On August 28th, 14 special individuals were inducted into the Gold/Silver Circle. Please click the link on the left to learn more about the ceremony and the inductees.
2015 Inductees include:
Dave Baird, ABC 33/40 Birmingham, AL (Gold Circle)
Dave Baird is an Emmy Award winning broadcaster with nearly five decades of radio and television experience. He is currently the anchor of ABC 33/40’s 6:00p.m and 10:00p.m. news in Birmingham, AL. Before joining the ABC 33/40 news team, Dave was the main anchor and producer at Channel 33, WCFT in Tuscaloosa. He also worked at radio stations in Birmingham and Tuscaloosa before making the move to television 33 years ago. Dave is a graduate of the University of Alabama. Dave and his wife Susan live in Hoover, Alabama. They have two sons, John and David. John is a Public Defender in Tuscaloosa, David is currently studying and teaching art in France.
Greg Stone, Retired, Cox Executive (Gold Circle)
For almost two decades, as the General Manager & Vice President of WSB-TV, Greg Stone commandeered America’s number 1 local affiliate. He build the cornerstones that established WSB as a powerhouse.Stone’s career in broadcasting started in 1963 when he joined Cox at WSOC Radio in Charlotte. He moved to the television side in 1966, joining WSOC-TV in Charlotte. He joined TeleRep as the manager of the Atlanta office in 1970, and was promoted to area regional vice president in 1977. In 1980, Stone returned to WSOC-TV as director of sales and was promoted to vice president and general manager in 1982. He remained there until 1990 when he was promoted to vice president and general manager of WSB-TV.
Larry Blunt (WLOS-TV, Ashveville, NC)
Larry Blunt arrived at WLOS-TV/ News 13 in 2005 from Denver. He Anchors the 6pm and 11pmweekday newscasts and the 10pm on WMYA-TV. His work has exposed loopholes in state law that allowed building homes on contaminated sites, led to a county ordinance to better protect public health and held public officials accountable. His work has been honored with dozens of state, regional and national awards including EMMY’s, and honors from the Society of Professional Journalists. Larry volunteers for Meals on Wheels delivering to shut-ins and the Muscular Dystrophy Assoc. He is also a U.S. Navy Veteran, graduate of Purdue University at Fort Wayne and is a federally and tribally recognized member of the Cherokee Nation.
Jerry Carnes, WXIA-TV, Atlanta, Ga
Jerry Carnes was born in Atlanta, married an Atlanta native and bleeds Bulldog red and black. 11Alive has been a part of his life for many years, having started as a college intern during the summer of his junior year at UGA. After 25 years at 11Alive as an investigative journalist, Carnes took on the challenge of Commuter Dude. He fights Atlanta traffic and cringes when he careens into a pothole. Jerry’s broadcast career took him on a whirlwind across the south, reporting for WRBL-TV in Columbus, GA, WAAY-TV in Huntsville, AL, and WSPA-TV in Greenville, S.C., before accepting a job with WXIA. Jerry and his wife Caddy, and their three children reside in Dunwoody.
Michael Cogdill, WYFF-TV, Greenville, SC
Michael Cogdill’s cache of awards includes 29 Emmys and the National Edward R. Murrow for a broad range of achievement. He currently anchors the 6:00pm. and 11:00p.m. news weeknights on WYFF News 4. His work as a journalist has appeared on NBC’s Today Show, CNBC, MSNBC, andCNN. Cogdill began his career in television, working at WECT, an NBC affiliate in Wilmington, North Carolina. He soon moved over to WWAY, Wilmington’s ABC station, and later migrated toWRDW-TV in Augusta, Georgia. He finally landed at Greenville, South Carolina station WYFF (anNBC affiliate) in 1989, cementing his position as one of the most decorated journalists in S.C. Michael is also an accomplished Screenwriter, Novelist and film producer.
Steve Graham (Independent), Atlanta, Ga
Stephen Graham began at WXIA-TV as Executive Sports Producer. Through out his prolific career he has produced sports, entertainment and documentary programs for CBS, NBC, ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Classic, CMT, Comcast/NBC Universal, TLC, CNN, FOX, PBS, and TBS. He has interviewed hundreds of movie, television and national personalities such as Presidents Clinton and Bush, Paul McCartney, Madonna, Tom Cruise, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Julia Roberts. Graham created a series for ESPN in 1995 called “Radical Outdoor Challenge,” where he discovered an unknown talent named Ryan Seacrest. He continues to be much sought after recently producing in India to launch national broadcasts of basketball and other sports.
Kim Gusby, WSAV-TV, Savannah, Ga
Kim joined the News 3 team in November 1993. Since that time, she has been waking folks up as the Morning Anchor of WSAV’s Coastal Sunrise. During her tenure, she has been honored with several Associated Press and Regional R. Edward Murrow awards. Kim is a graduate of Georgia Southern University, with a degree in Communication Arts. A “homegrown product”, Kim believes in giving back to her community. When she’s not on the air, you can find her in local classrooms speaking to students or volunteering through various social/civic organizations. Kim was also a part of a number of missions to Haiti with Savannah’s Christian Revival Center. Kim is also the proud mother of four.
