|2017 Silver Circle Award Winners
Congratulations to 2017 Silver Circle Award recipients, Carl Monday and Tom Meyer. To find out more about our latest inductees, click the tabs above.
|About the Gold Circle Awards
The Gold Circle recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to television for fifty years or more. The broadcast pioneers who become part of this distinguished group have had significant careers in many different aspects of the industry – engineering, management, on-air, technical, production, administration, talent.
|About the Silver Circle Awards
The Silver Circle recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to television for twenty-five years or more. The broadcast pioneers who become part of this distinguished group have had significant careers in many different aspects of the industry – engineering, management, on-air, technical, production, administration, talent.
|Gold Circle Award Recipients
Class of 2016
Gordon retired in June, 1987, after a 39 year career in radio and television broadcasting. Starting as a staff announcer at WLEC, Sandusky, he moved to NBC in Cleveland when their television station went on the air in October, 1948. There, he enjoyed working in the twilight of the Golden Years of radio, as well as the infancy of television.
In 1957, Gordon became a field representative for the National Association of Broadcasters, calling on radio and tv stations in 34 states. In 1958, when WTOL was going on the air, he was invited to come to Toledo as the news anchor for the Ohio Fuel Gas Company (now Columbia Gas of Ohio). After nine years of hosting “Watch with Ward”, Gordon moved to WSPD-TV (now WTVG) where he was a news anchor on all of the station’s programs at various times.
Gordon remains active in a variety of civic and church activities; he was the commentator for “Music Under the Stars” concerts at the Toledo Zoo Amphitheater each summer, and he does some free lance commercial work for a variety of clients on both radio and television. In addition, Gordon and his wife, Connie, operate their own Shaklee business, providing food supplements, personal care products and cleaning supplies to a number of clients.
Connie is the former Constance Harlan, who was known to thousands of area youngsters as “Miss Connie” when she hosted the popular Romper Room show on WTOL. The Wards are parents of four children (Barrett, Douglas, Brenda and Emily) and four grandchildren.
A native of Amherst, Ohio and a graduate of Bowling Green State University, Gordon is a past president of the Alumni Association there..
Class of 2013
After serving his country Neil joined the staff of the “Oberlin News-Tribune” as a reporter in 1954. In 1961 he began his radio broadcasting career at WEOL in Elyria. A year later he kicked of his television career by freelancing for WJW-TV, where he later accepted a full-time reporting position, which he held for 37 years.
Neil has logged more than a million miles on Ohio’s roads as a TV travel reporter. He was the original host of the One Tank Trips travel report, which aired on Fox8 Television in Cleveland and has since been imitated in other television markets throughout the United States. He has also written about travel for “AAA Ohio Motorist Magazine” and “The Plain Dealer.”
Zurcher received the Distinguished Service award from the Society of Professional Journalism and the Silver Circle award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He also received an Emmy®, the Award for Excellence in Broadcasting from the Cleveland Association of Broadcasters, and has been inducted into the Cleveland Press Club Hall of Fame. He was one of the founders, and a member of the original board of Governors, of the local NATAS Chapter in 1968. He was also inducted into the Ohio Broadcasters Hall of Fame and received their Living Legacy Award in 2007.
He has written five books about Ohio, including “Ohio Oddities” and “Strange Tales from Ohio.” He continues to host One Tank Trips for WJW-TV and blogs at www.onetanktrips.com.
Since 1959, Dennis has had hands-on experience in all phases of documentary, public affairs and news production that includes expertise in cinematography, videography, research, writing and both on-line and off-line editing.
Dennis has a successful record of starting up various operations, including production units within broadcast, cable, public television stations and independent production companies. He is capable of planning production streams and carrying projects through to completion without supervision, if necessary.
Dennis is experienced in working with all levels of staff within television, cable and production house facilities. He has a successful record of working with union and non-union personnel. This includes extensive international travel and production in many countries for an end-product used on outlets from broadcast networks, to national cable networks and local cities.
Dennis was also a consultant to colleges and universities, including lecturing on journalistic standards (Kent State, Cleveland State) curriculum (Notre Dame College), and communications alternatives. He served as Board member numerous times for the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He also developed interest in preserving and nurturing film and tape collections.
It’s fair to say that thousands of Clevelanders woke up with Fred Griffith for years. In fact, co-workers have figured that he has logged 13,700 hours on air, most of those on morning television.
For 26 years Fred hosted “Morning Exchange” on WEWS-TV, creating a warm and friendly start to the day while updating viewers on what had happened while they slept.
In 2000, Fred moved to WKYC-TV, lending his skills to the station’s “Good Company” program.
Fred retired in 2012 and co-workers from both stations joined together for the sendoff. He left television with Emmy® awards, the Distinguished Service Award from the Society for Professional Journalists, and was inducted into the Cleveland Press Club Hall of Fame.
He will soon add a Gold Circle award to go along with his Silver Circle recognition from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
Class of 2012
Tom Carnegie will be remembered around the world for his decades as the public address voice of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and his catch phrases, “And Heeeee’s ON it!” and “It’s a neeeeeew traaaack record!” In the Lower Great Lakes Chapter, he will also be remembered for his years in radio and television and for his love of Hoosier basketball.
Tom worked his entire career in Indiana. He spent 32 years as sports director at WRTV (1953-1985). Tom pioneered the “Trackside 6” reports, a May tradition that continues today as the station covers the Indy 500.
Tom began his career in 1942 at WOWO radio (Ft. Wayne) and moved to WIRE radio (Indianapolis) as World War II ended. He also wrote a column for The Indianapolis Star.
Tom joined the public address team at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 1946. Sixty-one years later, in 2006, Tom retired from that post. He called 61 Indy 500s, 12 Brickyard 400s and six US Grand Prix for millions of race fans.
