Former president of the St. Andrew's-Sewanee School Board of Trustees and Baton Rouge media mogul Richard French Manship SMA '64 is a member of Baton Rouge's first family of media. His grandfather, Charles Manship, Sr., purchased the city's first daily newspaper, the State-Times, in 1909. His father, Douglas Manship, Sr., started the city's first television station in 1955. Richard's life has been dedicated to Baton Rouge and to delivering the news in Baton Rouge.
Richard started his long and illustrious career as the promotion manager for WBRZ-TV. He climbed the ranks there as station manager and general manager and then as president of both WBRZ-TV and KRGV-TV in Weslaco, Texas. Richard is president and chief executive officer of Louisiana Television Broadcasting, L.L.C. (WBRZ-TV); and Mobile Video Tapes, Inc. (KRGV-TV) and former president of The Advocate.
Under Richard's management, WBRZ-TV computerized its newsroom in the early 1980s and established a team of investigative reporters that helped to establish the station as Louisiana's most authoritative source of information. Through the station, Richard also continued his family's commitment to the community. WBRZ-TV's community projects included the Children's Miracle Network Telethon, Feed a Family, Pat's Coats for Kids, The Cinderella Project, and WeatherNet 2, an advanced weather system that allowed local schoolchildren to take an active role in weather forecasting and data analysis.
Over the years of Richard's management, WBRZ-TV has received numerous awards including the 2000 National Edward R. Murrow Award, The American Bar Association's Gavel Award, Promotion of the Year Award, the Prestige Award, and multiple Louisiana Association of Broadcasters (LAB) Television Station of the Year Awards – including 2013 honors. This award along with the Associated Press's Best Newscast for two years in a row, eleven other AP awards and the 2011, and 2012 LAB Community Station of the Year awards represent an incredible run of awards for the station. Richard was named The LAB "Broadcaster of the Year" in 1998.
Richard's commitment to his community extends beyond the stations. He is a member of the Alexis de Tocqueville Society of the United Way, former president of the Baton Rouge Green, and former chairman of the Committee of 100 of Louisiana. He has served on the boards of the Louisiana Chapter of The Nature Conservancy, and the Baton Rouge Area Foundation and Chamber of Commerce. Richard was chairman of the Tiger Athletic Foundation, the Excellence Fund of the Manship School of Mass Communication at LSU, and co-chairman of the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank. He is a member of the LSU Foundation. In 2001, the Manship family received the Outstanding Philanthropist Award for their record of generosity to charitable causes including a major gift to build a center for the performing arts in downtown Baton Rouge.
Richard is married to Claire Phelps Manship and has a son, Hunter French Manship.