Jeff Hullinger, WXIA-TV, Atlanta, Ga
Jeff Hullinger is in his sixth year at WXIA-TV as an anchor. He is a 19-time Emmy winner. Hullinger arrived in Atlanta at 1984 as WAGA’s weeknight sports anchor and stayed 18 years. He anchored nine hours of coverage when the Olympic bomb exploded. He spent years with ESPN-TV as a front line play-by-play voice of college football, including bowls and serving with ESPN’s “College GameDay,” in addition to NCAA men’s and women’s basketball and Arena League Games. Hullinger has filled in on CNN’s “Talkback Live.” He began at KOAA-TV Colorado Springs then moved to Salt Lake City KSL-TV, and Denver’s KCNC-TV. Hullinger received a Bachelor of Sciencedegree in Mass Communications from Colorado State University-Pueblo.
Evelyn Mims, Mims Media Group, Atlanta, GA
Her television career spans for over forty years. Evelyn’s first job was at the Jackson NBC affiliate, WLBT. She would soon move to Atlanta, to rise as Program Coordinator and producer for WXIA . Evelyn worked both in front of the camera and behind the scenes, receiving 3 Emmy nominations for her role as the “Soap Sultress”, leading to guest appearances on “Days of Our Lives.” Most notably, in 2004, when Evelyn assumed the Presidency of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, the Southeast Chapter, she became the First African-American female president across all 19 NATAS chapters. Evelyn is now the President of the Mims Media Group, a communications firm specializing in product placement and media coaching.
Bob Neal , Independent, Atlanta, GA
For the past 40 years, Bob Neal has excelled both in television and radio at the national and local level. Currently, Bob is teaching sports journalism at the Grady School of Journalism. For 23 years, Bob was a familiar voice for Turner Sports on its national NBA coverage for TNT and TBS for telecasts . He served as news and sports director of WXIA-TV in Atlanta. He has been the anchor of “Talkin’ Football,” “Talkin’ Hoops,” and “SEC Hoops Tonight,” in addition to his current hosting of “Play to Win.” Neal is the recipient of five regional Emmy awards, three AP awards, a share of five national Emmy awards, and the 2012 Lindsey Nelson Award for career contributions in sports broadcasting.
Jeff Reid, WXIA-TV, Atlanta, Ga.
Jeff Reid is an award winning editorial leader who has covered every major story of the last two decades from 9/11, the second War in Iraq, and Hurricane Katrina. He currently serves as the Manager of Enterprise Content at 11Alive WXIA & WATL. During his 12 year tenure at CNN, he produced the highly rated documentaries of “Black in America,” and “Words that Changed a Nation (Martin Luther King).”Additional documentary work include programs about the Virginia Tech massacre and the Oklahoma City bombing. In 2009, Jeff was recognized along with Soledad O’Brien, to Ebony Magazine’s Power 150, ranking third behind Oprah and Tavis Smiley. A graduate of Middle Tennessee State University, Jeff started his career at WTVC in Chattanooga, TN.
Bill Thompson, Atlanta GA
Bill Thompson has dedicated over 30 years of his life to the Film and Television industry. He earned his undergraduate and Master of Communications degree in Film and Video from Georgia State University. He’s held roles including Director of Photography, Production Manager, Producer, and was appointed the Film Commissioner of Georgia in 2006 and then Deputy Film Commissioner in 2007. These roles have led him across the globe, working on productions such as the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games. Bill also helped the Georgia Entertainment Industry Investment Act get passed, making Georgia the dominant state in the south for film and television productions.
Randy Travis, WAGA-TV, Atlanta, GA
Randy Travis joined FOX 5 Atlanta in 1990 as a reporter. In 1994 he became an investigative reporter for the FOX 5 I-Team. His stories have closed down businesses that misled the public, exposed government waste and sent people to prison. Before joining FOX 5, Randy was a reporter for WMC-TV in Memphis, Tenn., WYFF-TV, and WMAZ-TV. Randy has won several regional Emmy awards for his investigative work. Twice he has been honored with the national Edward R. Murrow Award. One of those stories exposed the illicit sale of crack cocaine supplies in metro convenience stores. Randy is a 1982 graduate of the University of Georgia. He lives with his family in metro Atlanta.
Port Wilson (Independent), Atlanta, GA
Port has served in the southeast region for better than 30 years producing everything from commercial and promotion projects for network affiliates to long form documentaries and entertainment programs for the SyFy, DIY, and Fox networks, HGTV, The Weather Channel, Public Broadcasting and the state of Georgia. His most recent work resulted in a Daytime Emmy Award for “Elbow Room,” which airs on HGTV. He has been the writer/producer for the Southeast Regional Emmy awards for the last 20 years. He is very active in community service working with the Georgia Radio Reading Service for the Blind and Habitat for Humanity. Port also spends time teaching Writing for Broadcast and mentoring newcomers to the community.