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Steve Seline
Steve Seline, a 1975 UNO graduate and president and vice chairman of NWW, Inc., says his undergraduate education still plays a big role in how he views everyday business decisions. photo by Tim Fitzgerald

Media Executive Chooses Omaha as Place to Build a Career and a Life

fall 2004

Steve Seline says he's trying to teach his kids some life lessons: that it's important to learn about a lot of different things and that it's important to contribute to the community. They're lessons that have contributed to Seline's own success and fostered a pride in his hometown.

The 1975 UNO economics graduate is president of NWW, Inc., a company owned by one of Gateway's founders, Norm Waitt. The organization is probably better known by the subsidiaries it holds, including Waitt Media, which owns 70 radio stations and 700 billboards in five Midwestern states. Seline is vice chairman of the company, as well as a variety of other NWW subsidiaries. Seline has done a lot professionally since graduating from UNO. After considering a career in medicine or law, the Omaha native chose the latter and earned a degree from the Creighton University School of Law. He spent 20 years at a local law firm, eventually serving as senior partner.

In 1998, Waitt asked him to sign on with his new company. There, Seline's economics education and his legal background have served him well. His duties run the gamut—from analyzing new properties for the company's radio, TV and outdoor advertising outlets to preparing and overseeing movie budgets for its independent film production company. In 2002, the company made indie movie history when it launched the blockbuster hit My Big Fat Greek Wedding.

Nearly 30 years after earning his economics degree, he says his undergraduate education still plays a big role in how he views everyday business decisions. "The things I learned in macro and microeconomics have been really useful to me," he says. "Using that information on a day-to-day basis has been seemingly unusual for a guy who spent 20 years in the law business—but even then, I used my economics background extensively."

Seline is the first to acknowledge that his success is rooted in his education and his community. "I'm probably the poster boy" for showing how living and working in one's hometown can pay off, he jokes. "When I started working for Waitt Media, Norm said we could put this company anywhere in the country. Omaha was a natural choice for us. There are a huge number of reasons to locate here, and the work ethic in Omaha is fantastic."

He believes strongly in community involvement. In his position, Seline also is responsible for outreach activities, ensuring that the company creates strong bonds in each of the markets where it does business. He sits on several boards of directors and is the communications chair for the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce. From an economic perspective, he says, "Anything that improves the community is good for Waitt Media, too. Taking care of the people in our communities is always going to be an important part of what we do around here."


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