Author Archives: Niki McCuistion

Dallas Press Club’s “Cowboys Kickoff” event plays to packed house

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Starting Foursome: “Cowboys Kickoff” panelists Brad Sham, Kristi Scales and Babe Laufenberg, with moderator Mike Doocy over center.

Photos: Ed Bark

Author: ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter

Event Photo Album

No one directly quoted one of Tom Petty’s enduring hits during Wednesday night’s spirited and packed “Cowboys Kickoff” event.

“Into the Great Wide Open” pretty much says it all, though, about the team’s 2016 prospects. Absent the injured Tony Romo, heavily dependent on two rookie offensive starters and saddled with a highly maligned defense, the Dallas Cowboys begin their regular season Sunday against the New York Giants as a blank slate of best and worse case scenarios.

“By this point, none of us should be predicting anything,” said Brad Sham, the guy who knows the Dallas Cowboys better than anyone. He then jabbed, “The only people who know anything with absolute certainty are the people on Twitter.”

Sham, the Cowboys’ signature radio play-by-play voice since 1984, was joined by the two other members of a team that’s been together since 1998 (when Sham returned after three seasons with the Texas Rangers). Former CBS11 sports anchor and ex-Cowboys quarterback Babe Laufenberg is the analyst and Kristi Scales has spent a quarter century as the go-to sideline reporter. Panel moderator Mike Doocy, Fox4’s lead sports anchor since 1993, joined the radio team for one season (in 1997) as co-analyst with Laufenberg. The official Cowboys radio network reaches every Texas market and four adjoining states, with Dallas-based KRLD-FM (105.3 “The Fan”) the flagship station since 2009.

Held at the 3015 at Trinity Groves event center and sponsored by the Press Club of Dallas, “Cowboys Kickoff” drew a crowd of about 175 and featured a companion charity raffle that ended up netting okaytosay.org a $1,600 check at the end of the evening. Some of the more coveted donated items were a signed Dirk Nowitzki jersey; an autographed Ezekiel Elliott football; not one but two footballs signed by Roger Staubach; baseballs autographed by Pudge Rodriguez and Cole Hamels; a Dallas Stars cap signed by Jamie Benn; and two tickets (plus a parking pass and field passes to watch team warmups) before the Cowboys’ Dec. 18th home game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

As an unexpected bonus — or however it may have been perceived — attendees also heard Laufenberg and Doocy (who has the smoother crooner’s voice) serenade one another with “I Got You, Babe.” (Laufenberg estimates he’s been to at least 60 Bruce Springsteen concerts while Doocy prefers a Frank Sinatra groove.)

We now return you to the injury-pocked Cowboys, with Sham, Laufenberg and Scales all singing the praises of QB Dak Prescott as a mature-beyond-his-years rookie who just may be able to step in and immediately excel while Romo’s broken back heals for however long it takes.

“He is full of the experience. But he’s not in any way full of himself,” Sham said.

Scales likewise praised Prescott’s maturity — “He doesn’t act like a rookie” — before Laufenberg later doubled down.

“The greatest hope,” he said, “is that Tony Romo never plays another down for the Dallas Cowboys ever.” By that he meant that if Prescott somehow goes unbeaten (or close to it) during Romo’s absence, then the Cowboys may decide to keep the rookie in the starter’s role. Not that many think this will happen.

Romo’s stunning injury, early in the third pre-season game against the Seattle Seahawks, sent Scales into full red alert. “It was like crushing a soda can,” she said of Romo’s awkward position when he was hit from behind and immediately grasped his lower back.

Sham as usual was doing the radio broadcast of the game while Laufenberg moonlighted with a TV team. Suddenly, “the only thing we care about is what Kristi tells us about Romo,” he said, terming her “absolutely the best sideline reporter in any sport on radio or television.” That assessment drew sustained applause.

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Music to their ears: The climactic, show-stopping Babe/Doocy duet.

Unlike Prescott, fellow rookie Ezekiel Elliott was fully expected to immediately step in and play a major role in the Cowboys’ offense. But his visit to a legal marijuana shop while in Seattle put him in the crosshairs of a TMZ-fed “social media” frenzy. Elliott subsequently apologized for bad judgment.

“He’s a young kid with an incredible amount of God-given ability . . . And he’s going to have to grow into all of that,” Sham said.

He also challenged attendees to recall the “goofiest thing you ever did as a kid” in pre-cell phone, Twitter, Facebook times. Would anyone want that living forevermore on the Internet?

Prescott, 23, spent five years in college after being red-shirted as a freshman. Elliott, who turned 21 on July 22nd, had three years at Ohio State before turning pro. The disparities in maturity between a 23- and 21-year-old can be striking, Laufenberg said. “Zeke seems like a 21-year-old kid. Dak seems like a man.”

Less time was spent talking about the Cowboys’ drug suspension-wracked defense, of which next to nothing is expected going into the new season. But Sham noted that this has been the case before, as recently as the 2014 season, when Dallas went 12-4 while keeping the defense off the field as much as possible. Even so, Sham is a realist. “I believe it can be average,” he said of the Cowboys’ D. That deadpan assessment got more than a few laughs.

During the Q & A portion, panelists were asked to elaborate on moments with the Cowboys that have left lasting impressions.

Scales remembered Romo sobbing in the Cowboys’ locker room after his fumble of a field goal snap took the team from a possible victory to a gut-grinding 2007 post-season loss at Seattle.

Laufenberg recalled trying to boost receiver Dez Bryant’s spirits after the team’s last-minute, Jan. 2015 post-season loss at Green Bay. The key call in the game was a Bryant catch of a long Romo pass that was ruled a non-catch upon further review.

