By Shelby Brown–
A Louisville Cardinal alumnus just signed up for the big leagues. U of L grad and former McConnell Scholar Scott Jennings announced June 22 he contracted with CNN as a political commentator.
Jennings co-founded RunSwitch Public Relations and has appeared frequently on national shows in the past year. RunSwitch reports Jennings supplies “senior level communications, public affairs, political and crisis communications counsel for national and international clients.”
He plans to continue his role at the company.
“It is an honor to sign with CNN and appear alongside some of the best-known and most trusted names in the media industry,” Jennings said. “CNN has an amazing roster of commentators and hosts; it is humbling and invigorating to discuss with them the events shaping our world.”
Jennings has aided four presidential campaigns and dozens of U.S. House, U.S. Senate and local elections. He served under President George W. Bush and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
At 16, Jennings worked at radio stations in western Kentucky. After enrolling at U of L, he joined The Louisville Cardinal staff and worked at WHAS radio as a broadcast journalist. He also writes a regular column for the Courier-Journal.
“Being part of the media landscape has always been in my blood,” Jennings said.
Endowed Chair and director of McConnell Center, Gary Gregg, remembers an ambitious student highly regarded among his peers. Jennings was student chair of the McConnell Scholars in the late 1990s.
“He was fun, but always was ready to pick a political fight with his colleagues,” Gregg said. “We are extremely proud of Scott.”
Jennings’ career is “pretty extraordinary,” Gregg said.
The former Cardinal staffer who churned out stories as an undergraduate has advice to students with similar aspirations.
“If I had once piece of advice for people who want to be in the media industry, it is this: learn to write,” Jennings said. “The people who stand out are the ones who can put pen to paper. I always say that nobody in this world values the skill of putting pen to paper anymore, and those that do will always have a leg up. This especially applies to media.”
Advice from mentors at WHAS helped Jennings hone his writing. His mentors stressed economizing words for more impact.
“Truly describe what is happening,” he says. “Don’t waste words.”
While Jennings has rocketed to success since leaving his hometown of Dawson Springs, he says at the center of it all, he is a writer.
“Writing is the underpinning of everything I do in communications,” Jennings said.
Photo courtesy of RunSwitch Public Relations.