Thursday, August 06, 2009

Cleveland Journalism Hall Of Fame 2009 Inductees

The folks at the Press Club of Cleveland were kind enough to let us know about their 2009 Cleveland Journalism Hall of Fame inductees, which include several notable local TV and newspaper personalities.

The complete Press Club press release is reprinted below:


The Press Club of Cleveland Announces 2009 Cleveland Journalism Hall of Fame Inductees

August 4, 2009, Cleveland, Ohio – The Press Club of Cleveland announces its 2009 Journalism Hall of Fame inductees. Three current and former reporters/anchors from WKYC-TV Channel 3 join a pair of Pulitzer Prize finalists from The Plain Dealer in the Cleveland Journalism Hall of Fame’s Class of 2009.

The 2009 inductees include WKYC-TV’s sports anchor Jim Donovan, managing editor Dick Russ and former investigative reporter Paul Sciria, along with two-time Pulitzer finalist for commentary Regina Brett of The Plain Dealer and former Plain Dealer photographer William Wynne. All were elected to the Hall of Fame by members of the Press Club of Cleveland.

Additionally former Cleveland Press and Plain Dealer reporter Walt Bogdanich, a three-time Pulitzer Prize winner at The New York Times, and Plain Dealer editorial director Elizabeth Sullivan will also be inducted that night. Both were elected in 2008 but were unable to attend the ceremony.

The 2009 winners will be formally inducted at a dinner reception on October 28, 2009 at LaCentre in Westlake, Ohio. Call 440-899-1222 for more information or e-mail The Press Club of Cleveland at

The 2009 inductees:

Regina Brett: Few local columnists anywhere have had the kind of impact that The Plain Dealer’s Brett has had in Cleveland. For the past two years, she has been a Pulitzer Prize finalist for commentary based on “her range of compelling columns that move the heart, challenge authority and often trigger action,” according to the Pulitzer’s board of directors. The American Bar Association and the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association both recognized her efforts in establishing open discovery in Ohio this year, honoring her with the Silver Gavel Award and the Liberty Bell Award, respectively. Additionally, in 1999, Brett won the National Headliner Award for her columns on her breast cancer. Ten years later, she won the award again for her series of columns, “The Inheritance,” about passing the gene on to her daughter. She also won the James Batten Medal in 1999 for columns championing underdogs and ordinary folks, and she was a finalist again for the medal this year. She has been named best columnist in Ohio by The Press Club of Cleveland, Ohio SPJ and the Associated Press Society of Ohio. She is a Kent State University graduate and a native of Northeast Ohio.

Jim Donovan: He came to Northeast Ohio as a weekend sports anchor in 1985 and has stayed for almost a quarter of a century to become arguably Cleveland’s most prominent voice in sports. Donovan has been the radio play-by-play announcer for the Cleveland Browns since their return to the NFL in 1999, as well as serving as sports director for WKYC-TV Channel 3. For NBC he has covered the Summer Olympics in 1992 and ’96 and World Cup soccer in 1994. He also announced NFL games for NBC before becoming the play-by-play announcer for the Browns. He calls Cleveland Indians games for Channel 3 and has hosted the PBS coverage of the All-American Soap Box Derby since 1991. Donovan received a regional Emmy for Best Sportscaster and received the same award from The Press Club of Cleveland. His 1992 report on the Cleveland Browns also won a regional Emmy. His charity work includes serving as spokesperson for the Kidney Foundation of Ohio.

Dick Russ: For more than 30 years, Russ has proven to be one of Northeast Ohio’s most versatile news broadcasters, working as reporter, anchor and now managing editor at WKYC-TV Channel 3. Colleagues say Russ’s way with words sets him apart from other broadcasters. “I’ve never met anyone in TV news who writes as well as Dick,” said Hall of Famer Tim Taylor. Russ is already a member of the Ohio Broadcasters Hall of Fame and he also received the Silver Circle Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, recognizing him for more than 25 years of exemplary service to the industry. Russ has won 10 regional Emmys for his reporting and twice has been honored by the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists as the best TV documentarian in the state. He received a Gabriel Award, the highest national honor for TV reporting on religion and also won the Religious Communicators Council’s national award. He was a reporter and noon anchor for 20 years at WJW-TV before coming to WKYC-TV in 1999. He also worked at Channel 23 in Akron.