But the wistful Robert Frost poetic award went to Sham, who remembered the 3-13 1988 Cowboys team as by far the worst he’d ever seen — even surpassing the subsequent season’s 1-15 team in Jimmy Johnson’s first year as head coach. Many of those same players were a part of the “rising from the ashes” team that won the 1993 Super Bowl in the Rose Bowl. Sham said he’d never been to the Rose Bowl before, and reveled in the dew still on the grass for an afternoon game while mountains towered in the distance. It tempered all the “heartbreak” of previous seasons, he said, with a young team growing together and at last triumphing under Johnson.

Then there’s Skip Bayless, the former Dallas newspaper columnist (for both the Morning News and Times-Herald) whose book, Hell-Bent, speculated on whether Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman might be gay.

Aikman has never forgotten — or forgiven. As Fox’s lead NFL analyst since 2002, he’s not at all happy with his network’s recent luring of Bayless from ESPN.

“To say I’m disappointed in the hiring of Skip Bayless would be an enormous understatement,” Aikman tells Sports Illustrated. “I believe success is achieved by acquiring and developing talented, respected and credible individuals, none of which applies to Skip Bayless.”

Sham said it goes against his faith to disparage individuals. But in the Bayless situation, he’s clearly on Team Aikman.

During his time in Dallas, Bayless “demonstrated that he was more interested in writing something that would gather a reaction than writing something that was true,” Sham told a questioner from the audience. Or to put it more succinctly, Bayless was trolling for “click bait” before the term was invented.

Doocy added, “The reason I don’t like Skip is my company’s paying him five million dollars and I can’t go to training camp.” (After attending 23 straight Cowboys camps since joining Fox4, the station declined to send him to Oxnard, CA this summer while rival sports anchors at NBC5, TEGNA8 and CBS11 all made the trip as usual. Four years earlier, Fox4 had required Doocy and a cameraman to drive all the way to Oxnard rather than fly from Dallas.)

The panel ended with the quartet being asked to make one Hall of Fame choice among Drew Pearson, Jimmy Johnson and Jerry Jones. If they had only a single vote, who would be inducted first from that trio? Sham and Scales went with Pearson while Laufenberg and Doocy chose Jones. Your friendly content provider, who as a Press Club board member served as the Cowboys Kickoff event’s principal organizer and emcee, broke the tie by going with — Pearson.

And that’s it, save for the picture below of Press Club president Scott Goldstein (left) presenting a $1,600 check to okaytosay.org representative Ken Luce. Many thanks to all who attended, with gold stars for those who also took their chances with raffle tickets. Cowboys Kickoff ended up being Press Club’s best-attended of three events held so far at Trinity Groves, whose staff (headed by Heather Pickett) also should take a bow for their continued excellent food and service.

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Press Club of Dallas honors new group of North Texas Legends at packed event

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Reunited: Previous honoree Gloria Campos & honoree John McCaa.

Photos: Ed Bark

Author: ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
When in doubt, print the legend.

No further embellishment is needed, though, for Thursday night’s sold out event at the downtown Dallas Sixth Floor Museum. The Press Club of Dallas’ sixth annual North Texas Legends event drew a capacity crowd of 150, a dozen of whom wore yellow roses of Texas to signify them as this year’s honorees. The 13th of this esteemed group, Fort Worth-based author and former Star-Telegram book editor Jeff Guinn, belatedly was unable to attend due to health issues. But previous honoree Carlton Stowers ably stood in for him.

NBC5 anchor-reporter Kristi Nelson enthusiastically hosted for the second straight year, with each inductee speaking individually and adding to the list of 69 fellow members of what amounts to a Hall of Fame for the region’s enduring media standouts. Besides Stowers, previous honorees in attendance included Hugh Aynesworth (who would get a major surprise at the close of the ceremony), Carolyn Barta, Gloria Campos, John Gudjohnsen, Jimmy Lovell, Bob Mong, Rena Pederson, Bob Ray Sanders and Bobbie Wygant.

(Campos in particular stood up for honoree John McCaa after station management at his longtime employer, WFAA-TV (now owned by TEGNA), declined to do so. More on this in the “Epilogue” below.)

Press Club president Frank Librio saved the night’s most rousing moment until last. A 2007 scandal had torpedoed the non-profit organization’s annual Katie Awards and prompted many journalists to shy away from becoming members.

“It’s been too long,” Librio said. “The actions of one rogue person (former Press Club president Elizabeth Albanese) do not define our club. We define our club. And tonight we are going to give it new definition and new purpose.”

This was prelude to the esteemed Aynesworth, now 84, being named as the first recipient of the Hugh Aynesworth Award for Excellence in Investigative Journalism. “Goodbye, Katie. Hello, Hughey!” Librio declared.

Aynesworth, who had not been apprised of this by his fellow Press Club board members (including your friendly content provider), took the stage to a prolonged ovation after Librio said this will be a lone annual award for starters, with more categories “very likely” established in future years.

“I’m very pleased the club is back,” Aynesworth said. “We’re doing some things that are exciting. We’re doing some things that are worthwhile.”

This included the 13 previous awards accepted during a night in which a number of the recipients were honored in the presence of family members and close friends. In the alphabetical order in which they took the stage, here’s a highlight reel:

[/fusion_text][imageframe lightbox=”no” lightbox_image=”” style_type=”none” bordercolor=”” bordersize=”0px” borderradius=”0″ stylecolor=”” align=”right” link=”” linktarget=”_self” animation_type=”0″ animation_direction=”down” animation_speed=”0.1″ hide_on_mobile=”no” class=”” id=””] [/imageframe][fusion_text]A combined 80+ years on camera: Bob Phillips and David Finfrock.

NORMA ADAMS-WADE (retired trailblazing columnist-reporter for The Dallas Morning News and founding member, in 1975, of the National Association of Black Journalists) — She’s proud to be a modern-day “griot,” which in western Africa connotes storytellers who pass along the oral histories of their people.