Tom dearly loved high school basketball in Indiana. He announced 24 years of state championship games, including the famous 1954 Milan High School win. That led to a cameo role in the movie “Hoosiers” as a PA announcer. Tom’s passion for the sport also led him to co-found the “Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame”.
When Tom passed away in February 2011, tributes used the words ‘pioneer’, ‘legend’ and ‘icon’. Sports stars, business leaders, politicians and friends paid public tribute.
A few years earlier, Speedway historian Donald Davidson wrote the following tribute honoring Tom and his “booming baritone voice”:
The voice of Carnegie was first heard over the P.A. on race day an incredible SIXTY years ago, and by the mid-1950s it had become one of the track’s most recognizable and cherished attributes. He probably deserves more credit than any other single human being for the building of the gigantic crowds which used to flock to qualifications during the days when the breaking of the track record was almost an annual occurrence. While it was certainly the drivers who were out there breaking the records, it was the dramatic commentary by Carnegie which stirred the crowd and led them to spreading the word, thus creating an even larger attendance for the following year.
While he was growing up, the now 86-year-old icon aspired to be an actor, but those dreams were effectively dashed during his college days when he was stricken with polio. Instead, he regrouped and began focusing on using his extraordinarily rich voice for commentating at sporting events, his sense of the dramatic paying dividends for him.
“It’s theater,” he has always said of the Speedway, chuckling at the memories of some of his more famous calls, when spectators had to rely solely on his commentary for clues as to what was occurring in areas of the track hidden from their view.
He always relished the private moments when he would learn of an exciting development and then have a second or two in which to contemplate how he was going to announce it. He loved “working the crowd,” and its reaction was his reward.
There have been many glorious gems over the years, basically just straightforward lines, but always delivered with such powerful drama, particularly during qualifications.
“Eyes on the starter.” (Delivered with a low and even pitch)
“AAAAAAAAND, IT’S STILL GOING….UP !!” (Still bellowing)
And, of course, “IT’S A NEEEEEEEW TRACK RECORD!!!”
What passion that man could stir. Who else would be able to open a microphone at 8:00 am on a Saturday morning of qualifications, when nothing was happening, and with a simple, “Testing, one, two, three. Good morning, ladies and gentlemen,” be greeted by a roaring cheer?
Thank you, Tom Carnegie, for all of the wonderful memories.
– Donald Davidson
Class of 2011
About 45 years ago, a National Research company ranked Dick Goddard as the most popular weathercaster in American television. Certainly. Northeast Ohio TV viewers agreed with that approbation then, and they continue to hold him in high esteem for his reliable weather reports and the technical rationale for why the winds of change will bring us rain, snow, sleet or sun.
Dick honed his meteorological skills in the U.S. Air Force and at the U.S. Weather Bureau before joining KYW-TV 3, Cleveland in 1961 as Chief Meteorologist. Yep, this is his 50th year in the Cleveland ADI on local Cleveland TV stations. In 1966, he made a dramatic switch to WJW-TV 8 where he was first seen on the 5 PM, 6 PM and 11 PM newscasts Monday through Friday.
Dick practically invented the category of official TV meteorologist and weather anchor. He’s certainly the longest running weathercaster/anchor in the Cleveland market …and maybe even in the world. When WJW-TV became Foxnews 8, Dick continued his Monday – Friday early and late weathercasts.
He was inducted into the Silver Circle in 1992 for his pioneering efforts and distinguished service to the television industry. Nationally recognized and praised for his genuine concern for animal welfare, Dick has placed thousands of orphaned pets into loving families, Dick is also noted for having created Ohio’s largest one day event … his Woolleybear Festival, now in its 41st year.
Dick Goddard celebrated his 75th birthday in 2006 on the air with a surprise birthday party staged by the staff at WJW/Fox8 with some eighty special guests – forty people and the forty dogs they adopted because they fell in love with them on Goddard’s program segments. More than a hundred people — pet lovers, politicians, festival folks, representatives of animal organizations he’d worked with over the years, friends, associates, Fox8 personalities and management helped celebrate Dick Goddard’s many years of accomplishments and contributions to the communities of Northeast Ohio.
Howard Caldwell joined the WRTV news staff in May of 1959, after four years as news manager for WTHI Radio/TV in Terre Haute, Indiana. Before making his formal entrance into Journalism, Caldwell spent a year aboard a South Pacific Minesweeper during World War II as a radio reporter. Later, during the Korean conflict, he served as the editor of a Naval Reserve newsletter.
Between military commitments, he worked a year on a small town weekly newspaper. Caldwell was an anchor/reporter with WRTV for 35 years. During that time, assignments placed him squarely in the middle of political, labor and social controversies that helped shape Indiana. His consistent professionalism in reporting those kinds of events prompted the Indianapolis Press Club in 1978 to name him “Newsman of the Year,” the first TV newscaster in the area to be so honored. Early in his career, he was sent on a month-long assignment to the Far East and became the first American newscaster to interview newly-elected Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. The interview aired nationally on the NBC “Today” program. His documentary on hunger in India led to a 1967 Indianapolis Press Club Award. Caldwell held memberships in several civic organizations and was a member of the Butler University Board of Trustees. He was named an “Outstanding Alum” of the school in 1982 and received an honorary Doctor of Letters Degree in 1984. In 1992, he received a similar degree from Indiana University. Ball State University named him Journalist of the Year in 1993 and in 1983 his college social fraternity, Sigma Chi, named him “Hoosier Sig” of the year. In 1984, Caldwell was awarded a plaque of appreciation from the Indiana State Symphony Society for preparing a history of the Circle Theater. Caldwell is a past president of The Service Club of Indianapolis, a professional/business group of war veterans. He is a former president of the Indianapolis Press Club and Central Indiana Chapter of Sigma Delta Chi, Society of Professional Journalists. Caldwell is a 1950 graduate of Butler University with a B.A. in Journalism. He also received a Masters in Political Science in 1968. Caldwell is also known for his “Howard’s Indiana” series and commentaries called “Perspectives”, which were personal observations about news happenings in the city and state. Four times he received recognition from The Associated Press and United Press International news service for those efforts. Caldwell won a CASPER Award in 1989 for “A Delicate Balance,” a documentary on local police and citizen relations. In April 1991, Caldwell was inducted into the Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame, established by The Society of Professional Journalists (formerly Sigma Delta Chi). Later that year he also was inducted into the Indiana Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame. In 1994 he became a member of the Associated Press Broadcasters Hall of Fame and received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Indiana Chapter of American Women in Radio and Television. He is the author of two books. Tony Hinkle: Coach for All Seasons is a biography of the late Butler University coach and Athletic Director. Indianapolis is a pictorial trip through the Capital City with text and introduction by Caldwell. Howard Caldwell retired from WRTV June 1, 1994. Howard and his wife Lynn still reside in the Indianapolis area and are very active in the community.
