College Scholarships


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Link to Application and Instructions to apply

Link to Application & Instructions for Fred Zehnder Journalism Scholarship


to the outstanding undergraduate journalism student ($5,000)

Underwritten by Friends of Fred Zehnder

Fred Zehnder dedicated his life to journalism, working in newspapers, radio and broadcast television news. He died unexpectedly in 2021 at the age of 87 and was still working 40-plus hours a week as the publisher of his two weekly newspapers in the East Bay.

Fred began his broadcast career as an assignment editor, cameraman, editor and producer at TV and radio stations in Northern California. He was committed to fair, ethical journalism, and he instilled those standards in everyone who worked for him. For an unheard-of 21 years, from 1978 to 1999, Fred was News Director at KTVU Channel 2 in Oakland, then owned and operated by Cox Communications. He selected people who didn’t always fit the mold for on-air and behind-the-camera jobs. Fred looked for people who shared his passion for solid television journalism. The formula worked. His newsroom became highly respected and consistently drew the highest ratings and local, state and national broadcast awards. Under his leadership, “The 10 o’clock News” became the No. 1 prime-time newscast in the country.

This scholarship was created to honor the man who launched and nurtured hundreds of careers and who was revered by the people who worked for him, with him, and those who wished they could have been part of what he created.

We are looking for journalists who would be honored to receive the Fred Zehnder Memorial Undergraduate Scholarship and will carry forward the kind of journalism Fred championed

Link to Application & Instructions for Fred Zehnder Journalism Scholarship

Link to Application and Instructions to apply


to the outstanding overall student ($5,000)

Beloved broadcaster Louise Jorjorian established her life and career in San Francisco in radio and television, landing her first job as Publicity Manager for KGO radio, and then became Promotion Director for KSFO Radio, where she worked for 25 years.


LINDA GIANNECCHINI Memorial PROFESSIONAL Development Scholarship

to the outstanding professional returning to complete degree ($3,000)

Linda Giannecchini is our most renowned local and national NATAS leader.  She previously served as National Vice Chairman, Vice President, Secretary and Trustee. Locally, Linda is a past President and chaired the Awards, Scholarship and Speakers’ Bureau Committees. Linda currently serves as Co-Chair of the Media Museum of Northern California Consortium, and the Archives/Museum Committee. She’s an Emmy® award recipient, member of the Silver Circle, class of 1997, recipient of the 2011 Governor’s Award and 1990 Governors’ Service Medallion.

Graduate Journalism Scholarship

to the outstanding graduate journalism student ($3,000)

Jerry Jensen anchored News Scene 7 on KGO with Van Amburg for more than ten years until his death on March 26,1984. Jerry died of pancreatic cancer at the age of 49. Jensen joined KGO-TV in 1969 as the weekend anchor. Prior to channel 7, he anchored at KBHK and KRON. Jerry was awarded the NATAS Governors’ Citation in 1968.

 “MISS NANCY” BESST Memorial GRADUATE Production Scholarship

to the outstanding graduate production student ($3,000)

“Miss Nancy” Besst, one of the founding members of the NATAS Northern California Chapter, started her career in Baltimore, MD as a staff teacher for Romper Room. Moving to San Francisco she became “Miss Nancy” on Romper Room from 1958-1969. She hosted many programs on KQED, KGO, KRON and KBHK. Nancy is a member of the Silver Circle, 1988, and has received the Governors’ Service Medallion, 1994; Governors’ Citation, 1996, and the Governors’ Award, 1998.

SHELDON “SHELLY” FAY Memorial UNDERGRADUATE Videography Scholarship

to the outstanding undergraduate videography student ($3,000)

The family and friends of Shelly Fay started a scholarship to an outstanding videographer. Shelly was a multi-talented television professional who worked in the San Francisco Bay Area as a producer, photographer, director and editor for more than 25 years, mostly at KPIX-CBS5.


to the outstanding undergraduate student in news reporting ($3,000)

Multiple Emmy® award-winning television reporter Rigo Chacon, now retired, worked at KGO-ABC7 for 29 years as a general assignment reporter and opened the first Santa Clara County bureau of a San Francisco-based TV station. Among his many honors, Chacon is a member of the Television Academy’s prestigious Silver Circle.  He Received the Governors’ Award i 2003.  Rigo and his wife Lucy offer student scholarships thru their foundation Abrazos and Books.

PETER J. MARINO, JR. Memorial Undergraduate Production Scholarship

to the outstanding undergraduate journalism student ($3,000)
Peter Marino was a stalwart member of the Chapter and co-founder of the Scholarship Program. He was well known for his public relation exploits, and as a music and video producer. Marino was a principle in a Bay Area recording studio and represented several recording companies. This scholarship covers a variety of production job disciplines.


Link to Application and Instructions to apply

Link to Application & Instructions for Fred Zehnder Journalism Scholarship


NOTE: The San Francisco/Northern California Chapter Scholarships are for college students only. High school students may also apply for the NATAS Chapter High School Student Awards of Excellence. Contact the NATAS office for more information at 650-341-7786.

Scholarships Donations:
4317 Camden Avenue
San Mateo, CA  94403-5007


The TV Academy Fund is a 501(c )(3) nonprofit charitable organization.