And although she’s done her share of investigative reporting for the newspaper she joined in 1974, “what I truly enjoy is shining a positive light on other people,” Adams-Wade said. Being honored as a North Texas Legend means “I am not a voice crying hopelessly in the wilderness. You’ve convinced me that I’ve been heard.”

FIL ALVARADO (Fox4 street reporter for 31 years) — Many people tell him they watched him since they were kids, Alvarado said. “At least they’re still watching,” he added. “I think I’m working on my third generation now.”

Pounding the pavement day after day has not beaten him down, Alvarado said. Instead he advised, “Pick your head up once in a while and take a look at all the people who support you.”

STEVE BLOW (retired featured Metro columnist for The Dallas Morning News) — He gets this all the time. Is that your real name? His response: “Would I make that up?”

Blow said he also questioned whether he was “born to be a columnist or a porn star.” But he soon deduced that an engineering degree from the University of North Texas would be a fruitless pursuit because of one word — “calculus.”

Blow credited the aforementioned Mong, the former Dallas Morning News editor, with cajoling him to be a columnist. He ended up writing some 3,000 of them, leading to his now legendary status.

“It was only when I saw the other 12 names that the depth of this honor kicked in,” Blow said.

SANDRA BROWN (romance-suspense novelist with more than 60 books on The New York Times bestseller list) — “I’m the biggest fraud that will cross this stage tonight, because most of you kept your jobs,” Brown began.

She referred to her short stint as a PM Magazine reporter for WFAA-TV before the station manager told her, ”Your limited talent in this capacity is no longer desired.”

At the urging of her husband of 48 years, former TV news anchor and documentary filmmaker Michael Brown, she began writing novels. “And it turned out OK,” she noted. So every time she has another bestseller, Brown said she toasts the WFAA boss who fired her.

JO ANN HOLT CAUSSEY (former “women’s editor” of the Oak Cliff Tribune who founded her own public relations agency in 1984) — “I can’t believe I’m following Sandra Brown,” she said. “I should be getting her autograph.”

Holt otherwise was short and sweet, crediting former Press Club members with schooling her in the PR trade after finding it impossible to make ends meet as a community newspaper reporter. She’s now freelancing as an arts, entertainment and travel reporter.

DAVID FINFROCK (chief meteorologist for NBC5 since 1991) — As the station previously announced, he plans to retire in May 2018 at age 65 when his current contract expires. But “they seem open to the idea of me coming back and maybe helping out with severe storms,” Finfrock said almost longingly. This time, though, “I want to do it on my schedule, not the boss’s.”

Handpicked in 1975 by the late, legendary Harold Taft, Finfrock noted that his paychecks for the first two years came directly from Taft, not the station. He lobbied for a change in the Legends awards that would accommodate posthumous honorees in future years.

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Former sports radio antagonists Mike Rhyner and Randy Galloway.

RANDY GALLOWAY (retired Star-Telegram sports columnist and sports talk host on ESPN Dallas) — Galloway easily spoke the longest, but also was the funniest. His failure to graduate from the University of North Texas wasn’t due to partying or drinking, but “just flat stupidity,” he emphasized.

Lampooning himself throughout, Galloway said the best advice he received as an apprentice sports writer was to stop copying the style of “my hero,” the late Blackie Sherrod. Ordered to find a voice of his own, he complied and later took it to the realm of sports talk radio, where his deep Texas drawl clashed with the other smoothies.

“I’ve got a radio face, but I don’t have a radio voice,” Galloway said.

Now fully disengaged from professional sports opining, he has no intent to get back in the saddle. “In retirement I do nothing. I’m very good at doing nothing. And I don’t start until noon.”

CARLTON STOWERS ON BEHALF OF JEFF GUINN — Stowers recalled the time his old friend wrote an obligatory “Christmas Story” for the Star-Telegram back when newspapers just had to have a new one each season. So he researched the life of Santa Claus, put a little story in print and then was encouraged by a publisher to turn it into a full-fledged book.

Guinn adamantly refused until he was vacuuming one day and heard a voice that said, “You are right to believe in me.” He supposedly rushed upstairs and began working on the book that became The Autobiography of Santa Claus, which remains a seasonal favorite to this day.

Stowers said he has no idea if this story is really true, but that Guinn swears by it. In more recent years, he’s penned a series of true-crime tomes, the latest on Charles Manson. But Christmas books remained in his earlier repertoire, including a companion autobiography of Mrs. Claus.

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SYLVIA KOMATSU (KERA program developer and now executive vice president/content officer) — Komatsu said she first got the news of her Legends award from Aynesworth’s wife, Paula, who exuded her usual enthusiasm before pausing and adding, “Now Sylvia, don’t worry. This does not mean that you’re old.”

Komatsu, who long has worked behind the scenes to make others look good, accepted on behalf of all her KERA colleagues.

“This is very much a shared and collective award,” she said. “Aren’t we lucky to be able to do work that we love and we find meaningful?”

JOHN McCAA (anchor-reporter for WFAA-TV) — Host Nelson set this up by noting that in her formative years, McCaa was the first to return her phone call in connection with a story on minority journalists. It inspired her, she said, to continue in the business.

McCaa was a pre-teen in Madrid, Spain (where his dad was stationed while in the military) on the day John F. Kennedy was assassinated. He never envisioned someday making his mark in Dallas and said he likely wouldn’t have been hired back then because “people who look like me” were basically invisible in local TV news rooms of the early 1960s.

He worries about the “direction” of current-day TV newscasts after experiencing WFAA at the height of its powers when he arrived from Omaha, Neb. in the mid-1980s.

McCaa said he’ll likely retire in “a couple of years” after earning a Ph.D in philosophy last year from the University of Texas at Dallas. “And I’m truly looking forward to getting up at noon.”

