National TV Correspondent and Senior Producer
New York City
While in his teens, Shannon LaNier realized two notable achievements: He co-hosted an Emmy award-winning television show, Real Exchange, and co-authored the Random House book Jefferson’s Children: The Story of One American Family, about his family’s lineage as descendants of U.S. President Thomas Jefferson and his enslaved mistress, Sally Hemings. He still feels the thrill of those achievements. Today, he is a television correspondent and senior producer and a public speaker who tours internationally to address audiences on a range of topics, including multiculturalism, genealogy, entrepreneurship and careers in media. “Being a great father and TV personality are my true passions, and although this is a shameless plug, I’m available to host or emcee your events or your TV programs!” says LaNier.
He earned both a bachelor’s degree in electronic media production and a master’s in media management from Ohio’s Kent State University, where he became an instructor in television production. Since 2007, LaNier has worked in Black Enterprise’s TV department, creating and coordinating two nationally syndicated programs, Our World with Black Enterprise and Black Enterprise Business Report. He makes on-air appearances, writes scripts, supervises production staff, oversees postproduction and helps to develop Web initiatives. Prior to this, he was a television news reporter for FiOS 1 News/NYC and served three years as a producer for the CBS-2 Morning Show.
LaNier, who also holds a New York State real estate license, engages in a variety of private activities, from home improvement projects to fishing to serving his church. He believes that all of these interests help to make him a more effective communicator. He is married to his college sweetheart, Chandra, and attributes his successes to her, their baby daughter, Madison, and his parents, Gerald and Priscilla LaNier. “I am a family man who enjoys nothing more than hanging with my family,” he says.
Places visited: Europe, Africa
Favorite charity: March for babies
First job: Drive-in theater concession worker