Journalist, blogger, author, copywriter and media consultant Lennie Grimaldi offers his insight and advice to University of Bridgeport Mass Communication students as he details his career when he visits Prof. Susan Katz’s introductory Public Relations class this Thursday, April 15. The event will be simulcast live on Katz’s Internet TV channel, Media Talk Live, where viewers can join in and chat via text with Grimaldi and the class. The event will start broadcasting at 9:45 a.m.
“This is the third time I’ve invited Lennie to speak with students,” said Katz. “He’s self-made, self-taught and has experienced tremendous success and suffered scandalous woes. His tale is colorful.”
An award-winning journalist, Grimaldi’s work has appeared in hundreds of newspapers and magazines including the New York Times, TV Guide, Yankee Magazine and Connecticut Magazine. His Only In Bridgeport blog won the 2008 Weekly Readers Poll for Best Blog and was designed by Prof. Katz. He also has a regular blog column at the Connecticut Post.
The author of four books, Grimaldi has written dozens of company profiles for history books and radio projects. He is the author of Connecticut Whistle Stops: Greenwich to New Haven (Arcadia) and Only In Bridgeport (first edition Windsor Publications, second edition Harbor Communications). He is also the author of Chased (New Horizon), the life of mob infiltrator Billy Chase. His 2008 book, Bow Tie Banker, tells the story of an immigrant’s unconventional rise as chief executive of the largest bank in America’s wealthiest state.
He will chronicle his career in media and include his account of spending 10 months in a federal prison, as part of Connecticut’s most notorious political scandal during Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim’s administration. His story, Hellbound Train, which appeared in Connecticut Magazine in Oct. 2004 details this part of his life.
Grimaldi also has wide-ranging corporate communications, public relations and political consulting experience. His clients have included Wal-Mart and Donald Trump. For Wal-Mart, Grimaldi directed a community and media relations campaign for the conversion of an EPA cleanup site in Stratford, CT into a new Wal-Mart retail outlet. For Trump, he handled communications during the hotly debated casino expansion issue before the Connecticut legislature. Grimaldi also directed a crisis management campaign on behalf of the City of Bridgeport in the aftermath of the L’Ambiance building collapse that took 28 lives.
He has won awards for journalistic excellence from the Connecticut Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and United Press International. Grimaldi has also written dozens of radio campaigns and corporate-crafted history programs for companies such as Louis Rich, HBO, Tropicana, Excedrin, Nivea, SNET, Blue Cross & Blue Shield, Campbell Soup and Apple.
Katz invites everyone in the University community to either attend, Wahlstrom Library/Room 503, 9:30-10:45 a.m. or join the broadcast on Live Media Talk, which begins about 9:45 a.m.