The 2020 Gold & Silver Circle Induction Zoom Party & Livestream was heartwarming, humorous and fun, just like the usual show, only online. “We worried that technology might detract or distract from the welcoming warmth and spirit we always feel in the room,” said Chapter Trustee and Awards Chair Wayne Freedman (SC02). “Despite technical challenges, that specialness still shined, undaunted.”
The Gold and Silver Circles are the honor societies within each chapter of NATAS. Silver Circle members select each year’s new class of honorees. Gold Circle members are selected by the chapter’s board of governors.
To be eligible for consideration in the Silver Circle, a person has to work in some aspect of media for at least 25 years, half of this time in our chapter. Gold Circle candidates must have worked at least 50 years in the industry, half of the time in our chapter. Candidates must have also distinguished themselves in their career and have spent time working on charitable causes.
The 2020 Gold Circle class of inductees are Michel Camus and Don Sharp (SC 05). The Silver Circle class of inductees are Scott Budman, Joanne Jung Wohlers, Ken Day, Molly McCrea, Lonnie Wong, Jennifer Olney, Sal Castaneda and Vern Glenn. Honoree introductions and acceptance speeches featured a combination of sincerity and levity, a trademark feature of this hall of fame event.
Past President and Activities/Programs Chair Steve Shlisky (SC 14) designed the show and edited the recorded portions. Executive Director Darryl Compton (SC 95) took care of all logistics and communications with participants. “Thanks to everyone who worked the project, especially Darryl Compton and Steve Shlisky for adapting to these COVID times,” said Freedman.
“It was a fun night reuniting these hard-working personalities!” said Chapter Membership Chair Patty Zubov. “Watching the recap videos of them bringing us the news over the years made me so grateful for our area’s talent and dedication.”
Chapter President and Trustee Randy Forsman, Director, KCRA 3, opened the show. “The Gold & Silver Circle Induction honored the most important part of our chapter: the people. Technical problems aside, it was an evening of wonderful stories that celebrated the careers of some of our region’s best,” remarked Forsman.
Freedman introduced the 2020 Gold & Silver Circle classes of inductees. Alternate Trustee and Cinema Club Chair and retired Anchor/Reporter KGO ABC 7 Don Sanchez (SC 00), served as Master of Ceremonies.
KTVU Fox 2 Reporter Tom Vacar (SC 03) introduced Michel Camus, the first Gold Circle honoree.
Michel Camus has been involved in northern California television news as a photographer and technical manager for 51 years. Camus began at KOVR in 1969 before going to KPIX in 1973. He left KPIX in 1975, moving to KGO, where he has been ever since. Camus has earned three Emmy® awards for photography and four awards from the San Francisco Press Photographers Association, including “Cameraman of the Year” in 1976. Camus has covered: the Reagan inauguration, Angela Davis, Indian Alcatraz takeover, anti Vietnam war demonstrations at Berkeley, the student strike at San Francisco State University, the Zodiac killer, Pope John Paul, Patti Hearst. He flew in the first helicopter to spray malathion during the medfly crisis. He has shot in Africa, Mexico, Central America and covered the 1984 Olympics in Yugoslavia. As a photographer, Camus was in charge of the first camera crew to go live from a moving bus and from a boat in the early ‘80s. He became Technical Manager at KGO 33 years ago and has been very innovative in adopting technology, designing remote vehicles and assuring his field crews had the best equipment in the San Francisco market. He introduced microwave digital technology (digital microwave and HD remote camera) for his crews to do live remotes.
Former News Director KPIX 5 and KRON 4 Dan Rosenheim introduced the final Gold Circle inductee, Don Sharp.
For more than 50 years, Don Sharp has been an innovator and respected newsroom leader. He held key news management roles at two network-owned television stations in San Francisco. His broadcast career began in San Diego in 1967 where he was one of the first African Americans employed by KOHO-TV, a Time-Life station. Sharp was hired as a film processor and soon promoted to news and sports photographer. In 1969, KRON-TV in San Francisco recruited him as News Film Supervisor. He stayed at the station 36 years. During his tenure at KRON, Sharp was promoted to News Operations Manager and Associate News Director. While at the station, Sharp designed and installed the first bridge traffic cameras on the Golden Gate, Bay and San Mateo Bridges, and led KRON’s transition from film to digital editing. He also launched the first live helicopter in San Francisco. In 2005, Sharp was hired by CBS-owned station KPIX where he became a central newsroom leader responsible for technical operations. He helped produce coverage of the Bay Bridge’s new eastern span and oversaw unprecedented use of drone video in news. Sharp co-authored a book in 1985 entitled Microwaves Made Simple. It became a teaching textbook at Stanford University. Sharp is the recipient of six Emmy® Awards. In 2018, he was honored with the NATAS Governors’ Citation and inducted into Silver Circle in 2005. He also received the APTRA Broadcast Hall of Fame Award in 2009.