Class of 2009
Cleveland born and raised, John Marinko began his broadcasting career on May 20, 1957 at KYW Radio and TV. In 1972 the Radio division was sold and John began working exclusively at WKYC Channel 3 for his entire career. He has worked with the established names of Cleveland television including Mike Douglas, Doug Adair, Virgil Dominic, Jim Granner, Len Sheldon and Al Roker.
His work included productions with some of the most recognizable names in Northeast Ohio business including Spitzer Ford, Jack Matia Honda and several other automotive dealers. He also worked on commercials for companies that are gone now but played a large role in Cleveland history such as Higbee’s and May Company department stores.
For all his work he was honored with 11 Emmys and a Silver Circle Award from NATAS – Lower Great Chapter.
After 51 years in television, retired from WKYC –TV3 on July 3, 2008.
John is most proud of his family; his wife of 48 years Kathleen, sons Christopher, Thomas and Jay and his daughter, Tammy. He is also the proud grandfather of 4.
Class of 2005
Charles E. “Bud” Ford, Jr. began his 70 year broadcast career as a child actor in radio dramas in Seattle. He became an announcer and sportscaster on KFIO, Spokane in 1943, and joined the Army a year later. Ford served as a Japanese interpreter in Japan, and was assigned to Armed Forces Radio to construct WVTO and WLKH in Sasebo. Bud came to Cleveland in 1950 with NBC’s WTAM & WNBK. He produced “Noontime Comics” and “Johnny Andrews Sings for Your Supper” on WNBK, and was producer/director of such programs as “NCAA Football”, “Colgate Sports Newsreel,” and “Pepsi Cola Camp Shows” on the NBC radio network, and “The Morning Bandwagon” on WTAM. Moving to New York in 1954, he produced and directed the “Bill Cullen” show on WNBC … then was appointed Director of Operations for the station. Leaving NYC for Baltimore in 1962, Bud was named Director of Operations for Group W’s WJZ-TV. By 1966, he returned to New York as VP/ National Director of Operations for the Overmyer TV stations in Toledo, Pittsburgh, Dallas, Atlanta and other markets. Ford returned to Cleveland in 1967 as General Manager of Visual Techniques, a film and multi-media company, and by 1970 was Executive Producer/Controller for Bell & Howell’s Wilding Studios. He joined Meldrum & Campbell Advertising in 1972, where he produced award-winning commercials and revamped “It’s Academic” into the long-running “Academic Challenge” on TV-5. In 1987, Bud helped create “The Cash Explosion” show originating at WEWS-TV for a state-wide TV network. He was inducted into the Silver Circle in 1996. He’s been NATAS Chapter Vice President, Membership Chair, Finance Chair, By-Laws Chair, Publicity and Website Chair and National Trustee. Now retired, Bud is a devoted volunteer with the Boy Scouts, The Cleveland Play House, several hunger and homeless centers, and as an advisor to the President of the Lower Great Lakes Chapter of NATAS.
JOHN J. “JACK” MOFFITT
Jack began his television career at WEWS in December, 1947. In 1964 he made a station move to WJW in the sales department. In 1968 he moved both jobs and stations to serve as the General Sales Manager at WUAB, and in 1971 became the General Manager. Moffitt left Cleveland in 1985 and opened 7 new independent TV stations in various cities across the United States before retiring in 2001.
Jack passed away in 2010.
|Silver Circle Award Recipients
Class of 2017
As the Dean of Cleveland Investigative Reporters, Carl Monday has set the standard for investigative journalism in Northeast Ohio. In a career that has spanned over 45 years, Monday has been a trailblazer in the field, from the voice on all-news radio, to heading up investigative units at three Cleveland television stations.
Often referred to as the “Mike Wallace” of Cleveland TV, Monday has captured more than 150 national, regional and local awards. His thirteen EMMYS for Investigative Reporting are tops in local EMMY history. His 47 total EMMYS also include statues for News Writing, Breaking News and Crime Reporting.
Monday also was the first television reporter ever inducted into the Cleveland Press Club Hall of Fame.
With his ever present trench-coat, and aggressive reporting style, Monday’s reports have appeared on CBS & CNN and other national outlets. He was a regular in-studio guest on “Geraldo” investigative shows. He and Geraldo also co-hosted two syndicated “Now it Can Be Told” programs taped in Cleveland that exclusively featured Monday’s reports.
Monday became one of the first reporters in the nation to expose the problem of sudden acceleration in vehicles. That caught the attention of “60 Minutes” producers who flew to Cleveland to consult with Monday for a report later aired on “60 Minutes.”
Monday’s undercover investigation into corruption into the Cleveland Fire Department’s Inspection Unit led to the firing of the City Marshall, and garnered Monday the “National Headliner Award” for Investigative Reporting.
It was Monday who exposed the dumping of dangerous chemical waste at Hopkins Airport. 26 reports later, the Justice Department stepped in, City Council held hearings, and the City Airport Commissioner was fired, and later convicted in Federal Court.