BOB PHILLIPS (host of Texas Country Reporter) — He was just 18 years old when the late Eddie Barker first hired him at KDFW-TV (Channel 4). Just a few years later, Phillips got permission to do a 4 Country Reporter special for the station. It was strictly intended to boost ratings in the so-called hinterlands within Channel 4’s viewing area, Phillips said. But both management and many viewers liked the finished product. And so it began.

“The great Eddie Barker changed my life, and I think about it all the time,” said Phillips, who now hosts the statewide-syndicated Texas Country Reporter with his wife, Kelli Phillips. “We have followers around the world, and it still blows my mind.”

MIKE RHYNER (co-founder of KTCK (“The Ticket”) and principal host of the radio station’s The Hardline since that time) — Usually hard-shelled and impervious to sentimentality, Rhyner said for starters, “I am absolutely blown away by this.” And damned if he didn’t seem to really mean it.

He then praised Phillips, who “invented Texana before anyone knew what that was.” And after going “pretty hard” at Galloway, whom The Ticket ridiculed as “Grandpa Urine” during his time as WBAP radio’s lead sports talk dog, “I hope we’re cool with one another,” Rhyner said, because Galloway in reality taught him more about baseball than anyone before or since.

Above all, people with media platforms should always be aware that what they say and report impacts a lot of people, Rhyner said. “Don’t ever think the stories . . . don’t matter. Because they absolutely do.”

DAVID WEBB (former columnist-reporter for Dallas Voice, a weekly newspaper for the city’s LGBT community) — It can be tough to be last alphabetically in these circumstances, and “everything I’ve heard tonight is a lot to follow,” Webb said.

He’s covered just about everything — except sports — during a career that also took him to The Dallas Times-Herald and The Dallas Observer.

“Somebody once wanted me to cover a football game,” Webb recalled. “And I said, ‘You’re going to have to tell me a little about the game.’ “

The outbreak of the AIDS epidemic convinced Webb that someone had to step in and cover the devastating consequences. And he took it from there.

“I never planned on being a specialist in LGBT issues,” he said. “It just kind of worked out.”

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EPILOGUE — Led by former anchor Gloria Campos, the WFAA troops — past and present — turned out for honoree John McCaa Thursday night.

It’s a good thing they did, because in the first year that sponsorships for the event were sought, WFAA management stiffed one of their most enduring and stalwart news anchors.

This was no shakedown attempt. Events such as these are costly to put on in a first-class manner. And the Press Club of Dallas (of which your friendly content provider is both a first-year board member and on this year’s three-member Legends selection committee) is a non-profit organization that’s still looking to re-establish itself as a respectable, trustworthy organization. Any leftover proceeds from Thursday’s North Texas Legends ceremony will be for journalism scholarships and to help fund further worthy events.

That said, a sponsorship of this year’s Legends gathering cost $250 and included three tickets (otherwise priced at $25 for members/$30 for non-members), logo displays at the event itself and in the official program, and mention in publicity materials.

The idea is to approach media entities with strong connections to those being honored, although Baylor Scott & White and Whole Foods Market stepped in as sponsors because they wanted to be a part of the event. Board members Cary Broussard and Niki McCuistion also purchased sponsorships on behalf of their communications companies.

I ended up being the solicitor (a throwback Willy Loman but with more success) with most of D-FW’s major newspapers and television and radio stations. And they soon, and sometimes almost instantly, signed on.

*** Fox4 sponsored Fil Alvarado.
*** NBC5 sponsored David Finfrock.
*** KERA sponsored Sylvia Komatsu.
*** The Star Telegram sponsored Randy Galloway.
*** ESPN Dallas also sponsored Galloway.
*** “The Ticket” sponsored Mike Rhyner.

Press Club board colleague Michael Grant, who works as director of marketing and strategic planning for Phillips MediaSource, obtained a sponsorship for Bob Phillips.

Grant also approached The Dallas Morning News and secured a sponsorship for Steve Blow and Norma Adams-Wade.

That left WFAA8, where Grant was station manager from 1989-90 and also president and general manager of Belo Productions from 1993-95, long before Belo sold off all of its television stations, including Dallas-based WFAA.

Putting it mildly, my relationship with WFAA management — unlike that with any other local TV station — is chilly at best and usually frozen solid. They don’t like some of the things I’ve written about them. So be it. Rival stations aren’t always thrilled either. It’s the price of being an independent voice without any “content-sharing” ties to anyone.

But there was no need to poison the pond in this case. So Grant agreed to approach WFAA — to no avail. He repeatedly emailed station executives asking for a simple yes or no answer on a sponsorship for McCaa. Grant says he never got that answer — one way or the other. He only received confirmation that his initial email had been received.

Apprised of this, Campos volunteered without any urging to be her former co-anchor’s ad hoc sponsor. As a Press Club member, she already had bought two tickets on her own — for herself and husband Lance Brown. She used her additional three sponsorship tickets to invite WFAA investigative reporter Brett Shipp, his fiancee, and WFAA police reporter Rebecca Lopez, all of whom were at Thursday’s Legends event.

WFAA Daybreak co-anchor Ron Corning also attended in support of McCaa, as did former WFAA photographers John Gudjohnsen (a previous honoree) and Tom Loveless, who recently took a station buyout.

Fox4 and NBC5 respectively included video of Alvarado’s and Finfrock’s inductions on their late night Thursday newscasts. WFAA also had brief coverage, with McCaa returning to the 10 p.m. newscast in time to see and hear the on-air kudos from his colleagues. None of them, save for McCaa, likely knew of their station’s indifference — or cheapness — at the management level.

