Connecticut Journalism Hall of Fame

CT Journalism Hall of Fame: Morgan McGinley

Morgan McGinley was editorial page editor at the New London Day for 26 years.  He has been a fixture in Connecticut journalism with honors and awards to fill several walls and trophy cabinets.  He won numerous SPJ awards over his career, including the Stephen A. Collins Freedom of Information award in 2001.

He has also won a number of New England awards for editorial writing including the New England Press Association award for best editorial and best editorial writer for papers under 50,000 circulation just this year.  Morgan was a judge for the Pulitzer Prize in 2004 and 2005.  He has been president of the National Conference of Editorial Writers Foundation, president of the National Conference, and the New England Society of Newspaper Editors.

He is a board member and past president of the Connecticut Council of Freedom of Information and board member of the Connecticut Foundation for Open Government.  He won the Yankee Quill Award in 2001 for his contributions to better Journalism in New England throughout his career.  He has also served on several community boards in New London.

Morgan is a graduate of Colby College in Maine.  He is married to Lisa McGinley who is the assistant managing editor for reporting at the Day.  They have three grown children. He retired from the Day in April 2008.

We are honored to induct Morgan McGinley to the Connecticut Journalism Hall of Fame.

 

 

 

CT Journalism Hall of Fame: Richard Peck

Back in the day, when cigar smoke hung thick in the newsroom and the clatter of typewriters and wire machines ricocheted off the linoleum and concrete of the walls, and reporters were, on occasion, actually admired, Richard Peck was in full bloom.

It was the 1970’s, the time of Watergate, and reporters everywhere had perhaps a little extra swagger in their step. This was in part thanks to the recognition going not only to Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein as individuals, but also to the value of the work, the profession, the role of the press as watchdog.

If a reporter ever took that role seriously, it was Richard Peck, first in his long-running posting as Bridgeport Post-Telegram bureau chief in Stratford, and in subsequent stints as city editor and columnist.

Richard gathered news the old-fashioned way – not by phone, by Blackberry, by press release, by Google – but by foot, step by step, through the gin mills, diners, Rotary luncheons, town and city halls, through places high and low – in other words, wherever real people gathered to tell their stories. Congenitally suspicious, relentlessly questioning, he was a skeptic in the best sense of that word.

But no nagging scold was Richard Peck. A gifted story-teller, his tales were punctuated with ready flashes of his trademark gap-toothed grin.

A Renaissance man. At least if you let Damon Runyon have his two cents on what that means: Richard was not only a raconteur and legendary epicure, he was a sporting man and handicapper extraordinaire. Many men have their shrines: Richard’s was Saratoga. He wrote with equal dexterity – and insight, by the way – about fillies and felons.

Finally, he was a teacher, sharing his passion and his knowledge with countless young journalists who came under his gaze, wherever he may have encountered them. In places high and low. His most effective was of sharing was by his example.

CT Journalism Hall of Fame: Pat Sheehan

Patrick Sheehan’s news career started 43 years ago at WILI Radio in Willimantic.  His first TV news job was in 1968 at WHCT-TV in Hartford where he was an anchor and political reporter.  He moved back to radio for two years, working at WDRC Hartford and WINS in New York.  Then it was back to TV news anchoring at Connecticut Public Television, WTNH in New Haven, WFSB in Hartford and then spending 10 years at Channel 61, WTIC-TV where he worked until 1999.

Pat left journalism to pursue a new career in investment management and is manager of a major investment firm in Hartford.  But he has continued his involvement in public affairs and journalism.  He helped found the Connecticut Television Network and serves as the chairman of the Connecticut Public Affairs Network, its governing board.  CT-N is the equivalent of CSPAN within the state which provides coverage of government hearings and General Assembly sessions.  He was voted as Connecticut’s Outstanding Newscaster several times in the 1980s and was given a Silver Circle lifetime Emmy award by the New England Chapter of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.  He won the Connecticut Freedom of Information Commission E. Bartlett Barnes award.  He was the first broadcaster elected as president of the Connecticut Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists in 1987.  Pat’s public service includes serving on the University of Connecticut Foundation Board, as a trustee of Cheshire Academy, and a director of the Manufacturing Alliance of Connecticut along with other civic activities.

