April 24, 2014

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Glenn Wilson-Hall of Famer?

Seeking a major honor for a local legend.

In sports, there's the baseball and football halls of fame. In the last 20 years, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has been discussed in detail.


But there's one most of our viewers haven't heard much about. It's the Ohio Associated Press Hall of Fame, which inducted its first class in 2002.


Most of its inductees are news anchors and reporters who aren't familiar to our viewers, from cities like Cleveland, Cincinnati, Dayton, Toledo or Youngstown. Some from Columbus are familiar names to those who have seen those stations on cable.


Only one inductee so far is from the Southeast Ohio region; a former news anchor from Steubenville. As the representative on the Associated Press Board of Directors from Southeast Ohio, I'd like to change that.


There is a push right now to include a long-time Athens reporter, Fred Kight (a native of Parkersburg), to the Hall. I have been pushing quietly to include one of WTAP's own as well.


Even though he hasn't appeared on our air in more than ten years, and passed away in 2001, Glenn Wilson is still fondly remembered by our viewers as well as by the people who worked for and with him here.


For a long time, you couldn't watch our station without seeing him on our air. Glenn hosted quiz shows, children's shows and public affairs programs and appeared in station commercials. But depending on your age, you either remember him as the station's news director and news anchor or (as I do) as its main weatherman. For a long time after I joined the station in 1980, mail came to the news department addressed to Glenn, and he sometimes would take calls intended for the news department. Other than perhaps Walter Cronkite, I don't know of many others who had that kind of a news presence. Glenn was given a Lifetime Achievement Award by the West Virginia Associated Press in 2000, one year before his death, and you're probably aware that a scholarship award was established by WTAP in his honor.


I have had present and former station employees (including our General Manager, Roger Sheppard, and former news/weather anchor John Fortney) lobby on my behalf to have Glenn inducted into the Ohio Associated Press Hall of Fame. Now, I'm asking for the public's voice.


The deadline for submitting nominations for this year's class is February 15. I'm hoping everyone who reads this blog will contact the Ohio A.P. to encourage Glenn's induction.


You can e-mail me at this website, or you can e-mail Doug Whiteman, the Broadcast Editor of the Ohio Associated Press in Columbus at dwhiteman@ap.org.


Glenn has long had recognition in our viewing area. I'd like him to get that same recognition outside it as well.


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