2013 Gold & Silver Circle

The Gold Circle and Silver Circle is a society of honor. The induction ceremony recognizes television professionals who have worked 50 or 25 years or more in the industry in a performing, creative, technical or administrative position.

They have made significant contributions to the southern regional market. Their contributions extend beyond professional excellence and commitment to their craft. These talented people give back to the community as mentor, educator, volunteer.

On Friday, September 20, 2013.  The Southeast Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences will recognize thirteen television pioneers whose careers have spanned a quarter of a century at the 2013 Silver Circle Induction ceremony.  Join us in honoring this prestigious group of industry professionals.

2013 SILVER CIRCLE Inductees:

Michael Britt
Over the years, Michael Britt has studied and perfected the art of storytelling through recorded images. In 1984 the Home Mission Board embarked on a transition into television by creating a television unit tasked with creating a television series called MissionsUSA Video Magazine, a bi-monthly television show distributed by the HMB and the Baptist Television Network (BTN). During his five year run as a producer for this program, Britt traveled the country, creating or working on dozens of segments for this show as well as many other stand-alone documentaries. His desire to change lives has led him to inspire others through teaching.

Jim Cantore
Jim Cantore is one of the most recognized faces in weather. As an on-camera meteorologist and Storm Tracker for The Weather Channel, his passion for meteorology during extreme weather is well known among TV viewers. Cantore landed at The Weather Channel as his first job out of college, first appearing on air in July 1986. Since then he has covered numerous weather events nationwide, saved countless lives, and shaped the look of live weather coverage today.
In severe weather, Cantore is there reporting on the story, informing viewers and keeping them safe in the middle of the storm … literally.

Paul Crawley
Paul Crawley’s news writing career began in 1973 as an anchor and reporter for the university’s public television station, WUNC-TV. He joined 11Alive News in August of 1978 primarily as a general assignment reporter and has since won several professional competitions, including seven Georgia and Southeast Regional Emmys. A long-time history buff, Paul served as President of the National Military Historical Association, an Atlanta based, WWII non-profit living history organization. Aside from his many accomplishments, Crawley has proven to enrich WXIA in more ways than one. It is no secret that he is a talented broadcaster that Atlanta has trusted for 4 decades.

Mark Harmon
Mark Harmon takes pride in portraying quality through his work and it has certainly paid off. Harmon is a recipient of many prestigious awards including the Associated Press Best Sportscast Award the GABBY Award for Best Sports Series. In his new role as Sports Director at Georgia Public Broadcasting, he’s been at the forefront of the station’s high school broadcasting initiative. He sees the new challenge at GPB Sports to be one of both fun and importance as the station continues to promote its “Stop The Drop” initiative. Mark is an honorable mentor to many and friend to all he sees.


Sophia Kelley
Sophia Karteris Kelley is an accomplished television programming executive–but above all a mentor. In her vast television career spanning of nearly three decades, Sophia has helped change and shape the television experience and landscape  in the Southeast. As Vice President of Programming at Turner, Sophia developed and executed the launch of Turner South. Furthermore, Sophia was among the first to recognize the Value of Video on Demand and capitalize on it. Currently, Sophia serves as the Senior Vice President of Programming at UP where she has imapacted television and impelled the brand of the network to a new height.

Donna Lowry
After joining 11Alive News in Atlanta in 1986, Donna Lowry has since become the state of Georgia’s only full time Education Reporter, creating both the CLASSNOTES and award-winning CLASS ACT segments that are regular features on 11Alive News. During her tenure she has covered the entire spectrum of news stories. Lowry has won many praises and honors for her coverage of everything from child abuse and domestic violence to daycare and educational issues. Her professional/personal affiliations include memberships in the Education Writers Association (EWA), National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS), the Magnolia Chapter of Links, Inc., and the Atlanta Association of Black Journalists (AABJ).

Tim McVay
WSB-TV Vice President and General Manager Tim McVay has dedicated a lifetime to the television industry and proven to have outstanding leadership qualities. Aside from being an inspirational frontrunner, McVay possesses the unique ability to discern an employee’s talents and the wisdom to encourage forward progression in their business and personal lives. Before moving to Atlanta in 1992, he got his start at WHIO-TV in Dayton, OH and has been with Cox Television throughout his entire career. Aside from television, McVay is also an active member of the community, leading station efforts in contributing to dozens of local non-profit organizations.

Estelle Parsley
In a business of nomads, Estelle Parsley has taken the broadcast road less traveled…by staying put. In her 27 year career, Estelle has only worked in two newsrooms.
She began as a reporter at WKFT in Fayetteville, NC and moved to the anchor desk at WRDW in Augusta. 25 years later, she’s still at WRDW.
As news director for the past 16 years, Estelle has built a successful newsroom and a powerful market. She’s been recognized with numerous fellowships and awards, but her greatest reward has been watching the young journalists she’s trained succeed in newsrooms all over the country.

Andy Parsons
Andy began his career at WATL as engineer/ field operations manager. Joining CNN 33 years ago as part of the original launch team, he is one of the eleven original staffers remaining today. His travels landed him in Beirut during the Israeli invasion in 1981, and in Tiananmen Square in 1989 with his personal camera providing footage for CNN. Over the years Andy has had his hand in most every undertaking at CNN.
Andy is currently a Senior Project Manager, assigned to various projects at CNN, dealing with studio design and new technology. His willingness to share his knowledge, resources, and expertise make him a true leader and inspiration.

Angela Rice
Senior Executive Producer Angela Harrington Rice started her journey at AIB as an Intern over three decades ago.  Having held nearly every position in television broadcasting, she has helped to foster conversations of peace, understanding and has created positive exchanges between persons of different faiths and ethnicities. Since 1989, she has produced and hosted the award winning show “A Woman’s Place”, Atlanta’s longest running women’s television show. For more than 23 years it has fostered the spiritual, economic and emotional growth of its audience with accessible information geared towards women. She is also an ordained minister, teacher and marriage counselor.

Jon Shirek
Jon Shirek’s journalism career spans nearly four decades. As a backpack journalist, he writes, shoots and edits his owns pieces. Impressively, each story is not just told, it’s crafted. His profound and heartfelt writing has been known to reduce anchors to tears without warning. Jon has spent more than 30 years at WXIA, winning a number of Emmy awards — although you’d never hear that from him. Often the first one in and the last to leave, Jon remains one of Channel  11’s strongest, most versatile reporters, and one of the most respected and beloved members of the 11Alive family.

Dennis Smith
Dennis Smith’s broadcast news career spanned four and a half decades. He retired as News Director of WLBT in 2013 after 23 1/2 years in that capacity. In 1974, he created Probe, a weekly half hour investigative program that received numerous broadcasting awards including the George Foster Peabody in 1976. Smith is also a retired Colonel from the Mississippi Army National Guard and a member of the Mississippi Bar Association. Former staff members he hired and trained are now reporting or anchoring in such cities as San Diego, Orlando, and Las Vegas. Smith has received several offers to teach broadcast journalism which he plans to consider later this year.

James Spann
James Spann, chief meteorologist at ABC 33/40 in Birmingham, says that hiscalling in life is to save lives. During every tornado warning James provides nonstop coverage. His geographic knowledge and meteorological training help him get people to “respect the polygon.”
James’ unending fervor to improve forecasting has recently brought him national recognition as he received the nation’s two highest awards for meteorologists: The Award for Broadcast Meteorology by the American Meteorological Society and Broadcaster of the Year by the National Weather Association.
James’ commitment to keeping Alabamians safe is surpassed only by his faith and his devotion to his family.