(MURFREESBORO) The 7th Annual Tennessee Journalism Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be at 4:30PM Tuesday afternoon (8/6/2019) during the Tennessee Association of Broadcasters annual aonference at Murfreesboro's Embassy Suites Hotel. This will mark the seventh class to be inducted into the Tennessee Journalism Hall of Fame located at Middle Tennessee State University. Previous class inductees may be found at www.tnjournalismhof.org.
The 2019 event is dedicated to the memory of Tennessee Journalism Hall of Fame co-founder and author Dan Whittle who passed away April 25, 2019 after a lengthy battle with leukemia. In fact, Dan was a proud inductee into last year's class.
Whittle's rare sense of humor, love for this community and determination inspired many who listened to The Truman Show on WGNS. Dan was a regular on the broadcast In fact, his rare sense of humorwas enjoyed even in his final days as he would phone-in with one of his quips on life.
Tennessee Journalism Hall of Fame Honorees for the Class of 2019 are:
- VALERIE CALHOUN: Five-time Emmy Award Winner and Co-Host of Good Morning Memphis, WHBQ, Fox 13. A native of East Tennessee, the University of Tennessee graduate returned to Tennessee after spending time in South Carolina and Alabama before landing in West Tennessee where she has become an integral recognizable personality part of the community.
- JOE EDWARDS: A 42-year veteran with The Associated Press, all in Nashville serving as both day and night supervisor. During his career with AP, while covering the music country music beat, Mr. Edwards interviewed numerous country stars including Dolly Parton, Garth Brooks and Taylor Swift. Joe Gained national and worldwide acclaim as a member of a team of Associated Press writers covering the death of Mega star Elvis Presley in 1977. As a result of Edwards articles about the song "Rocky Top," the Tennessee General Assembly proclaimed it a state song. Today, the music of Rocky Top immediately identifies with Tennessee.
- EARL FREUDENBERG: A veteran radio and Television broadcaster with over 50 years in the journalism profession with Chattanooga Radio and Television stations. Experienced in all departments of broadcasting including music, talk shows news gathering, reporting, public affairs, human interest and charitable fund raising. Mr. Freudenberg served in the U.S. Army, from 1971-1974 as a broadcaster and radio producer with American Forces Europe in Frankfurt Germany.
- FRANCIS "RED" O'DONNELL: A Nashville Banner Columnist selected by the Country Music Association as the top journalist of the year is being honored posthumously. He wrote humor columns and covered music but began his career his journalism in 1932 as a sports reporter. He took leave from the Nashville Banner to serve in the United States Marines before returning to his home in Nashville. Mr. O'Donnell died in 1973.
- PAUL FREEMAN TINKLE President and General Manager of Thunderbolt Broadcasting and Digital, Martin and Union City, Tennessee. Began his broadcasting career at the age of nine. At 15, Paul was hired as the station janitor where he now serves as President and owner. A past chairman of the Tennessee Association of Broadcasters, Past president of the Tennessee Press Broadcasters Association. Paul is a founding member of the Tennessee Radio Hall of Fame.
- BILL WILLIAMS Retired Anchor Emeritus, and special reporter for WBIR-TV, Knoxville, Tennessee. Bill has worked in the news industry since the 1950's. Mr. Williams continues to work with Mission of Hope an outreach program to aid people in rural Appalachia. He came to WBIR in 1977 where he remained on the anchor desk until he retired.