But now all of you readers know. And so do McCaa’s co-workers. Campos’ name both appeared in the program and on-screen at the Legends event. WFAA’s logo very noticeably did not.

Among the 69 inductees before McCaa took his rightful place, eight of them made their reputations at WFAA. More Legends are likely to come. Once upon a time, they made WFAA what it once used to be in times when station management assuredly would have stepped up to support them with a sponsorship on a night that singled them out as all-time greats.

John McCaa deserved far better from WFAA. And it’s both a shame — and shameful — that the opportunity is now lost forever. Meanwhile, let’s have the below enduring image of Hugh Aynesworth have the last word. He’s the most deserving of all.

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North Texas Legends Awards 2016

NEWS: North Texas Legends in Journalism to be Honored on June 9th

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Press Club of Dallas Selects Winners who Demonstrate Integrity, Talent

(DALLAS, TXMay 9, 2016) One month from today, more than a dozen legendary North Texas journalists will receive the industry’s prestigious Excellence in Journalism Award recognition, dubbed “North Texas Legends” by the Press Club of Dallas. The 6th annual “Legends” reception and award ceremony will be held at the historic Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, 411 Elm Street, from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, June 9th. Tickets are on sale now at pressclubdallas.com, $25 for Press Club members and $30 for non-members.

“The thirteen journalists, nominated by the Press Club membership, are the cream of the crop,“ according to Frank Librio, president of the Press Club of Dallas. “We honor each of these “legends” for their amazing accomplishments and relish the stories of these award-winning journalists.”

The judges are comprised of “Legend” award winners, and veteran Press Club members. Each winner is required to have worked in the Dallas/Ft. Worth region in the news media market for at least ten years, and currently reside in Texas.

2016 honorees include:

  1. Norma Adams-Wade, reporter, The Dallas Morning News
  2. Fil Alvarado, reporter, Fox 4 News
  3. Sandra Brown, author of 80 books
  4. Steve Blow, reporter, Dallas Morning News, retired
  5. David Finfrock, chief meteorologist, NBC5
  6. Randy Galloway, sports writer, Fort Worth Star Telegram, retired
  7. Jeff Guinn, author and former editor, Fort Worth Star Telegram
  8. JoAnn Holt, journalist, The Oak Cliff Tribune, Car Lady News
  9. Sylvia Komatsu, EVP, chief content officer, KERA, KXT
  10. John McCaa, anchor/reporter, WFAA-TV Channel 8
  11. Bob Phillips, reporter/producer Texas Country Reporter
  12. Mike Rhyner, radio host, The Hardliner
  13. David Webb, reporter, The Dallas Voice

Returning for a second year as the event emcee, is Kristi Nelson, news anchor for NBC 5. Hugh Aynesworth and Cary Broussard, both Press Club of Dallas Board members, are co-chairs of the June 9th event. Judges included: Ed Bark, Rena Pederson, and Hugh Aynesworth.

Sponsorship packages are available for $250, which includes two tickets to the event and two memberships to the Press Club of Dallas. Tickets are available for purchase at pressclubdallas.com or Eventbrite and are $25 for Press Club members and $30 for non-members.

Net proceeds from the event will benefit the mission of the Press Club of Dallas providing scholarships for students to Texas colleges and universities and supporting the operations of the Press Club.

Past winners include:

  • 2015 winners: Helen Bryant Anders, B.J. Austin, Sam Blair, Becky Munoz-Diaz, Mollie Finch-Belt, Dan Jenkins, David McHam, Bob Mong, Robert Moore, George Riba, Bob Ray Sanders, Brad Sham, Clarice Tinsley
  • 2014 winners: John Anders, Gloria Campos, Iola Johnson, Judy Jordan, John Miller, Scott Murray, Darwin Payne, Walter Robertson, Tracy Rowlett, Cissy Stewart and Bob Welch
  • 2013 winners: Carolyn Barta, Eddie Barker, Kent Biffle, Clarence Bruyere, Alex Burton, Al Carrell, Vivian Castleberry, Ron Chapman, Mike Cochran, Bob Compton, Lee Cullum and Jimmy Darnell
  • 2012 winners: Troy Dungan, Bill Evans, Jim Ewell, Dottie Griffith, John Gudiohnsen, Jim Henderson, Lana Henderson, Bert Holmes, Helen Holmes, Bob Huffaker, Suzy Humphries, Will Jarrett, Shelly Katz, Joe Laird, and Ralph Langer
  • 2011 winners: Jimmy Lovell, Frank Luksa, Phil Magers, Bill Mercer, Bob Miller, Burl Osborne, Rena Pederson, Bob Porter, Bob St. John, Blackie Sherrod, Bert Shipp, Carlton Stowers, Dick Wheeler, Wes Wise, Bobbie Wygant, Tony Zoppi, Hugh Aynesworth and Karen Hughes

About the Press Club of Dallas

Founded in 1948, the Press Club of Dallas received its charter from the State of Texas in 1951, and throughout the decades has promoted journalistic ideas and ethics. The Press Club of Dallas, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization also awards scholarships to college students in the DFW area pursuing a college degree in the communications field, including print and broadcast journalism, public relations and advertising.   Recognizing the expanding definition of media, the Press Club of Dallas has been refreshing its focus this year to better serve the needs of North Texas journalists and professional communicators working today.

About the Sixth Floor Museum

The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza chronicles the assassination and legacy of President John F. Kennedy; interprets the Dealey Plaza National Historic Landmark District and the John F. Kennedy Memorial Plaza; and presents contemporary culture within the context of presidential history.

For more information contact:

Cary Broussard
Broussard Global Communications
cary@broussardglobal.com
972-971-4397 or 973-216-4283[/fusion_text][/one_full]

NEWS: CBS Newsman Bob Shieffer Honored In Dallas

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Bob Shieffer will be helping with election coverage on CBS this fall.

