Gold & Silver Circle committee announces this year’s class of honorees

CLEVELAND – The Central Great Lakes Chapter of NATAS is proud to announce this year’s Gold and Silver Circle inductees. Eight industry professionals will be honored during this year’s Emmy gala weekend on June 22nd in Cleveland.

Longtime executive John Butte of Butte Associates and WISH-TV Executive Producer Peggy McClelland will be inducted into the chapter’s prestigious Gold Circle to honor their 50+ year career in the broadcasting industry.

Among John Butte’s many achievements were his role as executive producer of a nationally syndicated advocacy journalism program, “The Crusaders,” and his creation of the Ohio News Network (ONN), a 24/7 cable news channel supported by a consortium of legacy stations in the state’s largest markets. For almost ten years, John also taught at Kent State University, mentoring a new next generation of broadcast journalists.

Peggy McClelland started her career in the 1970s as a production technician, and has left an indelible mark as producer, director, manager, and program developer. Her nomination describes her influence on local programming and production as legendary: “she has been a part of hundreds and hundreds of productions, on all levels.”

The Silver Circle honors those individuals who have made significant contributions to television for twenty-five years or more, whether engineering, management, on-air, technical, production, administration, talent.

This year’s Silver Circle inductees are:

Respected for her leadership, mentorship, and commitment to excellence, Terra Brantley has been described as “truly a heavy hitter in our market” and a “trailblazer and community icon.” She is the longest serving African American news anchor in the state of Indiana, an Emmy and SPJ award winner, and was inducted to the Indiana Associated Press Hall of Fame. Committed to uplifting the Fort Wayne community and her colleagues alike, she excels as a motivational speaker and advocate for diversity in media, and she established the Terra Brantley Foundation to provide college scholarships to female students.

As Vice President and News Director at WJW-TV in Cleveland, Andy Fishman is known for his exceptional dedication, leadership, and contributions to the field of television journalism. Under his leadership Fox 8 has been the most watched television news station in Cleveland for the past two decades. He is a “high-class person and he is at the top of the class professionally,” says Lou Maglio, who himself is a member of the Silver Circle. Andy “is driven to give back, and in doing so, creates a brighter future for all who cross his path.”

As chief meteorologist at WEWS, Mark Johnson has kept the people of Northeast Ohio in the know about the weather, using both traditional broadcasting and social media with a huge following. He is known for his dedication to weather science and forecasting even when on vacation. He also enjoys “putting a smile on our faces,” says News Director Jodie Heisner. “He loves being in the community, talking, dancing, singing and bringing joy to everyone he meets.” Inside the station he is valued as a mentor, leader, and friend, and he has helped countless aspiring students get a hold in the industry.

Betsy Kling is a well-respected meteorologist and broadcaster at WKYC. After stints in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and Jacksonville, Florida, she became Cleveland’s first female Chief Meteorologist. Betsy has been named the “Best of Cleveland” Weather Forecaster consecutively for the past nine years by the readers of Cleveland Magazine. Beyond leading the region in weather coverage Betsy launched a “Growing STEM” series that educates women and girls who are interested in science. In the words of colleague Jonathan Adkins, “she’s made it her mission to make Northeast Ohio a better place to live and grow up.”

Mark Rosenberger has had a distinguished career in public television serving in leadership positions for WVIZ Cleveland for more than 35 years. Committed to the ideal of helping all people better understand the world around them, he has produced, spearheaded, and managed programs about education, health, the arts, culture, and the economy. He has won countless regional and national Emmys, Obies, film festival and other awards, and currently serves as the Chief Content Officer for Ideastream Public Media.

Jonathan Walsh, an investigative reporter for WEWS in Cleveland, has been a driving force in the television news industry. Over the past thirty years, Jonathan has covered everything from Hurricane Katrina to the Super Bowl and has won numerous Emmys and National Murrow awards. He still finds time to mentor students, young journalists, and employees, and has served the Great Lakes chapter as governor and committee member over many years. As Gold Circle member Carl Monday points out “it’s time to recognize Jonathan’s remarkable career and contributions to the television news industry.”

This year’s inductees will be recognized in ceremonies immediately before and during this year’s 55th Great Lakes Emmy Awards on June 22nd.

You can read more about last year’s class of inductees here.