Monday’s I-Team uncovered the accidental overdose deaths of three patients and linked them all to a local a doctor. The County Prosecutor then launched it’s own probe, resulting in the first conviction in history of an Ohio physician for Involuntary manslaughter. As he was about to be sentenced, the judged slapped another year on his prison sentence, after Monday set up an undercover sting, and caught the M.D. attempting to flee the country.
Monday caught vendors selling old food, some up to a year old, at the city’s new East Side Market. Soon after, the city shut down the market, and City Council passed a new food dating law as a result of the investigation.
Five area hunger center directors were indicted—one was sentenced to five years in prison—after Monday’s expose into misuse of hunger funds. Instead of feeding the poor, the money went to buy new cars, home improvements, and tuition for family members.
Monday’s reports on food waste lead to creation of “Food Rescue,” a program now run by the Greater Cleveland Food Bank that has provided millions of meals to the needy in six counties.
For months, Monday’s undercover cameras followed cement trucks pouring the concrete for Cleveland’s $200 million RTA Health Line. He documented how the contractor was cutting corners, by using a banned chemical that could cause early deterioration of the concrete. When RTA tested the concrete, they confirmed Monday’s findings, and ordered the contractor to dig up much of the roadway and reimburse RTA nearly a quarter million dollars.
Monday’s storied journalism career kicked off in high school, when, as the Sports Editor of the school newspaper, the Garfield Hts. Mirror, he prematurely revealed the starting line-up of the Bulldog’s baseball team, before the manager had a chance to inform the players. The angry manager tried to get Monday suspended. The school’s basketball coach also attempted to get Monday booted from the paper, when he singled out the team’s losing ways. Neither was successful.
While still in high school, Monday was already pushing the envelope. He and a friend set up a pirate radio station before Monday’s mom wisely pulled the plug!
Before high school graduation, Monday moved to legitimate radio, airing news and sports on WXEN-FM.
At Kent State, in the wake of the May 4th tragedy, Monday served as a correspondent for dozens of radio and TV stations while working for the University News Service.
While still a junior, Monday became anchor of the 10 o’clock news on WJAN-TV in Canton.
For most of the next six years, Monday worked at W-E-R-E All-News Radio as Investigative Reporter and News Director. He did spend a year of that stretch at KAKE-TV in Wichita as Radio News Director and Noon Anchor.
In 1979, after hearing Monday on the radio, and without seeing an audition tape, WJW News Director Virgil Dominic hired Monday as “Special Reporter.” He soon teamed up with Tom Meyer as the I-Team. After two years, the team split up, and Monday went solo as the I-Team Reporter for the next 20 years.
In the fall of 2001, Monday joined WKYC as “Cleveland’s Investigative Reporter,” winning numerous “Best of Gannett” awards.
Since 2007, Carl Monday investigations have continued to air on WOIO-TV, Cleveland 19. A legendary reporting career now in it’s 5th decade.
Monday and his wife Sandy have been married 42 years. They have a daughter who lives in Michigan. Carl and Sandy have called downtown home for the past 19 years.
Monday is active with several non-profit groups, including the Greater Cleveland Food Bank and the Historic Downtown Warehouse District. He is also the officer and board members of the NATAS Lower Great Lakes Chapter.
Tom Meyer–The Investigator–is a 40-year broadcast news veteran with a reputation as one of the best investigative newsmen in the business. It’s a reputation he earned by believing that it’s not what you cover, but it’s what you uncover that makes the difference. A number of Tom’s investigations have led to consumer reform, changes in the law, policy changes, firings, criminal investigations, arrests, and indictments.
Tom has won more than 180 local, state, regional and national awards, including the Regional Edward R. Murrow Award, the Press Club’s National Headliner Award and a national UPI award. He has the distinction of winning 62 Emmys—more Emmys than any other reporter in Northeast Ohio.
The Ohio Associated Press has named Tom “Best Reporter in Ohio” on 4 separate occasions, including 2007. The Ohio Associated Press honored Tom for Best Investigative reporting in 2010 and for Best Continuing Coverage of the public corruption scandal in Cuyahoga County. The Ohio Society of Professional Journalists has also named Tom the “Best Reporter in Ohio.” He was inducted into the Ohio Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2003. The Ohio Senate honored Tom for his “exceptional reporting,” citing him for a “keen eye, thorough research, and a lucid, colorful style” that has “contributed something of precious and enduring value.” State lawmakers paid special recognition to Tom for his “unflinching coverage of a scam directed at chronically ill children” and for an “illuminating broadcast about chiropractors.”
Tom brought his skills to Channel 3 News following a successful 29-year career at two Cleveland TV stations. Local news legend Virgil Dominic brought Tom to WJW-TV in 1979 to launch the well-known I-Team. Three years tater, Tom chose to leave the I-Team and start a second investigative unit called the Fact Finder at the same station. Tom left WJW after 18 years. He started yet another investigative unit at WOIO-TV. For 11 years, he broke numerous stories including government waste during the Mayor Campbell administration. His expose on the horrors of horse slaughter for human consumption received national attention.
Tom worked part-time at various television and radio stations before graduating from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. He began his broadcasting career at WAND-TV in Decatur, Illinois where he covered city hall and police. He moved to Nashville, Tennessee, where he shared a desk with Oprah Winfrey at WTVF-TV. Tom uncovered corruption in the Governor’s office in the two and half years he worked in the Music City.
Tom is a member of Investigative Reporters and Editors, the National Academy of Televison Arts and Sciences and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. He has spent his free time coaching youth sports, gardening and participating in service organizations including the Mission of Love. Tom and his family have made Greater Cleveland their home for three decades.
Class of 2015
Emmy-winning anchorwoman Debby Knox is the 5, 6 and 11pm news anchor for the new CBS affiliate in the Indianapolis area, CBS4. She’s been a staple in Indiana homes for more than three decades.