Paul Lewis, former news director at Ch. 61, says of Pat:

“Pat was instrumental in launching FOX 61 News and for 10 years he anchored the newscast.  Pat was always one of the smartest people in Connecticut and he had tremendous recall of newsmakers and their intertwined relationships. On election nights, when it’s mostly unscripted, Pat knew the candidates down to the smallest race in the smallest town and knew that this candidate’s father had been a state rep back 20 years earlier or that candidate once was a college intern for the deputy assistant under-secretary of the State Department of Obscurity.”

Paul Giguere of the Connecticut Network said:

“As Chairman of the Board of the Connecticut Network, Pat Sheehan has

personified the concept of visionary leadership.  He has championed the cause of transparency and accountability in government through CT-N, helping to establish its legitimacy and ensure its permanency as a Connecticut institution. Through his passion and uncompromising commitment to the principles of open government and journalistic integrity, he helped make CT-N itself uncompromising in its charge to make the process of government accessible to all.  Pat’s service to CT-N, the General Assembly and the people of Connecticut is incalculable.”

Pat served as a Second Lieutenant in the Army National Guard and holds a BA from UCONN in political science.  Pat and his wife, Jane, live in Cheshire.  They have four children.

 

 

CT Journalism Hall of Fame: Tom Monahan

Tom Monahan has spent almost 40 years as a journalist.  His career started at radio at stations in Massachusetts and Connecticut.  He has been at WVIT-TV for 30 years.  He has covered hundreds major stories in the state.  From storms to murders to sports Tom has been on the scene.  He has won three Emmys, the first in 1984 for his coverage of the Steven Wood homicide trial.  He won another for a series on drunken driving.  But it is his reporting on politics that has made perhaps the biggest impact.

He was the first to report that Al Gore had chosen Senator Joe Lieberman as his vice presidential running mate.  He is credited with being first with the news the New England Patriots were coming to Hartford, and the first to report they were pulling out.  He also broke the news the Whalers National Hockey League team was leaving Hartford.  Tom is co-host of “Connecticut Newsmakers” on Channel 30 where he interviews politicians and government leaders every week.  He won the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Silver Circle Award in New England for his long career to contributions to television news.  Tom attended Central Connecticut State University and the University of Hartford.  He and his wife Nancy live in the greater Hartford area.  He is on the air daily with stories from the Statehouse and beyond.

CT Journalism Hall of Fame: Robert Estabrook

Robert Estabrook has lived several journalism lives.  He is best known in Connecticut as the publisher and editor of the Lakeville Journal.  He owned the newspaper for 16 years.  During that time the Journal covered a number of high profile stories including the 1973 Peter Reilly murder trial.  Because of the newspaper’s in-depth coverage, all charges were dropped against the 18-year old who had been accused of killing his mother.  For those stories and editorials the paper won the national John Peter Zenger Award for Freedom of the Press. He also has been active in Freedom of Information issues.  But his career extended beyond the boundaries of Connecticut.  He was a writer for northern Michigan weeklies and managing editor of the campus newspaper at Northwestern University, from which he graduated summa cum laude in 1939.  He worked as an editorial writer in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  He served four years in the Army during World War II and started a U.S. forces newspaper in Brazil.  After the war the Washington Post hired him as an editorial writer.  He spent 25 years with that storied organization including nine years as a foreign correspondent traveling to 70 countries.  He has been a Pulitzer Prize judge and with other New England editors, conducted journalism workshops in India.

Mitchell Pearlman, former director of the CT. Freedom of Information Commission said,

“Bob’s autobiography is entitled “Never Dull.”  When it comes to leadership for journalism’s sacred causes, his biography can aptly be called  “Always There.”  There are many who say they believe in the virtues of a free press and an open and accountable government, but too precious few who step forward time and again to vigorously preserve, protect and defend freedom of the press and freedom of information, both of which are so essential to democracy.  Bob Estabrook has been, and is, one of them.

People throughout the United States, and indeed the world, have benefited by his indefatigable leadership in journalism.  But we in Connecticut have benefited the most, and the most directly, when he and his wife, Mary Lou, decided to move to  Connecticut and buy the Lakeville Journal.  They not only

made that paper a great weekly newspaper, they became the paradigm for community-based, civic-minded journalism, while ever mindful that their local community is part of a broader statewide, national and international community about which every reader should be well-informed.  I’ve had the honor and privilege of knowing and working with Bob for over 35 years.  Thus I can say that without doubt, no one during this period has done more for good journalism and good government in Connecticut than Bob Estabrook.  He is indeed a hero and much deserving of this recognition.”

