil discourse in what appears to be one of the most polarizing times in our politics, media, and nation. In this one-hour virtual discussion, we will take a current and historical look at civil and uncivil discourse in our country, gain insight into the world of media, and hear advice about working on the Hill. Our faculty and student moderators, as well as audience, will spend quality time with a visionary whose network has provided a public service for more than four decades to the American people.

This special event is being presented by the New American Colleges and Universities and Washington Internship Institute in cooperation with the C-SPAN Networks and is intended to engage faculty, staff, and students, and open to all people interested in the legacy created by Brian Lamb.

There is no cost to attend but registration is required. REGISTER HERE

About Brian Lamb

Photo by Delane Rouse/DC Corporate Headshots.

Brian Lamb is the Founding Director of the C-SPAN Networks. He has been an integral part of C-SPAN since he helped the cable industry launch it in 1979, serving as the nonprofit public service network’s CEO until March of 2012. Brian continues to contribute to C-SPAN as a hands-on strategic advisor and podcast host.

Brian was a regular on-air presence at C-SPAN since the network’s earliest days, hosting television’s first live viewer call in programs with members of Congress, journalists, and other newsmakers as guests. Over 15 years beginning in 1989, he interviewed 801 nonfiction authors for his weekly program, Booknotes. Five books of collected interviews have been published based on the Booknotes series. From 2004-2019, Brian hosted Q&Aan hour-long interview program with people who are making things happen in the public sphere. His sixth book of interviews, The Presidents, was published in 2019 and features a chapter on each American president.

Brian is currently producing a podcast, Booknotes+, featuring interviews with notable historians and authors. His eight-hour interview with historian Richard Norton Smith and six-hour interview with historian Douglas Brinkley were made into podcasts, Talking With…

Brian Lamb is a Hoosier, born and raised in Lafayette, Indiana. Interested in broadcasting as a child, he built crystal radio sets to pick up local signals. After graduating from Purdue, Brian joined the Navy. During the Vietnam War, his tour included the USS Thuban, White House duty during the Johnson administration and a stint in the Pentagon public affairs office.

Following his service in the Navy, Brian worked as freelance reporter for UPI Radio, as a Senate press secretary and in the White House Office of Telecommunications Policy as national strategy was being developed for communications satellites. 

In the mid 70’s he became Washington bureau chief for Cablevision magazine. Working with 22 cable television executives, C-SPAN was launched with the first televised House of Representatives debate on March 19, 1979. In 1986, C-SPAN2 was launched to carry Senate debates live, and in 2001 C-SPAN3 launched, offering live coverage of national events.