Before joining CBS4, Debby was WISH-TV’s 24-Hour News B’s lead TV journalist, and at one time anchored the 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. newscasts. Debby started with WISH-TV on the noon news, was promoted to early anchor, coming from stations in the northern Indiana communities of Elkhart and South Bend. After 33 years anchoring and reporting, Debby retired from WISHTV in November 2013.
Debby’s reports have been many and varied during her years with WISH-TV. While her main focus was in the area of health and medical technology, she is also known for her one-on-one interviews with prominent newsmakers, including Presidents Barak Obama and Bill Clinton and Secretaries of State Madeleine Albright and Colin Powell. In addition, Debby has interviewed former Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev. She also interviewed Nobel Peace Prize Recipient Desmond Tutu, Nobel Scientist Dr. James Watson, Medal of Honor Recipient Sammy Davis, Senators Elizabeth Dole, Richard Lugar, Evan Bayh, Former First Lady Barbara Bush, Boston Celtics Coach Brad Stevens and authors, John Green, Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., and Anne Patchett.
Debby has been honored with many other awards and Emmy nominations during her career including those from the prestigious Society of Professional Journalists and the National American Heart Association for a documentary on a heart transplant patient She has won Indiana State Medical Journalism awards, a coveted CASPAR, for an impactful investigative series on the Indiana Blood Center. She’s won awards from the Associated Press and United Press International and was the recipient of the Theodore Barrett Award from the Indiana Psychological Association. She is also a six-time recipient of favorite female TV news anchor by Indianapolis Woman Magazine. Most recently, Debby was inducted into the Associated Press Broadcast Hall of Fame, was a 2014 honoree of the prestigious organization, Girls Inc., and was appointed a Distinguished Hoosier in 2013 by Governor Mike Pence. She is an inductee of her high school Hall of Fame and most recently was honored by the Toastmaster Organization with a Communication and Leadership Award.
Debby, raised in Edwardsburg, Michigan was, in 1972, crowned Miss Edwardsburg and Miss Blossomtime. She is a graduate of Edwardsburg High School and the University of Michigan. Her parents are Dr. and Mrs. Robert Knox, who still reside on Eagle Lake. A mother of two grown children and wife of psychologist Richard Tirman, Debby has a full and active life both on and off the camera. Most recently Debby gained positive attention and accolades in Central Indiana by documenting her recent 60pound weight loss.
An exercise enthusiast and skier, Debby is also an avid reader. She is very committed to helping the community. She has raised tens of thousands of dollars for inner city youth through the Horizons Golf Outing and is a supporter of St. Richard’s School, where her children attended, Christal DeHaan’s Global Schools, Trinity Episcopal Church, Indianapolis, Cathedral High School, Indianapolis, Butler University and the University of Michigan.
Debby is currently working with two colleagues on a documentary focusing on the Sisters of St. Francis, Oldenburg.
Harry, who attended Northern Virginia Community College in Alexandria, Va., has called Greater Cleveland home since 1990. He is proud to live in the historic Hough neighborhood in Cleveland. Boomer has over 30 years of news experience, for a total approaching 44-years in broadcasting.
He was honored in 2015 to be selected as a member of Silver Circle of National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.
In 2014, Boomer was honored to be named as a History Maker. His life’s story in now a part of the National Archives, a permanent repository of American History.
Harry Boomer is a 2007 Broadcasters Hall of Fame Inductee.
Harry is currently the morning and noon Anchor/Reporter at 19 Action News and he also is the Executive Producer and Host of WUAB 43 Forum, a public affairs program covering community issues. Boomer is a valued member of the WOIO CBS 19 Editorial Board. Harry Boomer has the distinction of being the longest, continuous on air-air anchor/reporter on both WOIO CBS 19 and WUAB My 43. Harry is President-elect of the Greater Cleveland Association of Black Journalists (GCABJ) for a third time.
He is also a member of the Board of Directors of The First Tee Cleveland, a program that promotes nine core positive values for youth through the game of golf.
His career began in Washington, D.C., where he was a club DJ, an on-air personality, talk show host and he served in various management positions, including two stints as news director, including one as news director for Radio One.
Harry came to Ohio in 1988 to manage and program WBXT-AM in Canton.
While covering assignments for WOIO/WUAB on a part-time basis in the early 1990s, Harry was heard regularly on WCPN-90.3 FM/Idea Stream, where he had been assistant news director. He was also a reporter, producer and major contributor to National Public Radio. Among other things, Harry debuted a statewide news magazine program entitled “Infohio” for the radio station. Increased full-time duties at 19 Action News notwithstanding, Harry’s familiar voice was heard on a freelance basis for public radio specials on WCPN. Boomer was a regular guest on the Feagler and Friends on Cleveland Public Television, Idea Stream WVIZ. He has served on the board of the Ohio Associated Press. He is former member of the Board of Directors of Connections, Health, Wellness (formerly North East Ohio Health Services). Boomer has also served on the board of The Ohio Center for Broadcasting. He is also a member of the Continuing Education Committee at Cleveland State University.
Harry has won awards from the Ohio Associated Press, Ohio Educational Telecommunications, Women in Communications, the Press Club of Cleveland and the National Association of Black Journalists.
Harry is active in the community, often serving as master of ceremonies at events throughout northeast Ohio. When he’s not working (which isn’t often), he enjoys talking politics and visiting friends and family around the country. Boomer is a proud father. He has two wonderful grandchildren. Harry is truly a Baby Boomer. His last name really is Boomer. He’s the baby of a family of ten and he is a member of the Baby Boom Generation.
Class of 2014
John Butte enters the Silver Circle with a remarkable broadcast journalism career that began in 1965 as a full time radio announcer while in high school in his hometown, Corydon, Indiana. Today, John Butte is the Practitioner in Residence in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Kent State University and the owner of John Butte & Associates, a boutique news representation firm with clients across the country. A keen eye for talent and his ability to recruit, teach and lead has highlighted Butte’s career. He is widely recognized as one of the best creative thinkers, content innovators and career developers in local television news.
