Don Browne has seen everything – and knows everyone – in the news business.

He rose from the head of NBC’s Miami news operation to the network’s executive vice president of news, where he ran the storied “Today” show and oversaw the creation of “Dateline NBC.” When NBC bought Telemundo, the network tapped him to run all aspects of the Spanish language network.

When the network was sold, Browne resigned to start his own media consulting business. He will draw on his 44 years in the television industry in “The Transformation of the News Media: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow,” the opening talk in the 2015-16 New Topics New College discussion series, at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 15, at New College’s Sainer Pavilion.

Among his topics will be the transformation of the “Today Show,” Katie Couric’s unlikely rise from a reporter to media icon, the Walter Cronkite and the Brian Williams connection, and Williams’ rise and fall – and rise again.

New Topics New College is a collaboration of the New College Foundation and New College of Florida. This dynamic community series features national speakers on relevant topics of our time, and allows the audience the opportunity to ask questions of the speakers.

The other speakers in this year’s series will be:

  • Frank Pearl González, Colombia’s High Commissioner for Peace , on “Havana Peace Negotiations with the FARC Guerrilla Movement in Colombia,” at 5:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 23. Presented by the Sarasota World Affairs Council.
  • Dr. Talya Fishman, Professor of Religious Studies and Modern Intellectual History at the University of Pennsylvania, on “How Did Jews Become the People of the Talmud? The Metamorphosis of Oral Torah in Medieval Europe,” at 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 19. Presented by New College’s Klingenstein Chair of Judaic Studies.
  • Douglas Duncan, chair of the Fannie Mae Corporate House Price Forecast Committee, on “Putting Housing in Context,” at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, April 28. Presented by Cumberland Advisors and The Global Interdependence Center.

All events are the College’s Mildred Sainer Pavilion, 5313 Bay Shore Road, immediately south of the Ringling Museum. Tickets for the New Topics New College discussion series are $20 for individual events or $35 for the entire series. For reservations, call 487-4000 or visit

Calendar Listing:

What: New Topics New College presents “The Transformation of the News Media: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow,” with Don Browne, former president of Telemundo Communications Group and executive vice president of NBC News.

When:  5:30 p.m. Thursday, October 15

Where: Mildred Sainer Pavilion, 5313 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota (immediately south of Ringling Museum)

Reservations: $20 for event, $35 for entire series, or free to New College faculty, staff and students. Call 487-4000 or visit