Whether it’s in words on paper, faces on a screen or voices on the airwaves, their journalistic mission anchors us to our day and our world. On Nov. 30, the city honors the media professionals we know and love when St. Louis Press Club hosts its annual Media Persons of the Year Gala. This year, seven people and one institution are being saluted, among them beloved Post-Dispatch columnist Bill McClellan and retired sportscaster and Cardinals announcer Jay Randolph. Others receiving awards are Post-Dispatch cartoonist Dan Martin, recently retired KTVI anchor Tom O’Neal and retired KSDK education reporter Sharon Stevens. Honored as National Media Persons of the Year are native St. Louisans Jim McKelvey and Jack Dorsey, who co-founded Square, the mobile payments company. (Dorsey also is the co-founder of Twitter). KMOX will be recognized as Media Institution of the Year.
In recent years, the professional and charitable organization has expanded its reach to recognize college students pursuing careers in public relations and communications. Seven years ago, it instituted enterprise grants for professional journalists pursuing self-driven investigative projects. Shuman notes the Press Club also has supported the Media Archives of the St. Louis Public Library by helping assemble and maintain archival materials such as newspapers, news reels and magazines. The Media Person of the Year Award was started in 1988, when Joseph Pulitzer Jr. was its first recipient. McClellan received the award in 1997, but is this year’s lifetime honoree. He joined the Post-Dispatch in 1980 as a clerk, but soon graduated to what he has described as the newsroom’s least desirable job—night police beat reporter. His column, a popular mainstay for decades, was launched in 1983 and continues to this day. “He is one of the most respected people in St. Louis—in the media and the general community,” Shuman says. McClellan has been recognized nationally for his human interest stories. The gala is the Press Club’s major fund-raising event and takes place at Edward Jones Atrium and Theater. Margaret Gillerman, a reporter with the Post-Dispatch for 36 years, is co-chair. Honorary chairs are Bill DeWitt III, Mary Ann Srenco, Josephine and Richard Weil, and Noemi and Michael Neidorff. Carol Daniel—KMOX talk show host and news anchor—is emcee.
past media persons of the year
Joseph Pulitzer Jr.
Bob Broeg and Bob Burnes
Martin Duggan and Ray Hartmann
Wendy Wiese and Bill Wilkerson
Charlene Bry and Karen Carroll
Dick Ford and Greg Freeman
Mike Bush and Bernie Miklasz
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
KETC-TV and KWMU-FM
Charles Klotzer & the St. Louis Journalism Review
Vickie Newton and Larry Conners
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch photography staff
Pictured: Bill McClellan
Photo by David Carson/St. Louis Post-Dispatch
St. Louis Press Club’s Media Persons of the Year Gala takes place at Edward Jones Atrium and Theater Nov. 30. Pictured on the cover: (front) John Sheehan, Sharon Stevens and Jay Randolph; (rear) Tom O’Neal and Dan Martin. For tickets and information, call 314.449.8029 or visit stlpressclub.org.
Cover design by Julie Streiler | Cover photo by Bill Barrett