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Bob Schieffer in fine form at Press Club of Dallas tribute

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Photos: Ed Bark

Author: ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter

No one thought to give him an armload of long-stemmed roses. But the verbal bouquets kept coming at Monday night’s salute to Texas journalism giant Bob Schieffer.

Presented by the revitalized Press Club of Dallas, “Bob Schieffer Milestones: A North Texas Tribute” drew a packed house of about 400 at the downtown Dallas Belo Mansion. The 79-year-old honoree, who learned his trade at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and WBAP-TV before heading to CBS News, could hardly believe one particular sight.

“When I was growing up, you didn’t see the mayor of Dallas and the mayor of Fort Worth in the same room,” he said.

Fort Worth mayor Betsy Price and Dallas mayor Mike Rawlings were both in the house and bearing gifts. Price gave Schieffer a Stetson from her city’s Peters Brothers Hats. Rawlings countered with a gift certificate for a pair of specially monogrammed cowboy boots from his city’s Wild Bill’s Western Store. Both mayors also came with official city proclamations citing Schieffer’s indelible contributions.

“God bless you journalists,” Rawlings also proclaimed. “You speak truth to power . . . We need the truth.”

Schieffer, coaxed out of retirement to contribute to CBS News’ 2016 campaign coverage, also was lauded by the likes of former Republican U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison; ex-Dallas mayor Ron Kirk (who also served as the Obama administration’s U.S. Trade Representative); Dr. Kristie Bunton, dean of Texas Christian University’s Bob Schieffer College of Communication; and CBS11 anchor Doug Dunbar.

Former President George W. Bush, CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley and CBS This Morning anchor Charlie Rose praised Schieffer via videotape. Tracy Rowlett, who anchored at both CBS11 and WFAA-TV, then quizzed the man of the hour about the ongoing presidential campaign before Schieffer re-donned his cowboy hat and cut loose with a closing song backed by the Texas Switchgrass Band.

“There is one word that comes to mind when I think of Bob Schieffer,” Hutchison said earlier. “That word is ‘authentic.’ “

Kirk then one-upped her. “If you ever didn’t appreciate his class or his dignity, just turn on the news now,” he said.

Schieffer has a “quiet confidence” and “brings the voice of stability” in a sea of social media excess, Dunbar said before hurrying off to co-anchor his station’s 10 p.m. newscast.

Pelley, who built a reputation as a dogged and thorough reporter at WFAA-TV before joining CBS News, said he never forgot what Schieffer told him early on about many politicians. “You said they lie when the truth will serve them better.”

“He can sing, he can paint and everyone loves him,” said Rose, who also has a North Texas backdrop as the long ago host of a morning talk show on KXAS-TV after the station dropped its WBAP call letters. Bush cited Schieffer’s integrity and doggedness as an interviewer while also calling him a “longtime friend of the Bush family.”

[/fusion_text][imageframe lightbox=”no” lightbox_image=”” style_type=”none” bordercolor=”” bordersize=”0px” borderradius=”0″ stylecolor=”” align=”right” link=”” linktarget=”_self” animation_type=”0″ animation_direction=”down” animation_speed=”0.1″ hide_on_mobile=”no” class=”” id=””] [/imageframe][fusion_text]

Bob Schieffer and Tracy Rowlett go back & forth on Campaign 2016.

Schieffer perhaps stated the obvious in telling Rowlett that the 2016 presidential campaign has been flat-out crazy. “In my entire life, I have never seen anything like we’re seeing this year.”

He predicted an “extremely difficult” time for frontrunner Donald Trump if he doesn’t have the clinching 1,237 delegates needed for nomination at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. But Texas senator Ted Cruz, intensely disliked by many of his colleagues, is no darling either, Schieffer said. “I think you’re more likely to have someone ask for the recipe for airline food” than see Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell endorse Cruz, Schieffer added.

He recalled, somewhat fondly, the days of “whisper campaigns” alleging that a political candidate was having or had extramarital affairs. Back then, journalists would check the story out or just ignore it. Now “people just put it out there” on Internet blogs. “It literally has turned journalism upside down,” Schieffer said.

Besides all that scrutiny, the constant need to raise huge sums of money by any means necessary also has kept many qualified candidates from running for high office, he said. Schieffer’s title for the current campaign would be “The Chickens Have Come Home to Roost” because “the level and quality of the candidate pool is just not what it was.”

Schieffer, who’s been with CBS News since 1969, also told Rowlett that he’s abandoned plans to write a book about Lyndon Baines Johnson, who even in an earlier era was no stranger to arm-twisting and shaking the money tree.

“I’m just too old to start that project,” he said.

Some money did change hands. Before Schieffer launched into his original country composition, “TV Anchorman,” the Press Club presented TCU with a $10,000 journalism scholarship in his name. Two dozen students from the Schieffer College of Communication were on hand to underscore the school’s continued efforts to groom journalists in the endangered art of fact-based reporting.

“You can now get the news from any viewpoint you want to get it from,” Schieffer had lamented earlier. “And sometimes people just totally make things up.”

Attendees at “Bob Schieffer Milestones” got it from a straight shooter Monday night. All sides could agree on that.

[/fusion_text][imageframe lightbox=”no” lightbox_image=”” style_type=”none” bordercolor=”” bordersize=”0px” borderradius=”0″ stylecolor=”” align=”left” link=”” linktarget=”_self” animation_type=”0″ animation_direction=”down” animation_speed=”0.1″ hide_on_mobile=”no” class=”” id=””] [/imageframe][fusion_text]One more for the road: Bob Schieffer had quite a night.