NBC Bay Area Anchor Raj Mathai introduced the first Silver Circle inductee, Scott Budman.
Emmy® Award recipient and reporter Scott Budman covers the business and technology beat for NBC Bay Area. An Oakland native, Budman joined KNTV in 1995 after working at KEYT in Santa Barbara as a reporter/weekend anchor. He began his broadcasting career in radio as a business reporter for KMNY in Anaheim. Budman anchored various NBC Bay Area newscasts while also doing general assignment reporting. Co-Creator/Host/Writer of Tech Now, Budman is one of the Bay Area’s most recognizable business and technology journalists. He can be heard on NPR, Alice Radio and is regularly blogs for Forbes and other online publications. Budman volunteers with community organizations including Big Brothers Big Sisters of Santa Clara and Home of Hope, an agency that helps children in India and the U.S. transition out of poverty and into employment.
Retired KGO ABC 7 Editor and Past – President Lynn Friedman (SC 03) introduced the next Silver Circle inductee, Joanne Jung Wohlers.
Without Joanne , the station could have gone dark. She’s been considered the behind the scenes force running ABC 7 for 40-years now. Wohlers is Satellite Coordinator at KGO 7 – and so much more. She’s been called by fellow employees an amazing combination of historian, archive clerk, digital technician and detective. The mantra at KGO only grows stronger as young and old alike search for file footage or institutional knowledge. The answer often is the same, “I can’t find it. Go ask Joanne.” She’s humble, self- effacing and considered the social glue that holds the Channel 7 newsroom together. The Emmy® Award recipient is able to juggle tight deadlines and somehow miraculously makes them work. And she does so with a rare wit and sense of good humor.
Brenday Day Films Photographer Brendan Day introduced his father and Silver Circle Inductee Ken Day.
Ken Day’s camera lens captures the essence of a story, often showcasing the single most memorable moment of a piece orprogram. Guided by his eye and heart, Ken searches for powerful and emotional sequences. We’ve traveled the world as photographer and producer, pounding the pavement to make deadlines, often working extremely hard. We’ve laughed to overcome elusive fits of boredom and unpredictable situations. Ken and I have developed a television friendship that began in the 1990s and has lasted through hundreds of documentaries and news stories. Ken – working together is – SUCCESS!
As a high school sophomore in 1970, Ken Day knew what he wanted to do with his life. He bought a camera and set out to learn photography. From sunrise to sunset, he would explore his world, photographing everything from nature to sports to the homeless. After graduation from Sacramento State University in the late 1970s, Day landed a job at Sacramento PBS station KVIE. Two years later, he was hired by an NBC affiliate in Boise, Idaho. Then, it was back to Sacramento and CBS station KOVR where he stayed 15 years working daily news. Day covered everything from earthquakes to Presidential visits and special assignments in Israel and Mexico. Day has several Emmy® Awards for his photography. He left KOVR in 1997 and started his own business. He’s since covered the O.J. Simpson trial, Unabomber trial along with many features for ABC Network News. He also works on numerous documentary projects and always goes the extra mile to do an excellent job. Day is first in line to offer help to nonprofits and community activists.
Former Reporter for KPIX 5 Mike Hegedus, and Retired KPIX 5 Anchor/Reporter Kate Kelly (SC 05), introduced Silver Circle Inductee Molly McCrea.
For nearly 35 years, Molly McCrea has dedicated her life to KPIX News. She began as an intern on the assignment desk and then worked her way through the station as a production assistant, weather producer, field producer, feature producer, special projects producer, political producer, medical/health producer and now as an MMJ. She has received numerous awards and recognition for her news segments and documentaries from a variety of organizations. They include APTRA, National UPI, Peninsula Press Club, and Society of professional Journalists. She’s also earned several Emmy® Awards. McCrea previously worked at CNN and Associated Press and produced for the CBS nationally syndicated program Day & Date. McCrea graduated from UC Berkeley with a BA Degree and completed work for her Master’s Degree at SF State in Broadcast Communication Arts.
Go Inspire Go Motivational Speaker and Journalist Toam Lam introduced Silver Circle Inductee Lonnie Wong.
