Distinguished School of Communication alumnus Jack Clifford has released an autobiography about his climb to the top from his humble beginnings at Western Michigan University to the height of his career as the founder of the well-known Food Network.
The biography, titled "The Least Likely To Succeed" follows the impressive trajectory of Clifford's life and career. Jack Clifford, for whom the Clifford Media Center in Brown Hall is named, credits a great deal of his success to his time and experiences at WMU. Clifford and another student at the time, Jerry MacLeod, helped launch WMU's still popular Western Inter-Dormitory Radio (WIDR) station. The invaluable experience Clifford received building WIDR from the group up greatly informed his later successes. He is quoted in an MLive article on this topic;
"I thought if I could manage a radio station from scratch and make people want to listen to it, I could do anything. I felt the confidence. It gave us a chance to do something by ourselves; to make something worthwhile out of nothing. We worked hard to make it work and it still does."
A variety of executive level jobs with journalism and broadcasting companies separated his time with WIDR and as the founder of the wildly successful Food Network. Food Network's inaugural airing was Thanksgiving week in 1993. In 2014 the Food Network's 18-49 demographic averaged over half a million viewers.
Clifford received the WMU Distinguished Alumni designation in 2005 and is a very generous donor to the School of Communication with an endowment fund established in his name. "The Least Likely To Succeed" is available for purchase on Amazon and other internet retailers.