Home‎ > ‎

About Me

Ben Compaine has divided his career between the academic world and private business.

He is Director, Fellows Program at Columbia University's Institute for Tele-Information (CITI) and Lecturer in the D'More-McKim College of Business Administration, Northeastern University.  Ben is a senior consultant for the  Innovation International Media Consulting Group, for whom he compiled a strategic plan for the founders of an entrepreneurial publishing company in Moscow, Russia. 

Previously he was  Research Consultant at the MIT Program on Internet & Telecoms Convergence.  He was a Visiting Professor in Communications at Pennsylvania State University and was the second Bell Atlantic (now Verizon) Professor of Telecommunications at Temple University in Philadelphia, where he created and was Chairman of the Center for Information Industry Research. He has been an instructor in financial and strategic management at Boston University and in technological entrepreneurship at Northeastern University. 

Ben's entrepreneurial roots run deep. His father and uncle pioneered big box discount merchandising in the late 1950s with the Kiddie Mart chain in the Philadelphia area. Ben founded the weekly Philadelphia Review and later was an angel investor and adviser for the Cambridge Review. He has mentored numerous small businesses. In 1986 Ben co-founded and was chief executive of Nova Systems Inc., a firm that created and distributed software for management information reporting in telecommunications centers. Prior to Nova Systems he was executive director of the Program on Information Resources Policy (PIRP) at Harvard University where he had responsibility for funding and directing research on the implications of changing information technology for business, government, and society.

His research interests include telecommunications policy, mass media economics, entrepreneurship, as well as the political, social and cultural implications of changing information technologies. He has taught graduate and undergraduate courses in these areas, including Business Basics for Technological Entrepreneurship, Small Business Management,  Strategy Formulation and Implementation, Media Economics, Information Technology and Policy, Entrepreneurial Marketing in High-Tech Industries. His business expertise is in opportunity assessment, with a focus on information industries.

In 2014 he was appointed by Cambridge City Manager Richard Rossi to the city's Broadband Task Force, charged with evaluating the city's broadband infrastructure. 

He is the author, co-author or editor of 12 books, including the textbook Business: An Introduction. The Digital Divide was published in 2001. Who Owns The Media?, first published in 1980, was extensively revised and reissued in 2000. The Information Resources Policy Handbook  and The Internet Upheaval were published by MIT Press. His articles have appeared in trade, popular, and scholarly journals, including The Wall Street JournalTelecommunications Policy, Science Digest, Success, Teleconnect, Foreign Policy, Reason, Daedalus and the Journal of Communication. Articles and cases include "The Future of Media Companies in the International Arena," "Management Information: Back to Basics," and "Universal Access to Online Services: An Examination of the Issue."

He is the co-editor emeritus of the Journal of Media Economics from which he received its Award of Honor for his "scholarly contributions and inspiration to the field of media economics" (see photo below) and serves on the editorial board of the International 

Journal of Media Management. He was twice Program Chairman of  TPRC's  Research Conference on Communication, Information and Internet Policy and was Chairman of the Board of Directors of TPRC, Inc., where he lead a restructuring of that nonprofit's financial model and management organization. 

A graduate of Dickinson College (Political Science), he received his M.B.A from Harvard University and Ph.D. from Temple University. He has been an invited speaker or consultant in Europe, South America, Asia, Australia as well as in the United States and Canada.