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Honoring Chapter’s Most Distinguished

2017 Gold & Silver Circle Induction Luncheon


By Kevin Wing
Editor, Off Camera

Seven television professionals, whose career achievements and accomplishments and a dedication to the television community have propelled them to a mark of distinction in the industry, received an even higher honor Oct. 14 when they were inducted as the Class of 2017 for the Gold & Silver Circle of the San Francisco/Northern California Chapter of The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.

Jim Gabbert, Gold Circle Inductee

This year’s induction luncheon, an annual event since 1986, took place in San Francisco during a luncheon held at the Park Central Hotel. Approximately 125 people attended this year’s induction, an event that, through the years, is thought of more as a reunion for those in attendance, seeing friends and colleagues and making new friends as well.

James Gabbert, whose television career spanned more than a half century, was inducted into the Gold Circle. Gabbert is perhaps best known as the one-time owner of San Francisco’s KOFY-TV, an independent station which, after Gabbert purchased it and rebranded it, became well-known for its long-running Dance Party program (which he hosted for its entire run), a popular TV schedule of former network shows and a station identification break that featured dogs large and small sitting next to a big TV console with the “TV20” logo on it. Don Sanchez, Chapter regional vice president representing San Francisco and former longtime anchor and reporter at KGO-TV ABC7 in San Francisco, introduced Gabbert to the audience.

Inducted into the Silver Circle, for their more than 25 years of contributions to the television industry, were: Rick Blangiardi, president and general manager of KGMB/KHNL Hawaii News Now in Honolulu; James Gaughran, producer and documentarian at KNTV NBC Bay Area in San Jose; Cristina Mendonsa, former news anchor at KXTV News 10 in Sacramento; Keith Sanders, media producer at San Jose State University and immediate past president of the San Francisco/Northern California Chapter of The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences; Mark Jones, video journalist at Multimedia Video Productions and former KRON reporter; and Len Ramirez, reporter at KPIX 5 in San Francisco.

Gaughran was introduced by Mia Zuckerkandal, a producer who worked with Gaughran at KRON and KPIX; Jones was introduced by Robin Smythe, retired vice president and general manager of News 13 in Florida; Mendonsa was presented by Dale Schornack, her former co-anchor at KXTV; Ramirez was presented by Rigo Chacon, former South Bay Bureau chief for KGO-TV in San Francisco; and Sanders was introduced by Jim Evers, former general manager of KICU-TV in San Jose.

For more about the 2017 Gold & Silver Circle Inductees, PHOTOS from the Induction Luncheon, and Applications for Candidates for the 2018 Gold & Silver Circle, visit the Circles page on the Chapter website.

As in past years, the Chapter presented several students with scholarships at the event: Valentin Almanza, a student at California State University, Sacramento, received the Peter Marino Memorial Production Scholarship, totaling $2,000; Daniel Guardado, San Francisco State University, the Sheldon “Shelly” Fay Memorial Videography Scholarship, $2,000; Paloma Martinez, Stanford University, the “Miss Nancy” Besst Memorial Graduate Scholarship, $2,000; Julia Vassey, University of California, Berkeley, the Jerry Jensen Memorial Graduate Overall Excellence Scholarship, $3,000; and Courtney Wagner, California State University, Sacramento, the Steve Davis Memorial Undergraduate Overall Excellence Scholarship, $3,000.

See more about the Scholarships Recipients, and opportunities for Students in our Chapter, on the Students page on our site.

See’s Candies and Comcast sponsored the Oct. 14 event.

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