Texas Tech Inducts Screenwriter and Director into the Mass Comm Hall of Fame

Texas Tech University’s College of Mass Communications will honor Keith Samples at the 2011 Hall of Fame Luncheon at 11:30 a.m. Friday (Oct. 14) at the International Cultural Center.

The Mass Communications Hall of Fame was organized to recognize Texas Tech alumni who have distinguished themselves in mass communications and who have specifically aided the educational programs in the College of Mass Communications at Texas Tech.

“I am extremely honored and humbled to be recognized at the Mass Communications Hall of Fame Luncheon,” Samples said. “The people I interacted with during my years at Texas Tech, both teachers and students, have been a constant inspiration throughout my career.”

Samples earned his degree in journalism in 1977. Following his graduation, he worked as the sports information director for the university before switching his career to the television and film industry. In 1991, Samples founded and became the chief executive officer of Rysher Entertainment, a company that has grown from the production and distribution house behind such television hits as “Saved by the Bell” and “Highlander: The Series.” Rysher Entertainment also produced such Hollywood films as “Big Night” and “Kingpin.”

After leaving Rysher Entertainment, Samples made his debut in 1997 as a screenwriter with the romantic comedy, “A Smile Like Yours.” He also was the director for the 2008 action thriller, “Love Lies Bleeding.”

“Even though I grew up in small towns far away from the movie business, I always dreamed about working in film and television. Movies seemed like magic to me as a kid,” Samples said. “At Tech, I got the chance to interact with a number of people in the sports side of television through my jobs in the athletic department.”

Nominations for the Mass Communications Hall of Fame are made by students and faculty members. The nominations are made prior to the fall meeting of the Mass Communications National Professional Advisory Board for consideration for the inclusion in the annual ceremony.

Qualifications for election into the Hall of Fame include alumni who have been out of school for at least five years or a person who is not an alumnus, and who is not, at the time of the award, serving in any official capacity with Texas Tech.

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CONTACT: Andrew Hart, student assistant, College of Mass Communications, Texas Tech University, (806) 742-3385, or andrew.hart@ttu.edu.