Note to readers: Your friendly content provider is a first-year member of the Press Club of Dallas board.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

 

cbs11-website-logo

CBS Newsman Bob Shieffer Honored In Dallas For Reaching Career Milestones[/fusion_text]

A Year in Review and Look Ahead

[fusion_text]Download Press Club Year in Review 2015

Year in Review and A Look Ahead

 By:

Niki McCuistion – President 2014-2015

Frank J. Librio, Jr. – President 2015-2016

Dear Press Club Members and Guests,

For those of you who attended our 2015 Annual Meeting on August 25 – thank you!

We’d like to see more members engaged and participate in club activities. We also know that we need to keep reminding and showing you through our activities and events that your membership is valuable and worth your time and financial commitment. We can tell you the board is committed to doing just that. If you were not engaged in club activities this past year, you missed a lot.

Under Niki’s leadership as President this past year, the Board of Directors and member volunteers produced some interesting and worthwhile events. Those events included a collaboration with the Video Association of Dallas for a special screening of the documentary “Killing the Messenger: The Deadly Cost of News”. Murder is the leading cause of work related deaths for journalists as censorship increases worldwide. In addition to those who have been killed, dozens have been attacked, kidnapped, or forced into exile in connection with their coverage of crime and corruption. After the screening, the producers of the film joined press club members via Skype to discuss the film.

In November, the Press Club partnered with Dallas Summer Musicals to produce a special event honoring Michael Jenkins as the 2014 Newsmaker of the Year. The Dallas Summer Musicals and the Press Club celebrated Mr. Jenkins international reputation as a theatre visionary, Dallas Summer Musicals producer, world-wide theme park developer, and Broadway impresario. Thank you to Pat Porter, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Gummer, Joanne Holt, Dallas Summer Musicals Staff, Liz Oliphant, Tony Pederson, Phyllis Hammond, and John “Doc” Strange for their assistance in producing that event.

The Press Club also partnered with the World Affairs Council to host the Chief Political Correspondent and Analyst of the Jerusalem Post. Gil Hoffman’s talk was titled: Peace, Politics and Plutonium: An Insider’s Look at the Mayhem in the Middle East.

The Press Club’s New Beginnings event was held in April at the Le Meridian | Stoneleigh Hotel – an event that unveiled the club’s new mission and website and the perfect time to present a $30,000.00 scholarship grant to the Press Club of Dallas Scholarship Foundation in the name of Michael Jenkins. The event was held in the Penthouse of the hotel, a long-time meeting place of the club. Mayor Mike Rawlings provided a special recognition to honor the club and the Stoneleigh Hotel.

Board members Cary Broussard and Hugh Aynesworth worked as co-chairs to produce the Excellence in Journalism – North Texas Legends Awards held at the Sixth Floor Museum. Thirteen esteemed journalists were recognized for their contributions to journalism over their long careers in North Texas.

The club also honored its long-standing tradition of granting scholarships to local college and university students. Niki was invited to sit on the 2015 scholarship selection committee at the Communities Foundation of Texas – the organization that administers the Press Club of Dallas Scholarship Foundation – separate from the Press Club of Dallas but the long-time beneficiary of the clubs work. The foundation recognized two local university students who were awarded the 2015 Press Club of Dallas Foundation Scholarships.

  • Ricky Fumes (UNT – Commercial Arts)
  • Clayton Youngman (TCU – Journalism)

Looking ahead to 2015-2016, the board is committed to continuing on that good work, to uphold the club’s mission and the pillars on which it operates – and to focus on efforts to keep the club relevant, financially stable, and retain and grow membership by providing interesting and engaging programs and events.

The board, at its meeting on September 1 interviewed three consultants to assist in the creation of a Strategic Plan and Implementation Plan to identify goals over the next 3-5 years and tactics on how to obtain them – in order to provide guidance for this board and subsequent boards. The board voted to work with Ann Ranson (www.annranson.com) to assist in those efforts. We will be sharing more information as the process progresses and there will be an opportunity for the full membership to provide feedback and participate in the process.

We look forward to seeing you soon at a special event we will announce later this week!

Until then,

Niki McCuistion, President 2014-2015

Frank J. Librio, Jr. President 2015-2016[/fusion_text]

Press Club of Dallas Statement Re: WDBJ Shooting

[fusion_code]PGJsb2NrcXVvdGUgY2xhc3M9InR3aXR0ZXItdHdlZXQiIGxhbmc9ImVuIj48cCBsYW5nPSJlbiIgZGlyPSJsdHIiPldlIGxvdmUgeW91LCBBbGlzb24gYW5kIEFkYW0uIDxhIGhyZWY9Imh0dHA6Ly90LmNvL2hMU3pRaTA2WEUiPnBpYy50d2l0dGVyLmNvbS9oTFN6UWkwNlhFPC9hPjwvcD4mbWRhc2g7IFdEQko3IChAV0RCSjcpIDxhIGhyZWY9Imh0dHBzOi8vdHdpdHRlci5jb20vV0RCSjcvc3RhdHVzLzYzNjUyNjE4Mjk3Mjk2NDg2NCI+QXVndXN0IDI2LCAyMDE1PC9hPjwvYmxvY2txdW90ZT4NCjxzY3JpcHQgYXN5bmMgc3JjPSIvL3BsYXRmb3JtLnR3aXR0ZXIuY29tL3dpZGdldHMuanMiIGNoYXJzZXQ9InV0Zi04Ij48L3NjcmlwdD4=[/fusion_code][fusion_text]On behalf of the Press Club of Dallas Board of Directors and our members, we are all saddened by the deaths of Alison Parker and Adam Ward, both journalists tragically shot while reporting on live television. While we have the right to report the news without fear of reprisal, it’s a terrible loss to the journalism community when two of its own are lost so senselessly as this. PCD extends its deepest sympathy to both journalists’ families, friends, and colleagues at WBDJ-TV (CBS) in Roanoke, Virginia.