Sacramento FOX 40 Anchor/Reporter Lonnie Wong reports from the trenches, having covered news for nearly four decades now. He started at Channel 40 before there was a FOX TV Network, when the primary programming at his station was old movies and MASH reruns. Wong witnessed the evolution of a single daily newscast into a sophisticated TV news operation. He helped found the Sacramento Chapter of the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) and has served on the chapter board continuously since 1985. Wong was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National AAJA organization. He’s also been recognized by the California State Assembly and State Senate for journalistic achievement and support of Asian Pacific Islander communities. Wong started his career in radio at KPFA covering state politics and began working with TV news film crews. He has covered the administrations of seven governors beginning with Ronald Reagan.
KGO ABC 7 Segment Producer Ken Miguel introduced Silver Circle Inductee Jennifer Olney.
Jennifer Olney is an award-winning journalist and storyteller at ABC 7. She started at the station in 1982 as a writer and newscast producer. Later, she moved into on air reporting and became a special projects producer. Olney has written and produced numerous long-format specials for television and digital on a variety of topics from scientific exploration to criminal investigations. Her goal is to develop relevant content to help viewers better understand the dynamics of critical issues. Olney extensively reports on the environment and conducted multi-year investigations into California’s green waste dumping practices. Her body of work includes hundreds of stories featuring people trying to make the world a better place. For the past ten years, Olney has photographed, edited, written, and produced her own segments. She is the recipient of nine Emmy® Awards and was part of the KGO team that won a Peabody Award for coverage of the Loma Prieta earthquake. Before heading to the Bay Area, Olney worked at KTLA TV and KFWB Radio in southern California. She’s a longtime Girl Scout volunteer and has a degree in American Studies and Communications from Stanford University.
KTVU Fox 2 Anchor Pam Cook introduced Silver Circle Inductee Sal Castaneda.
Sal Castaneda started at KTVU in 1991 and is known for features about local heroes. He began his career volunteering at the UC Berkeley campus radio station while attending college there. He went on to work in radio before being hired at KTVU. While traffic and feature stories are his primary focus, Castaneda also has covered breaking news including then1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake and the 1991 Oakland Hills fire storm. He readily mentors journalism students and volunteers with the Salvation Army and Leukemia Lymphoma Society. Castaneda received an Emmy® Award in 2014 for coverage of the Napa earthquake.
“Sal has risen and excelled through the ranks of Bay Area Broadcasting,” said Shlisky. “I have followed Sal’s evolution from his radio Metro Traffic dispatches in the early 90’s, evolving into a reporter and now anchor for the 9am edition of Mornings on 2. It was an honor to nominate him for the Silver Circle.”
Retired KRON 4 Sports Director Gary Radnich introduced Silver Circle Inductee Vern Glenn.
Vern Glenn joined KPIX/KBCWTV 44 Cable 12 in June of 2012 as a weekend sports anchor/weekday sports reporter and MMJ. Glenn is a three-time Emmy® Award recipient who before KPIX had worked at KRON 4 News since 1990. While at KRON, he was tagged with the nickname “Mr. Involvement” for literally throwing himself into the middle of his feature stories. Memorable moments include bungee jumping, sky diving, bull riding, boxing, pro football and a dirt bike crash. “Mr. Involvement” has created a niche in the television market. Glenn brings that same type of energy to KPIX. Among his memorable personal assignments was reporting from the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia. Glenn was part of the KNBR Radio Morning Show in 1998 and drops in now and then as a guest on 95.7 The Game. Before coming to the Bay Area, Glen worked at WBAL-TV in Baltimore Maryland as weekend sports anchor.
The Gold & Silver Circle Celebration would not be complete without mentioning the
scholarships that are awarded to college students. Chapter Education Chair Keith Sanders (SC 17) SJSU Producer, introduced and congratulated the five 2020 college scholarship winners.
$15,000 in scholarships were awarded!
The $3,000 Peter J. Marino, Jr. Memorial Production Scholarship went to Ido Bartana from San Francisco State University.
The $3,000 Rigo Chacon Reporting Scholarship went to Austin Castro from San Francisco State University.
The $3,000 Sheldon “Shelly” Fay Memorial Videography Scholarship went to James L. Clark from City College of San Francisco.
The $3,000 Miss Nancy Besst Memorial Graduate Production Scholarship went to Aurora Brachman from Sanford University.
The $3,000 Linda Giannecchini Professional Development Scholarship went to Sabereh Mohammad Kashi from Berkeley City College.
After the show attendees were invited to a group chat on Zoom which lasted for quite some time. It was a unique opportunity for viewers to meet some of the 2020 inductees and scholarship recipients.