After receiving a Bachelors of Science degree from Indiana University, he began his career as a reporter/photographer at WHAS, Louisville. He worked as an anchor, reporter, assignment editor and producer, in medium and large markets, before accepting his first News Directorship in Asheville, North Carolina. His following News Director positions included WMAR, Baltimore, WFLA, Tampa, WTHR, Indianapolis, and WEWS, Cleveland and Vice President and General Manager, WEWS.
At the Walt Disney Company in Burbank, California, in 1993, as Executive Producer, Butte created the national advocacy television news magazine, “The Crusaders.” In 1996 in Columbus, as General Manager, he created the Ohio News Network, ONN, Ohio’s 24/7 cable news channel. He helped launch local news on-line with his highly innovative web-desk-first concept at ONN in 1997. He is the recipient of numerous local and regional awards including two Emmys and both a national Edward R. Murrow and an I.R.E. for investigative reporting. He and his wife Ana Luisa Sanchez Butte live in Cleveland’s Ohio City neighborhood. Thier daughter Carolina is a graduate student at Kent State University. Sons John, Ryan, Eric and families live in Baltimore, Maryland, Bethel, Alaska, and Portland, Oregon respectively.
Is retirement in his future? Butte says he doesn’t know… that he seems to have lousy retirement skills.
Wayne Dawson has been the co-anchor of Fox 8 News in the Morning for 15 years. The news broadcast which airs weekdays from 4:30am until 10am has been number one every year with Wayne behind the news desk. Before being promoted to the morning show, Wayne was co-anchor of the weekend evening edition of Fox 8 News for 5 years, as well as serving as a weekday reporter.
In his 34 years at Fox, Wayne has covered thousands of stories ranging from two national presidential conventions, the second history-making space shot of John Glenn, Pope John Paul’s visit to Detroit, Michigan, the first celebration of Martin Luther King Day in Atlanta, as well as various Cleveland mayoral and Ohio gubernatorial races not to mention covering various news in Northeast Ohio ranging from education, to health, politics and feature reporting.
Wayne is the winner of 11 Regional Emmy® awards, 2 Excellence in Journalism awards, a UPI award for his documentary “State of Black Cleveland,” the Kent State University “Diversity in Leadership” award… the keys to cities of East Cleveland, University Heights and Shaker Heights, as well as a host of awards, proclamations, and certificates from various organizations thorughout Northeast Ohio. Wayne was also name to the Jaycee’s “Outstanding Young Men of America,” the Professional Women’s Business Association named him “Outstanding News Reporter,” and Delta Sigma Theta named him “Man of the Year.”
A member of the Broadcasters Hall of Fame, Wayne is known for his involvement in the community and, along with his brother Judge Will Dawson, has established the “Annie L. Dawson Foundation” to provide college scholarships to inner city students.
Wayne is a graduate of Kent State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism. He is a graduate of Shaw High School in East Cleveland and he attended Cuyahoga Community College. Wayne is one of those rare individuals who was born, raised, and has worked his entire career here in the city of Cleveland.
Wayne is a popular, well-versed speaker, and a licensed minister at Bethany Baptist Church in Cleveland.
He is the father of 4 children and the grandfather of five.
His wife is LaVerne Dawson.
Class of 2012
Chris Wright is the Indianapolis Weather Authority and has served as a chief meteorologist in Indianapolis for twenty-two years. In June of 2012 he was inducted into the Silver Circle of the Lower Great Lakes Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS). The Silver Circle Award is reserved for an elite group of professionals recognized by the chapter for making a significant contribution to television for 25 years or more. He is the first, and only African-American in the Indianapolis market to receive this honor.
Chris currently serves as Chief Meteorologist for WTTV where he delivers the CBS 4 Weather Authority forecast weeknights at 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. In addition to his television duties, Chris prepares forecasts for the weather page in the Indianapolis Star and the CBS 4 website at WTTV.com. He also serves as the morning and afternoon drive meteorologist for Classic Hits 104.5, WJJK-FM
Chris came to WTTV from WTHR-TV where he served for fourteen years as the primary meteorologist for the 5, 6, and 11 p.m. weeknight newscasts. While in Indianapolis, he has been honored with numerous awards.
Chris has been awarded eleven Emmys from the Lower Great Lakes Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and was named National Weather Association Broadcaster of the Year in 1994. He holds the National Weather Association Seal of Approval and in 2005 became the first African American in the nation to be designated a Certified Broadcast Meteorologist (CBM) by the American Meteorological Society. In 2006, the Indiana Associated Press began presenting a Best Weather Operation Award. With Chris Wright as Chief Meteorologist WTHR-TV won this honor in 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2013.
Chris began his career in his hometown of Memphis where he worked as a weather assistant for WMC-TV. In 1987, he became the morning meteorologist for WBRC-TV in Birmingham and moved to WLWT-TV in Cincinnati a year later. Chris made his central Indiana television debut on WXIN-TV in 1991. He left the market in 1995 to work at KOVR-TV in Sacramento, California, but returned to Indianapolis one year later to join WISH-TV as Chief Meteorologist. In each of those cities, Chris was the first African-American meteorologist in market history.
In his spare time Chris is an accomplished author. He has written ten mysteries, available on the Amazon Kindle, and two children’s books. Chris and his wife Megan have three daughters and make their home in Indianapolis.
