Member of Adelphi University’s Profiles in Success program.
Retired President of Court TV
Value of Adelphi Degree: The M.B.A. helped me to ask the right questions, which is the only way you’ll get the right answers.
Advice for Students: Be persistent. Under no circumstances accept defeat.
Richard Beahrs, M.B.A. ’77 has held leadership positions with three groundbreaking television businesses in his 35-year career. After moving from print media to television, he spent the first 10 years of his career with Sports Illustrated, and in 1979, he became the senior vice president for new business development for HBO. In 1980, he helped develop Cinemax as one of the first all-movie television channels. Later, he served as president of The Comedy Channel, the predecessor of Comedy Central, and the first channel specializing in comedy programming. In 1992, he became chief operating officer of Court TV, another industry first.
“You’re never really sure how successful something is until it really prospers. The best results come from people who aren’t afraid to be creative and innovative.”
He hasn’t stopped pushing for new ideas. In 2000, he and his wife Carolyn helped establish the Beahrs Environmental Leadership Program (ELP) at the University of California Berkeley. Through this international program, they hope to link the public and private sectors and train a new generation of leaders and decision makers to tackle questions of environmental science and policy and resource management. The Beahrs ELP, one of the most popular programs in Berkeley’s College of Natural Resources, has worked with over 280 people from 70 countries. Mr. Beahrs also serves as chairman of the Arbor Day Foundation, a national organization dedicated to the cultivation and conservation of trees and forests.
In 2002, he was appointed to the newly formed United Nations Millenium Project to help develop an action plan to reverse poverty, hunger, and disease around the world. As a member of the U.N. Hunger Task Force, he has delivered lectures and toured countries throughout Africa and Asia. “Not-for-profit work has become a major part of the family’s value system,” he says.
He completed his M.B.A. on the New Haven line of Adelphi’s Edu-train program. He particularly remembers the camaraderie developed among the 25 students who shared their daily commute. “It was really an elegant construct,” he says. “Getting my M.B.A. took me to a whole different level of thinking.”
Mr. Beahrs lives in Berkeley, California with his wife Carolyn. He has run numerous marathons including the New York and Bostonevents, and is a self-described “Olympic groupie,” having attended ten different games. Closer to home, he is the principal owner of the San Jose Giants, the class A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants baseball team.