Tag Archives: Traci Otey Blunt

TSU celebrates former football players with a ‘Salute to Greatness’

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The NFL Draft will highlight the future of professional football in a couple of weeks. However, on April 12, Tennessee State University will celebrate former TSU players who competed in the pros, including 21 in Super Bowls.

“Salute to Greatness-Excellence on the Gridiron” will take place at the Renaissance Nashville Hotel. A reception is scheduled for 6 p.m., followed by a program/dinner at 7 p.m.

The event leading up to the NFL Draft in Nashville on April 25 is part of TSU’s annual Coming Home-Legends Weekend, which will feature the Blue and White Game on April 13.

“Our history of sending students to play on the professional level of football is special,” says TSU Athletics Director Teresa Phillips. “Those who competed on the highest level were and are great representatives of the university and should be recognized. The ‘Salute to Greatness’ event seeks to bring these stars together to celebrate their collective successes.”

Over the years, more than 150 TSU players went on to compete in the National Football League, Canadian Football League, and other professional leagues.

Those players who did and will be at the April 12 event include Pro Football Hall of Famer Richard Dent, MVP of Super Bowl XX with the Chicago Bears; Ed “Too Tall” Jones, who appeared in three Super Bowls as a member of the Dallas Cowboys; and two-time Pro Bowler Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, who played in Super Bowl XLVIII with the Denver Broncos.

“When I first learned of the event, I was very excited,” says Jones. “Tennessee State has always had a rich athletics program, even before I got here. This is not a championship team that will assemble, it is all the players coming back to support this as well. I’m looking forward to seeing all of the guys.”

Grant Winrow is the event’s chairman and special assistant to TSU President Glenda Glover. He says it’s great to “welcome our former players back to the school that gave them their start.” 

“We thank President Glover for allowing us to carry this vision of celebration during our Coming Home weekend,” says Winrow, who is also director of special projects.

Chris Hope, a former Tennessee Titans Pro Bowler and Super Bowl champion safety with the Pittsburgh Steelers, will be the event’s keynote speaker. The master of ceremony is Emmy Award-winning sportscaster Hope Hines, considered a Nashville legend in sports coverage.

“For over six decades, players from Tennessee State University have been cornerstones of the National Football League,” says Hines, who covered TSU sports extensively. “In fact, only a very few colleges and universities have sent more players to the NFL than TSU. The ‘Salute to Greatness’ night is the perfect opportunity to celebrate over 60 years of the brotherhood of Big Blue players who have made Tennessee State University synonymous with the NFL.”

Traci Otey Blunt, a TSU alum and senior vice president of corporate communications for the NFL, agrees.

“I think it’s so dynamic what TSU has done for the sports community, business community, and beyond,” says Blunt. “I scream from the mountaintops that I’m a proud Tennessee State University graduate.”

In 2016, TSU was recognized at the John Wooten Leadership Awards in San Francisco for the number of players who competed in Super Bowls. The university’s football legacy dates back to Super Bowl I in 1967, when former TSU Tigers Willie Mitchell and Fletcher Smith made their appearance as teammates with the Kansas City Chiefs. More than 20 players have followed them over the years.

To learn more about TSU football and the university’s other athletic programs, visit http://www.tsutigers.com.

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 7,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU Alumna Traci Otey Blunt named RLJ Entertainment’s Urban Movie Channel president

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Traci Otey Blunt has been appointed president of RLJ Entertainment’s Urban Movie Channel (UMC), the first premium subscription-based streaming service created for African-American and urban audiences featuring quality urban content across all genres, including feature films, original series, stand-up comedy, documentaries, and other exclusive titles.

Traci Otey Blunt
Traci Otey Blunt. (submitted photo)

“I am excited to announce Traci’s appointment as UMC President,” said Robert L. Johnson, chairman of RLJ Entertainment and founder of Black Entertainment Television (BET). “Under Traci’s leadership and management, UMC has built a strong business foundation to grow its subscriber base and distribute compelling content to its target audience. UMC has attracted talented producers and writers from the African-American creative community and has acquired films and other content featuring some of the most prominent black actors and actresses. I am confident that Traci and her team will make UMC a successful and valuable digital channel for RLJ Entertainment.”

In addition to leading UMC, Blunt will continue to serve as the executive vice president for Corporate Affairs leading RLJE’s corporate communications and public affairs, a role she has held since 2015. UMC offers the African-American creative community a place to showcase their work product and be compensated by subscribers who enjoy watching UMC entertainment. Blunt will work to expand UMC’s digital footprint by making it available on more platforms and devices.

“I am pleased and excited to have the confidence of RLJE management and the opportunity to lead and grow UMC at this time,” said Blunt. “My immediate strategic goals for UMC are to grow our subscriber base by creating a destination for the UMC audience to find compelling and original content created by the most talented African-American writers and producers.”

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 25 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

 

Tennessee State University Alumna and Longtime Media Expert Named Executive Vice President at RLJ Entertainment

Traci Otey Blunt
Traci Otey Blunt

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Traci Otey Blunt, a 1990 cum laude graduate of Tennessee State University, has been named executive vice president of marketing and corporate affairs at RLJ Entertainment Inc., a premier independent owner, developer, licensee, and distributor of entertainment content and programming.

In her new role, Blunt will oversee the company’s marketing, public relations and investor relations, as well as the promotion of the newly launched RLJE Urban Movie Channel, a digital channel that will feature urban-themed movies showcasing drama, documentaries, comedies, horror and stage plays.

For the last six years, Traci served as senior vice president of corporate communications and public affairs at The RLJ Companies, the holding company of RLJ Entertainment. Prior to joining RLJ Companies, the veteran media, political, and public affairs specialist served as a deputy communications director to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during the 2008 presidential campaign.

In announcing Blunt’s appointment, the founder of RLJ Companies and Chairman of RLJ Entertainment, Robert L. Johnson, said she has proven to be an invaluable executive in promoting and executing the business goals and objectives of The RLJ Companies.

“I believe appointing her (Blunt) to RLJE as Corporate EVP to perform these functions, as well as focus heavily on the marketing and promotion of UMC is an ideal fit,” said Johnson, who is also founder of Black Entertainment Television. “I am confident that with Traci joining the RLJE management team, her expertise will be beneficial to the company as a whole and help our strategic launch of UMC.”

Blunt, who earned a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from TSU, serves on several boards, including Malaria No More, ColorComm, and the National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials Foundation. She is also a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc.

“This job is every job I’ve ever had all rolled into one,” Blunt once said upon her appointment as senior vice president at The RLJ Companies. “I always say that I’m never going to leave.”

RLJ is the holding company for 13 diverse business entities ranging from automotive, private equity, financial services, to sports and entertainment.

 

 

 

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 42 undergraduate, 24 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.