Class of 2011
Nancy O’Donnell, the first camerawoman in Ohio, began her television career in 1965 at WOSU in Columbus after earning an Associate of Arts Degree in Radio/TV and Speech and Drama from Marjorie Webster Junior College in Washington, DC. She worked as a booth announcer, copywriter and in traffic/operations. After she married, she moved to Ft. Benning, GA in 1967. Her husband was shipped to Vietnam, and Nancy returned to Columbus and WOSU. To help the Vietnamese in refugee camps her husband organized and she helped collect tons of books, canned goods, clothing, toys, etc. When Woody Hayes returned rrom Vietnam he appeared on the WOSU Noon News showing pictures of the refugee camps and the distribution of food and clothing resulting in more donations pouring in. When Nancy’s husband was discharged from the service, they went to The Maryland Center for Public Broadcasting in Baltimore where Nancy was hired as Traffic and Operations Manager. After the breakup of her marriage, Nancy returned to Columbus to tackle the job of News Room Secretary and Assignment Editor at WTVN. With an interest in photography, she asked the Chief Photographer to teach her how to shoot, and in 1972 when an opening for a shooter came up, Nancy became the first female cinematographer/editor in Columbus.
In 1974, Nancy became the first female cinematographer in the country working for a network Owned &Operated when she was hired by WKYC. She joined IATSE Local 666, and faced blatant harassment from the chauvinist shooters who told her that they wanted to keep the “broads out of broadcasting.” She persisted and eventually won the respect of her peers. For three years she covered the Kentucky Derby pre-week for NBC Sports. She covered network news with Brian Ross, Bob Dotson and Bill Jamison. She was assigned to the Carter Presidential Campaign and did a special interview with Jimmy Carter. Over the years Nancy O’Donnell shot train derailments, one of the Eddie Watkins bank robberies, hostage situations, and sports including post game interviews in the Cleveland Browns previously taboo (for women) locker room. There were tense situations — she was threatened, and had her camera grabbed and the film ripped out. When videotape replaced film, she began shooting tape and joined NABET. She covered Betty Ford before she admitted her substance abuse problem, and captured the only Danny Green bombing video minutes after it happened.
Class of 2010
Alan Cloe is the Executive Vice President for WFYI, Public Broadcasting for Central Indiana. Over a period of 39 consecutive years he has served in nearly every capacity at the public broadcasting station.
Alan’s employment with WFYI began in the summer of 1970, shortly after he graduated from college and nearly four months before the Indianapolis’ public television station actually signed on the air. A graduate of DePauw University, Alan wore many hats in those early days. Among his first assignments was public information and promotion with a focus on getting the word out about WFYI, a new UHF (Channel 20 was the first UHF station in Indy) public TV station. Indianapolis was the largest city in America without a public TV station when WFYI signed on the air on October 4th, 1970 (also Alan’s birthday).
Over the years Alan has been involved in nearly every strategic decision and instrumental in all facets of the organization. For years he served as the station’s TV Program Director. He was there in 1986 when public radio became a part of WFYI. He was a key member of the management in 1995 when the Indiana Reading and Information Services (IRIS – formerly CIRRI) was added to the list of WFYI services. He’s overseen the community outreach and learning services provide by WFYI. As WFYI has grown to better serve the community Alan has been given the responsibility for all aspects of WFYI Content Services, including the radio and TV program schedules, local program production, IRIS, community outreach and learning services, as well as the engineering function for the stations.
A native of Noblesville, Indiana and a graduate of Noblesville High School, Alan represents WFYI in various ways throughout the community. In addition to having assisted with Boy Scout Troop 514, Alan is an active member of the Downtown Kiwanis club, the board of directors of the Indiana Debate Commission, the Indiana Coalition for Open Government, the Near North Development Corporation and the Indiana Youth Services Association. He and his wife Susan celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary in September of ’09.
Jerry Anderson is the Emmy Award-winning anchor of WTOL-TV’s News 11 at 5, 6 & 11pm.
He began his broadcasting career at WFOB radio, Bowling Green, in 1974 and started his television news career in Toledo in September of 1980.
In June of 2008, the Ohio Associated Press Broadcasters named Jerry the “Best News Anchor” in Ohio and in that same month he earned his 5th Emmy nomination from the Cleveland region of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. In June 2001, Jerry won the Emmy for Outstanding News Anchor in the NATAS region.
Jerry’s work as the sole reporter and principal writer of WTOL’s 18-part, post 9-11 series, “Families Coping”, won the regional Edward R. Murrow award for “Best News Series” of 2001. Jerry has won two Crystal Awards of Excellence (1999 & 2002), and two Crystal Awards of Merit from Women In Communication for his reporting while at WTOL-TV.
The Press Club of Toledo honored Jerry in 2007 with its prestigious “Golden Touchstone” award for his “substantial, positive impact on journalism in the Greater Northwest Ohio region.
Jerry chose to pursue his career in his hometown of Toledo where, in 2006 & 2007, readers of the Toledo City Paper voted Jerry “Best TV Anchor” in the paper’s annual “Best of…” poll. In 2005, Jerry was recognized as the “Best Journalist” in the City Paper’s “Best of…” survey.
Jerry is very active in his community with a busy schedule of appearances as Master of Ceremonies and frequent Celebrity Auctioneer. In 1992, Jerry actually earned his Ohio Auctioneer’s license for the sole purpose of conducting charity auctions legally. He calls 20 charity auctions a year with an emphasis on helping schools, economically-challenged kids and families and the developmentally disabled.
After attending Bowling Green State University, Jerry worked at Fostoria-based WFOB before moving to WSPD-AM Radio, Toledo, as an anchor/reporter. His entry to television came at WTVG-Toledo where he reported before anchoring the 6 & 11 pm news for 12 years.
Jerry joined WTOL-TV in 1994 to anchor a brand-new newscast, “First at Five”. He has since added the 6 & 11 p.m. newscast duties.
During his career, Jerry has covered four national political conventions, three presidential inaugurations, Pope John Paul II’s visit to Detroit and even traveled to Yokohama, Japan for an in-depth series comparing the lives of Japanese and American auto workers.
Jerry has been married to Teri for 28 years and they have three children.
