News anchor hired into new media relations position

Eric Mansfield is the assistant vice president of university communications and marketing.

Eric Mansfield is the assistant vice president of university communications and marketing.

Rex Santus

Kent State announced last week that Eric Mansfield, a television news anchor and reporter, was hired as its executive director of media relations, a new position created for Mansfield.

“As the largest public university in Northeast Ohio, we have many colleges and departments that have great news to share,” said Emily Vincent, director of University Media Relations. “We just needed more bodies.”

Mansfield said he was offered the position at Kent State by corresponding with Vincent as well as Tom Neumann, associate vice president of university communications and marketing.

“I had a chance to talk with Tom Neumann and Emily Vincent about an idea they had to expand their department, and we shared some ideas, and they really liked some of the ideas I had to present,” Mansfield said. “So we took a step forward, and they came to me with an offer for this position. I was thrilled about the opportunity.”

Mansfield will also serve as an instructor at the university, but he is unsure what classes he will be teaching.

“We’re going to look forward to trying to find a fit for me [as an instructor],” Mansfield said. “I do not [know what classes I am teaching] yet. I have met with the dean … and we talked briefly.”

Mansfield said he might not see the classroom until January of 2013, but he’s optimistic about teaching student journalists at Kent State.

“I’ve worked in newspaper, I’ve worked in radio and, of course, I’ve worked in television,” Mansfield said. “… We’ll feel it out. We’ll figure it out.”

Mansfield expressed that the decision to leave his position at WKYC was not an easy one, but the benefits of working for Kent State were such that he could not ignore.

“I certainly leave TV with a real appreciation for how good a position this is. I know how tough it is to get into TV,” Mansfield said. “But I have three kids … and the life of a broadcast journalist has pretty crazy hours. I work nights. I work weekends. I worked Christmas. I worked New Year’s. I worked Super Bowl Sunday. I’ve missed an awful lot of their lives.”

Mansfield is hopeful his new job at Kent State will afford him more time with his family.

“This opportunity … should allow me some better hours to schedule with my kids, and that’s most important to me,” Mansfield said. “It’s a very exciting job, but nothing’s more exciting for me than getting to spend time with my family.”

In addition to his longtime career as a journalist, Mansfield also served as a military officer in Iraq from 2003 to 2004.

“Unless you’ve been there, you have no idea what it’s like to leave your family for a full year and be in a warzone,” Mansfield said. “So I take everyday as something special, and I’m really looking forward to [working at Kent State].”

Contact Rex Santus at [email protected].