2018 Reed Sarratt Distinguished Lecture with Ken Auletta

Tuesday, October 23, 2018 - 4:00pm

111 Carroll Hall

About the event

Ken Auletta, staff writer for The New Yorker and author of 11 books, will deliver the Reed Sarratt Distinguished Lecture at the UNC School of Media and Journalism on Tuesday, Oct. 23, at 4 p.m. in 111 Carroll Hall.


In his most recent book, "Frenemies: The Epic Disruption of the Ad Business (and Everything Else)," Auletta considers the $2 trillion global advertising and marketing business, and reports on the many newspapers, magazines, TV and radio stations – as well as digital enterprises – it supports.

In the keynote lecture, “Frenemies: Winners and Losers in the Advertising Wars,” Auletta will examine the age of disruption — from the perspective of advertising’s most powerful players, and through the lens of the “frenemy” relationships now shaping the industry’s future.

Following the lecture, Auletta will have an on-stage discussion with Teaching Assistant Professor Gary Kayye and top MJ-school students.


  • Welcome and introduction by Dean Susan King
  • Keynote by Ken Auletta 
  • Discussion with Teaching Assistant Professor Gary Kayye and students 

Keynote speaker

Staff writer for The New Yorker and author of 11 books, including five national bestsellers, Ken Auletta is “the James Bond of the media world,” as BusinessWeek put it. His high-profile interviews and commentary have been a staple of our culture for decades, providing a roadmap for where society has been and where it’s going. In ranking him as America’s premier media commentator, the Columbia Journalism Review concluded, “No other reporter has covered the news communication business as thoroughly.”

In his award-winning “Annals of Communications,” Auletta writes on the future of media and communication, and the disruption it brings to our lives. He chronicles major events and explores the powerful people shaping the Internet, social media, television, Hollywood, newspaper, publishing and technology industries. His profiles have revealed with unique intimacy the inner-workings of such famous media personalities as Rupert Murdoch, Google’s Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg and Mark Zuckerberg, Netflix’s Reed Hastings, Harvey Weinstein, Barry Diller, the editors and publisher of The New York Times, and Bill Gates. His profile of Ted Turner, “The Lost Tycoon,” won a National Magazine Award as the Year’s Best Profile.

For Auletta's latest book, "Frenemies: The Epic Disruption of the Ad Business (and Everything Else)," he decided to “follow the money” of the advertising and marketing industry, and reports on the many newspapers, magazines, TV and radio stations — as well as digital enterprises — it supports. Frenemies was called  “a bright, informative take on an industry in turmoil” in its Kirkus Review.

"Googled: The End of the World as We Know It" was a New York Times bestseller and named one of the 10 Best Books of the Year by BusinessWeek. His other national bestsellers include "Greed and Glory on Wall Street," named one of the “Best books about Wall Street” by Yahoo Finance; "Three Blind Mice: How the TV Networks Lost Their Way;" "The Highwaymen: Warriors of the Information Superhighway;" and "World War 3.0: Microsoft and Its Enemies."

Auletta’s ability to be welcomed in rarely visited sanctums has allowed him to take readers into a judge’s chambers during the Microsoft Trials, a Murdoch and John Malone business summit negotiation, Viacom board meetings, New York Times front page deliberations and White House communications team meetings. The stunning interviews he conducted with the federal judge who presided over the Microsoft Antitrust Case were cited by the U.S. Court of Appeals to reverse the judge’s decision.

Auletta has served as a Pulitzer Prize juror, been named a Literary Lion by the New York Public Library, has for several decades been a National Judge of the Annual Livingston Awards for Young Journalists, and was selected one of the 20th century’s top 100 business journalists by a distinguished panel of his peers.



Gary Kayye

Gary Kayye

A graduate of the UNC School of Media and Journalism, Gary Kayye teaches courses in new media and its impact on the future of advertising, marketing and public relations, a personal and professional branding class and Principles of Advertising. He is recognized as a social media and new media technology expert, especially in the B2B markets.

Kayye has worked in technology branding and marketing for 25+ years. He was the founder of rAVe [Publications] - the leading global AV tech publication - and is currently Director and Founder of THE rAVe Agency - a full-service creative agency.



Carter Guensler

Carter Guensler is a fourth year Morehead-Cain scholar from Atlanta, Georgia. Studying Environmental Science and Dramatic Arts, they hope to one day write a hit Broadway musical about climate change.

When not on the stage, Carter spends their time biking, climbing, shooting travel photography, and working to launch the new UNC podcast: Born Bred Dead.




Lauren Houston

Lauren Houston is a second-year master’s candidate in the UNC School of Media and Journalism studying strategic communication. Her passions include improving diversity and inclusion practices in the business sector and enhancing corporate social responsibility programming. She is the senior research assistant and writer for the Carolina Graduate Magazine and holds several leadership positions on campus. Houston transitioned to graduate school from a five-year career at NASCAR. As manager in the Multicultural Development department, she directed the NASCAR Diversity Internship Program, which received recognition in WayUp's Top 100 Internship Programs and the NASCAR Drive for Diversity Pit Crew Development Program, which received the PR Council Diversity Distinction in PR Award in 2017. Dedicated to her work and advancing her community, she was one of the youngest recipients to recieve the “Woman on the Move” recognition by Onyx Magazine in 2017. Houston is an active member of the National Association of Black Journalists and the Asian American Journalists Association. She is from Fayetteville, N.C.


Valerie Choe

Valerie Choe is a senior in the UNC School of Media and Journalism from Atlanta. Choe is majoring in public relations with minors in Korean and studio art. Choe is a member of the photo/video committee for FashionMASH Gucci campaign this semester. Over the summer, she was a CTB global marketing intern. During the spring 2018 semester, she was a Brainbuild App public relations research intern. Choe also participated in the MEJO trip to China during the summer of 2017.

About the Reed Sarratt Distinguished Lecture Series

Reed Sarratt was a great friend of excellence in journalism and mass communication and in education for the field. For many years, he worked in Atlanta as executive director of the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association (SNPA) Foundation and then of SNPA itself. Before that, he had been a newspaperman in North Carolina.

A native of Charlotte and a 1937 graduate of UNC, he served as the inaugural president of the MJ-school's Journalism Alumni and Friends Association. He was inducted into the N.C. Journalism Hall of Fame in 1985.

Sarratt died on March 15, 1986, at age 68. He devoted much of his life to improving journalism in the South. He loved the University and the school; numerous members of the Sarratt family have graduated from the University.

The Reed Sarratt Distinguished Lecture Series brings some of the best and brightest minds in the field to the University each year to discuss matters of importance and concern, of philosophy and principle.

Learn more at mj.unc.edu/Sarratt.

For more information

For more information, contact MJ-school Director of Communications Kyle York at sky@unc.edu