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.