Brian Lamb is the Executive Chairman and founder of the C-SPAN Networks. He’s been an integral part of C-SPAN since he helped the cable industry launch it 35 years ago on March 19, 1979, serving as the network’s CEO until March of 2012.
Today, C-SPAN employs about 300 people and delivers public affairs programming is three HD television channels nationally to cable and satellite customers; globally to Internet users via C-SPAN.org and 15 other internet sites; and to radio listeners through C-SPAN radio – FM station in Washington that can also be heard on XM satellite service nationwide.
Mr. Lamb has also been a regular on-air presence at C-SPAN since the network’s earliest days. Over the years, he has interviewed American Presidents and other world leaders. He interviewed 800 non-fiction authors for a weekly program known as Booknotes. Currently, he hosts Q&A, an hour-long interview program airing on Sunday evenings. His newest book, “Sundays at 8,” is a complilation of some of the best interviews from his two interview shows.
Brian Lamb was born and raised in Lafayette, Indiana. Interested in broadcasting as a child, he built crystal radio sets to pick up local signals. During high school and college he sought out jobs at Lafayette radio and television stations, spinning records, selling ads, and eventually hosting his own television program. After graduation from Purdue with a degree in speech, Brian joined the Navy. His tour included the USS Thuban, White House duty during the Johnson Administration, and a stint in the Pentagon public affairs office during the Vietnam War.
In 1967, his navy service complete, Brian went home to Lafayette. It wasn’t long before he returned to the nation’s capital where he worked as freelance reporter for UPI radio, a Senate press secretary and in the White House Office of Telecommunications Policy as national strategy was being developed for communications satellites.
In 1974, Brian returned to journalism, publishing a biweekly newsletter called The Media Report. He also covered telecommunications issues as Washington bureau chief for Cablevision Magazine.
It was from this vantage point that C-SPAN began to take shape. Congress was about to televise it’s proceedings; the cable industry was looking for programming to deliver to its customers by satellite. Brian brought these two ideas together with C-SPAN, which launched with the first televised House of Representatives Debate on March 19, 1979.
Mr. Lamb’s work with C-SPAN has been recognized with the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the National Humanities Medal. In 2011, Purdue University named its Communication school for him.
He and his wife Victoria are longtime residents of Arlington, Virginia. When he’s not reading newspapers or non-fiction books, Mr. Lamb is often in hot pursuit of the latest country music release.