Mr. Estabrook died in November 2011. He was 93.

CT Journalism Hall of Fame: Al Primo

Al Primo was one of the original owners of the Cablevision franchise in Fairfield County, and helped create News 12 Connecticut, as well as News 12 Long Island. When he owned WNVR-AM in the Naugatuck-Waterbury area, he employed a six-person local news staff. Among his staffers was Chris Berman, now an icon on ESPN.  Primo was publisher of The Village Gazette in Greenwich, a weekly newspaper that won several awards for its coverage of the I-95 Mianus River Bridge in 1983. As consultant to WTNH Channel 8 in the mid-90s, he helped enhance the “Action News” concept.

Primo is known as “The Father of ‘Eyewitness News’ ” and is credited with revolutionizing local news with that format. His career included news directorships in Cleveland, Philadelphia, and New York. He became vice president of news for the ABC-owned TV stations before starting his TV news consulting firm, Primo Newservice, based in Old Greenwich. In 1999, Primo was the founder of one of the Internet’s first video news websites, ForeignTV.com.  In 2002, he helped create “Teen Kid News,” a weekly nationally syndicated newscast for teenagers. Primo earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Pitt, and a gift to his alma mater helped establish The Journalism Lab, one of the nation’s first electronic classrooms.

 

 

 

CT Journalism Hall of Fame: Edward Frede

Danbury News-times writer Robert Miller said in an article about Ed Frede’s death, that Ed thought he’d escape Danbury, Connecticut when he was young.  He came to embrace his hometown, and Danbury embraced him.  But it was not just Danbury that felt Ed’s influence.  All of Connecticut was served by his dedication to the pursuit of truth and to Freedom of Information.

Ed Frede was born in 1935. He graduated from Danbury High School in 1952 and the University of Connecticut in 1956. He served in the U.S. Navy for four years, rising to the rank of commander and working as an air intelligence officer aboard the USS Forrestal. Afterward, he went to work at The Virginian-Pilot newspaper in Virginia, where he was a reporter for three years.

He and his wife Mary Ann met there, married, and moved to California, where Frede worked at two newspapers. Stephen Collins, longtime editor of The News-Times, had always told Frede if he wanted a job in his hometown to call. In 1969, he did.  He started his career at the Danbury News-Times that year as a copy editor.  He became editor in 1980 and executive editor in 1995.

But those are merely facts and dates.

They don’t communicate the passion Ed had for journalism.  Here are a few comments from those who knew Ed well:

Former Danbury mayor, James Dyer, said, “I thought he was the classic, old-time newsman.  He had ink in his veins.”

Mitchell Pearlman, the former director of the Connecticut Freedom of Information Commission, said, “Ed didn’t look at putting out a newspaper as a job.  For him, it was a vocation.”

Former News-Times publisher, Wayne J. Shepard said, “Certainly all editors of this newspaper have cared about the quality of our writing, our news coverage and our image in the community.  But Ed, more than any of us, took the blue-collar approach to wearing our logo across his forehead…He continually sought out townspeople to chat about their views – good or bad – of our daily news content.  Everyday, he wanted to make our reporters’ writing better.”

Robin Glassman, whom Ed hired as a writing coach at the paper and who was inducted into the Hall of Fame at its inception, said, “He was gentle, affable, devoted to the News-Times and always working to improve it.  Especially the writing and reporting.  He was very serious about this, but he could be funny too.  He always enjoyed a good joke.”

His wife, Mary Ann said of Ed’s hectic schedule, “I knew if he could be home he would be.  But I gave up on him being home on time.”

There was “ink in his blood.”

Ed served as the secretary/treasurer of both the Connecticut Council on the FOI and the Connecticut Foundation for Open Government. He received the E. Bartlett Barnes Award from the FOI Commission for his lifetime of work promoting open government.

He was always willing to talk with journalism classes about the news business and share his passion for journalism.  That passion was infectious.  His influence went beyond words on paper, but into the hearts and minds of young journalists who saw him as a role model for how to do community journalism right.