Paul Sciria: Before “60 Minutes” or Carl Monday, Cleveland had TV investigative reporter Paul Sciria watching the streets and city hall for corruption. Channel 3 hired Sciria as its first full-time news reporter in 1957. In time, his car with his name and the station’s call letters on the side became a familiar sight around town. Sciria interviewed everyone from Bobby Kennedy to the Beatles, but ferreting out the inside scoop was his specialty. He worked at Channel 3 until 1975, and then formed his own public relations firm. In 1992, he became the founding editor of La Gazzatta, a 10,000-circulation Italian-American newspaper. He remains active with La Gazzata at age 80.

William Wynne: The latest in a long line of honor for Wynne came earlier this year when he was selected to the Ohio Senior Citizens Hall of Fame, joining such luminaries as John Glenn, Jesse Owens, Norman Vincent Peale and Dorothy Fuldheim. After a decorated military career in World War II and seven years with NASA, Wynne worked more than three decades as a Plain Dealer photographer before retiring in 1984. His biggest assignment was as part of the three-man investigation of Lima State Hospital for the Criminally Insane -- an exposé of gross mistreatment of inmates by prison guards in 1973, resulting in the conviction of more than 30 employees and former employees. Reporters Richard Widman, Theodore Whelan and photographer Wynne were finalists for the Pulitzer Prize and won at least a half-dozen other awards for the series. But Wynne is probably best known as the author of “Yorkie Doodle Dandy,” a memoir, now in its third printing. Smoky, a four-pound Yorkshire terrier was found in a New Guinea foxhole in March 1944. As a hobby, Wynne trained the seven-inch tall dog by trial and error in the remote jungles to respond to over 200 commands and behaviors. Wynne was part of a team that was a finalist for the Pulitzer in the 1970s.

The 2008 Inductees:

Walt Bogdanich:
The former Cleveland Press and Plain Dealer reporter won the Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting in 2008 along with New York Times colleague Jake Hooker for their stories on toxic ingredients in medicine and other everyday products imported from China, leading to crackdowns by American and Chinese officials. It was Bogdanich’s third Pulitzer Prize. He won the Pulitzer Prize in 2005 for National Reporting for his series "Death on the Tracks," which examined the safety record of the U.S. railroad industry. He also won the Pulitzer Prize in 1988 for Specialized Reporting for his articles in The Wall Street Journal on substandard medical laboratories. Bogdanich has won four George Polk Awards and an Overseas Press Club Award. He became investigations editor for the Business and Finance desk of The New York Times in January 2001. He was named an assistant editor for the paper's newly expanded Investigative Desk in 2003. Before joining The Times, he was an investigative producer for "60 Minutes" on CBS and for ABC News. Previously, he worked as an investigative reporter for The Wall Street Journal in New York and Washington.

Elizabeth Sullivan: Sullivan was named editorial director of The Plain Dealer in 2009, succeeding Hall of Famer Brent Larkin, who retired. She formerly was foreign affairs columnist and an associate editor of the editorial pages and a reporter for the paper. As The Plain Dealer's European Correspondent in the 1990s, she covered the Balkan wars and the breakup of Yugoslavia. Her 1990 article predicting the end of Yugoslavia was one of the first to foresee that bloody outcome. In 1994, at the height of the Bosnian war, she was held for 72 hours by the Bosnian Serb Army. Sullivan also chronicled the post-Cold War transitions in Russia, Germany and Eastern Europe, and has reported from Israel, the West Bank, Northern Ireland, Cuba and Korea. In 1985, during a three-month journey through China on a Gannett Journalism fellowship, she was one of the early Western travelers to reach Tibet. Sullivan has circled the world twice, in opposite directions. She is conversant in Russian and Serbo-Croatian and has a traveling vocabulary for French, Spanish, Chinese and German.

About the Press Club of Cleveland

The Press Club of Cleveland is an organization for print and broadcast journalists and editors, public relations and advertising professionals, and anyone who works with them. The club serves its members by providing social and educational opportunities, promoting excellence in journalism, attracting and educating high- quality candidates to enter journalism, and maintaining a history of journalism in Cleveland, Ohio.

More information is available at or by calling 440-899-1222.

1 comment:

andrew727 said...

When it comes to inductees, I hope Cleveland Press Radio-TV Columnist Bill Barett has already been inducted in the Cleveland Journalism Hall Of Fame. He covered Cleveland media with a lot of class, including a yearly trek to Hollywood and New York to scope out entertainment news in the electronic medium. As to personality behind the print, Bill was the 'favorite' uncle type. I used to share sandwiches with him at his desk in the Cleveland Press building on Lakeside in the late 1960's 'til when the Cleveland Press closed down on occassion - he honestly was a great guy, and an intrical part of the Cleveland electronic media. Not knowing past inductees, if he is in the Cleveland Journalism Hall Of Fame, then that's great, if not, he should be!

- Andrew, -