Originally posted Friday, November 8, 2019 by RODNEY HOemail@example.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog
The Atlanta Press Club inducted its ninth class Thursday night featuring the founder of Mundo Hispanico, Atlanta’s first black anchor, one of the AJC’s most beloved columnists and the Weather Channel’s most iconic meteorologist.
- Jim Cantore, 55, who has been with the Atlanta-based Weather Channel since 1986, jokingly told the audience at the InterContinental Hotel that he has been inducted courtesy of “three viral videos.”
His passion for weather (especially snow) in Vermont, he said, led him to meteorology. He used to love cold weather but extended time in the South has inured him to humidity and heat.
“I smelled the honeysuckle in the air and fell in love with the South,” he said. “It grew on me. It’s where I work and raise my family and do my craft.”
He loves that his is effectively a service job, that he can help people get to work and school and sometimes even save their lives. “What a wonderful thing!” he said.
- Jocelyn Dorsey, 69, came to WSB-TV in 1973 and worked the news as anchor and reporter for the next decade. When a news director wanted to take her off the anchor desk and cut her pay, Coretta Scott King (“She was my second mother”) and Andrew Young intervened and she was able to get into management. She ran community affairs for the next 25 years.
She gave due credit to her Cox bosses for their support, from the moment she was hired (with clearance from Cox owner Anne-Cox Chambers to be the first black anchor) to one of her last bosses Tim McVay, who gave her freedom to speak her mind.
She also gave her late parents plenty of kind words in Ohio and how the politics at Ohio State University during the Vietnam War turned her to journalism.
Dorsey said many in the newsroom in the 1970s saw her less as a journalist than a “civil rights token.” But then anchor (and fellow APC Hall of Famer) John Pruitt encouraged her that she should use her voice “to speak for those who could not speak and improve the quality of life for all Georgians. He was right.”
She called this one of the most rewarding ways to make a living and to be recognized by her peers “is icing on the cake.”
- Lino Dominguez, 73, founded Mundo Hispanico in the early 1980s. It’s now the nation’s largest independently-owned Spanish language digital media company.
Dominguez didn’t initially have an intention to become a media mogul but he saw a need in the 1980s to give a voice to the growing Hispanic community in Atlanta. He turned the paper into a viable, profitable operation.
- Lewis Grizzard was a hugely popular columnist for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution from 1977 until his death in 1994 at age 47 of a congenital heart defect.
As a humorist, he became nationally known with several best-selling books and stage shows. His viewpoints reflected the changing South and his own struggles to adjust to it. He had foes and his ardent defenders.
His widow Dedra Grizzard accepted the award on his behalf. She said he had his dream job at the AJC and “always had time for his fans.” She said they came up to them at restaurants “to tell us a story or a joke or when their mother’s last heart surgery was.”
The day before his final heart surgery, he said he had lived an “extremely full life. He said I’ve done more in 47 years than most people had done in a lifetime.”
She called him “tender hearted, a man’s man and a fierce competitor on the golf course and the newsroom... He was a fiercely proud Southerner and he loved Georgia with all his heart.”
Disclosure: I have been a Press Club board member since 2009.
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