Class of 2009
Steve Goldurs has served as an engineer at WJW-TV in Cleveland since 1976. Steve is a native Clevelander, graduating from Shaker Heights High School in 1966.
After a brief bout with engineering school in 1967, Steve joined the U.S. Navy. His duty stations included: Naha, Okinawa, DaNang, Viet Nam, the U.S.S. Enterprise and NAS LaMoore, California. During his service he always found the time to moonlight at a radio station. On Okinawa he was all-night man on KSBK radio. Steve was the morning DJ on board the Enterprise, and worked at KOAD in California.
After discharge from the Navy in 1972, Steve returned to Cleveland and landed a job as all night man on WLYT-FM. After a format change to all disco music in 1976, Steve left the radio station and got a job as a vacation relief engineer at WJW-TV. Apparently, they forgot he was just a “VR”, because he is still there.
Steve’s career at WJW was highlighted by eleven years with PM Magazine. The show took him around the world, taping in Europe, Asia, Australia and all around the United States and Canada. He was even on-camera as the show’s restaurant reviewer.
After PM ended in 1991, Steve recorded and edited many programs including: the two-time Emmy winning “Stagepass”, “The Mossman Movie Show”, several Emmy winning sports programs and dozens of specials.
Steve’s latest project is “Hollywood and Dine”, a show featuring movie star interviews and cooking segments.
Steve was a member of the NATAS Board of Governors from 1992 to 1998. Served as President of the chapter from 1998 to 2002 and was awards chairman from 2003 to 2006.
He currently resides in South Euclid, Ohio with Bev, his wife of 35 years, Sox the cat and Winston, a Chinese Sharpei. His is the father of two grown sons: Josh and Adam. Bev and Steve are also proud grandparents of grandson, Charlie.
Class of 2008
Steve Bell is Endowed Chair Emeritus in Telecommunications at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. He is active as a public speaker, panelist and writer, and in special projects for television and radio.
Bell’s prestigious network and local news career made him an eyewitness to many historic events. From 1967-1986 he was a correspondent for ABC News. Bell was familiar to millions of Americans as news anchorman for ABC’s “Good Morning America.” He regularly interviewed newsmakers and reported from the scene of major news events, election campaigns and overseas Presidential trips.
After joining ABC News in 1967, Bell covered the social upheavals then reshaping the nation, including the Newark and East Harlem riots and anti-war protests in Washington. His reports from Newark were described in Variety as “one of the most moving and chilling examples yet of on-the-scene reporting.” He also covered the assassination and funeral of Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior, and was on the scene when Senator Robert Kennedy was shot in 1968.
Beginning as a war correspondent, Bell has reported extensively from Vietnam and Indo-china. In Cambodia in 1970, he and his camera crew were captured by the Viet Cong. While held briefly at gunpoint, he managed to record the incident. Bell also served as ABC News Bureau Chief in Hong Kong and has reported extensively from the People’s Republic of China. In 1973 he and Ted Koppel wrote and co-anchored ABC’s first documentary from the People’s Republic of China. Returning from Asia in 1974, he covered Watergate and the Ford Administration as a White House Correspondent. Since arriving at Ball State Bell has moderated national and international conferences and teleconferences. He has lectured and presented papers in the U.S., China, Taiwan and Korea. In 1996 he reported and produced a Vietnam documentary syndicated by PBS based on a Ball State study abroad trip. In 2006 Bell was the reporter for an ABC News Nightline program, revisiting people he and Koppel had featured in their 1973 documentary. Since 1998, he has been Faculty Director for seminars on “Politics and the Media” sponsored by the Washington Center for Internships and Academic seminars.
Steve Bell has received several Emmy® awards, an Overseas Press Club award and a Headliner’s Award. A native of Oskaloosa, Iowa, he has a B.A. degree from Central College in Iowa and an M.S. in Journalism from Northwestern University. His wife, Joyce is an accomplished musician and vocalist who taught voice at Ball State.
Class of 2007
Rex Rickly started his career in broadcast engineering at WOSU Radio in 1962 while a student at Ohio State University, and was soon working part time at WBNS and WLWC in Columbus. After graduation, Rex moved on to WLWT in Cincinnati, one of the first stations in the nation to broadcast in color. In 1969, he was appointed Chief Engineer at the PBS station in Toledo, WGTE. By 1974, he had joined WUAB-TV in Parma, OH where he managed many important engineering projects including the construction of a new transmitter. Rex became Manager of Engineering at WKYC in 1994, and supervised the planning and construction of the new digital studio building as well as conversion to digital transmission. He was awarded an Emmy® in 2001 for Technical Achievement. In January of this year, Rickly stepped down as Director of Technology & Operations at WKYC, but has continued to work part time for that station and for Sports Time Ohio Cable network.
Born and raised in Cleveland, Jim Tichy joined Toledo’s Channel 24 in 1972, when it was operating with the call letters WDHO, as a general assignment reporter and cameraman. Jim also had to process and edit the film he shot, and filled in as news, weather and sports anchor. Later, the station became WNWO-TV, and in April of 1974, he was promoted to the position of Sports Director—a title he held until his retirement in June, 2007. Jim Tichy continues to work part-time on special projects for the station, and is also heard on radio broadcasts of high school sports. Over the years, the industry and community have acknowledged his contributions with awards from Women in Communications; Toledo Press Club; Northwest Ohio Football Coaches Association; National Professional Bowlers Association; American Lung Association; the Toledo City League Athletic Hall of Fame; and the Ohio Associated Press Broadcasters Hall of Fame.
Class of 2006
Class of 2005
Class of 2004
Class of 2000
Class of 1999
Windsor “Win” Smith
Neil “Mickey” Flanagan
Class of 1998
Class of 1997
Ron St. Charles
Class of 1996
Charles E. (Bud) Ford
Class of 1995
Class of 1994
Class of 1993
Neal Van Ells
Class of 1992
Class of 1991