Virginia Communications Hall of Fame to Induct 14
University Public Affairs
Print and broadcast journalists and managers, corporate and advertising executives, educators and a noted photographer are among the 2012 inductees into the Virginia Communications Hall of Fame. This is the 25th anniversary of the Hall of Fame.
The inductees are:
- Robert Dementi, Dementi Photography, (posthumous) who helped lead his father’s longtime photography business into its greatest period of growth in the 1940s and 1950s and who became a noted photographer himself, gaining election to the Royal Photographic Society of Great Britain.
- Margie Fisher, award-winning reporter and columnist, Roanoke Times, (posthumous) who was considered a pioneer when she was one of the first women journalists covering politics. She helped to form “Virginia Press Women” to offer women professional development opportunities and recognition.
- Trafton Robertson, Norfolk radio broadcaster, (posthumous) who launched his career at Norfolk’s WTAR and was the station’s longtime morning announcer. He was best known for efforts to serve underprivileged children at Christmas and Easter. He also announced race results on WTAR-TV, now WTKR.
- Michael Salster, newspaper publisher/editor, public relations consultant, corporate and political communications director and Virginia human resources executive, (posthumous) who was an award-winning reporter for the Columbus-Dispatch and was co-owner and editor of the Amelia Bulletin Monitor newspaper.
- Mike Allen, chief White House correspondent, Politico.com, who previously served as the White House correspondent for Time magazine and spent six years at the Washington Post, where he wrote about national political issues. Allen, profiled in a 2010 New York Times story titled “The Man the White House Wakes Up To,” has been described as the most powerful or most important journalist in the capital.
- Brad Armstrong, advertising executive at the Martin Agency, who is recognized as a national leader in the field of advertising and manages, Walmart, the largest account ever to be handled by the Martin Agency. He also is active in civic organizations and served as president of the Virginia Performing Arts Foundation from 2001-2005.
- Bob Griggs, "Sailor Bob," retired broadcast journalist with WWBT-TV (formerly WRVA-TV), who hosted daily, and sometimes twice-daily, programs for children from 1959 into the 1970s and was the station’s first weatherman from 1969-1971. As “Sailor Bob,” he went on to host other educational programs such as the “Noodle Club” and “Metric Marmalade.”
- William C. Hall Jr., vice president of executive communications for Dominion Resources, was a reporter with the Danville Register and later became the paper’s managing editor, the youngest managing editor in Virginia at the time. He has served in a number of communications roles at Dominion and is active in civic groups.
- James Raper, retired award-winning Virginian-Pilot journalist and communications manager, who served for 20 years at Virginia’s largest newspaper, most recently as managing editor, and has served in a number of faculty roles and university communications positions. He has been the writer/editor of “The Humble Steward,” a wine column, since 1992.
- Hampden H. Smith III, Washington and Lee University professor emeritus, who has a 40-year career in newsrooms and in journalism education in Virginia, nationally and internationally. Smith taught journalists in Eastern Europe’s emerging democracies about the responsibilities of a free press and was an early advocate of training student journalists in several news platforms simultaneously.
- Sabrina Squire, news anchor, WWBT, who began her career in 1981 as a reporter before becoming anchor in 1984, contributing to the station’s ratings growth and success. Squire hosts the “Acts of Kindness” segment, in which she helps viewers to “pay it forward” by giving $300 to someone facing financial hardship or using their resources to help the community.
- Tyler Whitley, retired Richmond Times-Dispatch journalist, who enjoyed a 50-year print journalism career that began at the former Richmond News Leader and continued when he became a political reporter for the Richmond Times-Dispatch. He covered 14 national political conventions and nine Virginia governors.
- Michael Whitlow, award-winning executive vice president, CRT/tanaka public relations, who leads the firm’s corporate practice and has contributed to the firm’s reputation as the largest Virginia-headquartered PR/Marketing firm. He has been a leader of the Public Relations Society of America and participated in regional mentoring programs and community nonprofit groups.
- H. Graham Woodlief, retired Media General COO, who oversaw the publishing division’s growth from three daily newspapers to 25 daily newspapers and 150 weeklies and other periodicals, while nearly doubling annual revenue. He is a trustee at Southern Production Programs, Inc., a newspaper training and labor relations group.
This year’s honorees will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on April 12 at the John Marshall in Richmond. The reception begins at 6 p.m. and the induction ceremony follows, beginning at 7:15 p.m. Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of Mass Communications will host the ceremony. Television journalist Roger Mudd, one of the inaugural inductees in 1986, will serve as emcee.
The Virginia Communications Hall of Fame recognizes communication professionals with exceptional careers in journalism, public relations, advertising and other media fields. This newest class of 14 inductees will bring the total number of inductees to 140.
“Induction into the Hall of Fame is a very appropriate way to recognize the contributions to excellence in mass communications that these ‘superstars’ have made, especially as we celebrate our 25th anniversary,” said Judy VanSlyke Turk, Ph.D., professor and associate director for special projects in the School of Mass Communications at VCU.
Tickets are $100 each and can be reserved by calling Lauren Stewart at the School of Mass Communications at 804-827-3761. Proceeds of the evening will benefit the Hall of Fame scholarship fund at VCU and the Hall of Fame’s endowment.