 

Frank Librio

President, Press Club[/fusion_text]

Bert Shipp Scholarship Fund Donations

On behalf of the family of Bert Shipp, the Press Club of Dallas is honored to receive donations to:

The Press Club of Dallas, c/o Bert Shipp Scholarship Fund.

Scholarship funds will be given in Bert’s honor to qualified students entering the field of journalism and communication.

Your donations can be made out to and mailed to:

The Press Club of Dallas

c/o Bert Shipp Scholarship Fund, PO Box 130925, Dallas, Texas 75313

Please direct your questions to  Brett Shipp, bshipp@wfaa.com

Thank you:

Niki McCuistion

President , PCD

214-750-5157

Bert Shipp joined WFAA-TV in 1961 and worked in news for almost 38 years. He retired in 1998 as news assignment editor, following a long career as a photographer-reporter.

Bert Shipp joined WFAA-TV in 1961 and worked in news for almost 38 years. He retired in 1998 as news assignment editor, following a long career as a photographer-reporter.

 

Dallas Chop House – Tuesday, April 7th – 5:30 to 7:00 pm

Dallas Chop House

Tuesday, April 7th

5:30 to 7:oo pm

We Will Meet in the Bar

Complimentary Appetizers

Happy Hour Prices All Night

The Dallas Chop House will donate 10% of the proceeds to the Press Club of Dallas

Dallas Chop House is one of four downtown restaurants owned by DRG Concepts:

Dallas House Burger – 1501 Main Street, Dallas (also at 2720 State Highway, suite 600, Euless)

Dallas Fish Market – 1501 Main St. suite 100, Dallas

Wild Salsa – 1800 Main St. suite 100, Dallas

Dallas Chop House

1717 Main Street, suite 100, Dallas   214-736-7300

map

Complimentary Garage Parking for Press Club Guests

(enter underground lot at southwest corner of Elm & St. Paul – take elevator – ticket will be validated)

Excellence in Journalism: North Texas Legends nominations open

Thursday, May 21st, will mark our 5th, Legends celebration. The event will be held at the Sixth Floor Museum so please mark your calendars. Your host committee, Hugh Aynesworth, Cary Broussard, David Dunnigan and Janie Loveless has been hard at work, and they need your help.

This year’s Excellence in Journalism: North Texas Legends is open for nominees and your input is necessary so we assure a diverse selection.

Award selection criteria include:

  • A nominee will have worked in the Dallas/Ft. Worth news media market for at least 10 years.
  • A nominee may be currently employed or actively retired.
  • A nominees name, media outlet, and experience will be recognizable to his/ her contemporaries.
  • A nominee continues to reside in Texas.

From the selections we receive, up to ten Excellence in Journalism nominees will be selected by a panel of five judges; composed of long standing Press Club Members and/or former board members.

Please send your nominations to the committee co-chairs, Hugh Aynesworth (hughaynesworth@gmail.com) and Cary Broussard (caryjb@gmail.com), by March 23.

To date award winners include:

John Anders, Gloria Campos, Iola Johnson, Judy Jordan, John Miller, Scott Murray, Darwin Payne, Walter Robertson, Cissy Stewart and Bob Welch.

Prior years:

Carolyn Barta, Eddie Barker, Kent Biffle, Clarence Bruyere, Alex Burton, Al Carrell, Vivian Castleberry, Ron Chapman, Mike Cochran,, Bob Compton, Lee Cullum, Jimmy Darnell,

Troy Dunigan, Bill Evans, Jim Ewell, Dottie Griffith, John Gudjohnsen,, Jim Henderson, Lana Henderson, Bert Holmes, Helen Holmes, Bob Huffaker, Suzy Humphries, Will Jarrett, Shelly Katz, Joe Laird, Ralph  Langer,

Jimmy Lovell, Frank Luksa, Phil Magers, Bill Mercer, Bob Miller, Burl Osborne, Rena Pederson, Bob Porter, Bob St. John, Blackie Sherrod, Bert Shipp, Carlton Stowers, Dick Wheeler, Wes Wise, Bobby Wygant, Tony Zoppi, Hugh Aynesworth and Karen Hughs.

Thank you in advance for your input.

Niki McCuistion

President

A documentary screening of Killing the Messenger: The Deadly Cost of News

KTM - logo

 

 

 

 

Wednesday,  March 25, 2015 KERA Studios, 3000 Harry Hines and Wolf, Dallas 75201

Reception and Refreshments: 5:30 PM

6 : PM Screening

KTM - action

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Watch 2 minute trailer

Followed by a panel discussion with:

David Leeson, Pulitzer Prize Winning Photo Journalist, Dallas Morning News ; Tod Robberson,  Dallas Morning News,  Pulitzer Prize winning editorial writer, former foreign correspondent  and other journalists who have experienced danger while in the line of duty.

And a special visit from Producers.  Directors  Eric Matthies  and Tricia Todd.

KTM - Eric matthiesKTM - Tricia Todd

Murder is the leading  cause of work related death for journalists as censoring increases world wide. Since 2006 300 plus journalists have been killed while reporting.

In addition to those who have been killed, dozens have been attacked, kidnapped, or forced into exile in connection with their coverage of crime and corruption.

Journalists reporting from Mexico, Russia and Iraq tell their own stories of kidnapping, intimidation, and beatings.  They’ve experienced the loss of colleagues in the field and have been close to death themselves. Their stories are heartfelt, captivating, engaging and at moments – unbelievable.

Join us for a compelling look at what getting the news sometimes entails. 

Seating is limited

Please RSVP to Niki McCuistion

Press Club President:

email: nikimccuistion@gmail.com  or leave word at 214-750-5157

Suggested donation of $10 ( at door), welcome.

Thank you

Register with Eventbrite

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