SMPA Mourns the Loss of Michael Freedman

September 20, 2023

Michael Freedman

The SMPA community mourns the loss of legendary broadcaster, former GW vice president for communications, journalism professor, and father to two GW alumni, Michael Freedman.

“As vice president for communications at GW Mike helped tell the University's story, as a professor he inspired generations of students to tell theirs,” said SMPA Director Peter Loge. His commitment to GW and broadcasting helped build our community. Through our community, Mike's legacy will live on.”

Freedman had an indelible impact on SMPA and the George Washington University. At GW, he forged groundbreaking partnerships with CNN, The National Press Club, POLITICO, and the Newseum and led the university’s production of more than 700 CNN Crossfire telecasts live from the Jack Morton Auditorium

Listening to the Detroit Tigers on a transistor radio as a young boy ignited Mike’s decades-long career in broadcast journalism. He spent 15 years as an award-winning reporter, anchor, sportscaster, and news director in Detroit radio. Later he served as president of the National Press Club, general manager of CBS Radio Network, managing editor for the Broadcast Division of United Press International, vice president and professor at GW, and senior vice president and journalist in residence at University of Maryland Global Campus.  

At CBS News, Freedman partnered with Walter Cronkite on the legendary newsman’s final programming for the network and also served as executive producer of the three-hour CBS News 20th Century Roundup, anchored by Dan Rather. For nearly 30 years, he also served as executive producer of the multi award-winning Kalb Report public broadcasting series, moderated by Marvin Kalb.

As President of the National Press Club, Freedman provided journalists with a safe space to work and meet during the height of the COVID pandemic, social justice protests, a presidential election and its aftermath, a failed insurrection and a presidential inauguration.

Freedman and his teams earned more than 85 honors including 14 Edward R. Murrow awards. He co-authored The Broadcast Voice Handbook and was a contributing author to Broadcasting Through Crisis, Responsible Journalism and The Encyclopedia of Journalism

SMPA and GW send our deepest condolences to Freedman’s family, including his wife Renee, his two sons and five grandchildren. Since 2011, Mike and his family’s generous contributions to the school have helped numerous SMPA students with financial need. If you have a story to share about Professor Freedman, please send to [email protected]