There was that day when Ed’s phone rang at the paper.  It was a prisoner at the Danbury Federal Correctional Institution who was holding a knife to a hostage’s throat and wanted to talk to Ed.  Ed rushed out to the prison with a tape recorder.  He listened to the man’s story, persuaded him to put down the knife, then hurried back to the paper.  The News-Times ran Ed’s story and also a complete transcript of the man’s complaints.

There was “ink in his blood.”

 

CT Journalism Hall of Fame: Harold Hornstein

Harold Hornstein graduated with a degree in journalism from the University of Missouri in 1947, which he attended following his service in World War II in the Army.  In the war he served during the invasion of Sicily and in Italy, Corsica, France and Belgium.  He started his professional journalism career in 1948 as an investigative reporter for the Enquirer of Columbus, Georgia.  He was a cub reporter, but his work in Georgia from 1948 to 1952 led to his paper winning a Pulitzer in 1955 for the clean up of Phenix City, which had been known as “Sin City.”

He moved to Connecticut in 1952 and started work at the Fairfield Citizen.  He moved to the Westport Town Crier as news editor.  He worked as a reporter and editorial writer at several papers, including the Bridgeport Post-Telegram, now known as the Connecticut Post.  He toiled there for 14 years until joining the New Haven Register and its sister paper – the old Journal-Courier.  He wrote editorials for those papers until 1987 when he “retired.”  He also wrote the Our Connecticut column weekly for the Register for about 15 years and continued writing editorials on a free-lance basis.

But Harold wasn’t done yet.  He covered education for the Westport News for three more years.  And he is still writing free-lance for the Westport News, the New York Times Connecticut section, the Fairfield News and Westport Magazine.  Not bad for a man who is approaching 86 years on the planet.

His stories and editorials have helped conserve the environment, improve safety at summer camps and dealt with a myriad of other issues important to readers in Connecticut.

Harold Hornstein has collected a number of journalism awards over the years that are testament to his dedication, persistence and talent.  He, along with SPJ Board member, Debra Estock, won a first place for environmental reporting from the New England Press Association in 1998.  The stories helped insure preservation of 800 acres known as Trout Brook Valley in Easton and Weston.

Harold has won many other awards, but perhaps the one dearest to SPJ is the 1992 Stephen Collins Public Service Award.  That is given to only one news organization in the state each year.  Harold’s stories about elementary school buses led the Westport Board of Education to institute safety monitors on the buses.

He has also passed along his craft to many young reporters at various papers and taught as an adjunct professor at Southern, the University of Bridgeport, the University of Hartford and Gateway Community College.

Harold Hornstein exemplifies the word “journalist.”  He is an inspiration to all of us.  He has dedicated his life to explaining Connecticut to his readers and we are all better for it.

He passed away in 2011 at age 90.

CT Journalism Hall of Fame: Forrest Palmer

Forrest Palmer is the retired publisher of the Danbury News-Times.

He has served on the Board of the Connecticut Foundation for Open Government for many years.  He was President of CFOG when they helped fund a serious study of the viability of FOI law in Connecticut.  That study made national news and is still used as a benchmark of how to conduct studies of Freedom of Information compliance in the United States.

He has been a long and tireless fighter for keeping public records open to the public in Connecticut.

CT Journalism Hall of Fame: Reid MacCluggage

Reid MacCluggage served as publisher of the New London Day from 1984 to 2001. MacCluggage was the first New London Day publisher who was hired from outside the paper. He oversaw the expansion of the paper’s coverage from the city of New London to include Norwich and some of the surrounding towns.

MacCluggage got his start in journalism as a reporter at The Hartford Courant after graduating from the University of Hartford in 1961. Over the next 21 years at the Courant, he held a variety of editorial positions, including

bureau chief, copy editor, magazine writer and state editor. He became assistant managing editor of the Courant in 1973 and was promoted to managing editor of the paper in1982. MacCluggage was named editor, publisher and president of The Day two years later.

He has been a Pulitzer Prize juror, director of the Associated Press Managing Editors association, president of The Associated Press Connecticut Circuit and president of the New England Associated Press News Executives Association.
MacCluggage has also served as a director of the Connecticut Council on Freedom of Information, chairman of the American Society of Newspaper Editors Human Resources Committee, and vice president of The Task Force on Minorities in the Newspaper Business. He was President of the Associated Press Managing Editors association from 1997-1998. He has received the University of Hartford Distinguished Alumnus Award and the Yankee Quill Award, presented by the Academy of New England Journalists.

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