Alison Overholt, editor-in-chief of ESPN The Magazine, will give the William J. O’Neil Lecture in Business Journalism at SMU at 4 p.m. on April 4.
The first female editor of a national sports magazine, Overholt will speak about her experiences in rising to the top in a male-dominated industry, and about the growing prominence of women in sports. The lecture takes place in O’Donnell Hall, Room 2130 of the Owen Arts Center, 6101 Bishop Blvd. on the SMU campus. Admission is free, and tickets are not required. For further information call 214-768-3695. The O’Neil Lecture Series is presented by the Division of Journalism at SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts.
Overholt serves as editor-in-chief of both ESPN The Magazine (since February 2016), a biweekly print publication, and espnW (since April 2014), a digital product suite targeted to female athletes and their fans. At espnW, she is responsible for developing comprehensive content strategies through digital, mobile, social, print, video and events. At ESPN The Magazine, she drives collaborative, innovative approaches to storytelling, with oversight of producing ESPN’s multiplatform enterprise content. Under her direction, ESPN The Magazine just won the magazine industry’s highest honor, the 2017 National Magazine Award for General Excellence.
Overholt first joined ESPN in 2005 as general editor, sports business and lifestyle for ESPN The Magazine. In 2007, she was elevated to senior editor, special projects, ESPN The Magazine, overseeing its enterprise and investigative team, as well as managing the publication’s Olympics and X Games coverage. In 2009, Overholt was part of ESPN’s early efforts to research and develop a sports media offering for women and was espnW’s founding editor.
She began her career as a writer and editor at Fast Company magazine, and her writing has also appeared in Fortune, The Wall Street Journal, O: The Oprah Magazine, MORE, Working Mother, Cosmopolitan, Inc., Sports Illustrated: Women and Fitness. In 2011, she launched her own digital content strategy company, 183Ink, LLC, working with organizations including Hearst Publishing, NASDAQ OMX, The Robin Hood Foundation, Trinity Wall Street, The Breast Cancer Research Foundation and the New York City Economic Development Corporation to develop apps, craft digital and social media content strategies, and manage digital redesigns. Overholt has also served as an adjunct professor at New York University’s Preston Robert Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism and Sports Management since 2012.
She was twice named to the TJFR/News Bios 30 Under 30 Rising Stars list (2003 and 2004), and received the AAJA National Print Journalism Award (2005, Unlimited Subject Matter) for her writing in Fast Company. Overholt was the editor on ESPN stories that earned the Dick Schaap Excellence in Sports Journalism Award (2007) and both magazine and internet category wins from the New York Press Club Awards for Journalism (2010). She was a member of the ASME National Magazine Award-winning team for General Excellence at ESPN The Magazine in 2006. She graduated with honors from Harvard University with an A.B. in government.
The William J. O’Neil Lecture Series in Business Journalism brings outstanding business journalism professionals to the SMU campus each semester. It is part of a cooperative program in financial reporting developed in 2007 by the Meadows School Division of Journalism and the Cox School of Business at SMU, through funding from William J. O’Neil, an SMU alumnus and chairman and CEO of Investor’s Business Daily.
The Division of Journalism, under Belo Distinguished Chair Tony Pederson, offers concentrations in all media – broadcast, print and internet – through its convergence journalism program. With the help of a gift from The Belo Foundation, the Division has become one of the few journalism schools in the country to provide hands-on experience through a new digital newsroom, television studio and website.