Six Hoosier Broadcasting Icons Named to 2022 Indiana Broadcast Pioneers Richard M. Fairbanks Hall of Fame Class
June 6, 2022 – Six Hoosier broadcasters will be inducted into the Indiana Broadcast Pioneers Hall of Fame October 4. The Indiana Broadcasters Association today announced the 2022 Hall of Fame class:
• Bob & Tom Show co-host and news director Kristi Lee
• Fort Wayne News Director Ted Linn
• Indianapolis station creative services director Peggy McClelland
• Indianapolis news anchor John Stehr
• Sportscaster and NBA player Jerry Harkness (posthumous award)
• Legendary station manager Tom Severino (posthumous award)

“The 2022 Hall of Fame Class is comprised of well-known broadcasters who pushed the boundaries of innovation and made the Indiana communities they served better, more informed places to live,” said Dave Arland, Executive Director of the Indiana Broadcasters Association. “For decades, our newest group of Hall of Famers have provided critical eyes, ears, and voices for listeners and viewers in Indiana and beyond. They have told wonderful stories and are each also active members of their communities. We are honored to add our 2022 honorees to the honor roll of the Indiana Broadcast Pioneers Hall of Fame.”

In addition to the Hall of Fame recognitions, the Indiana Broadcasters Association announced that nominations are now open through Friday, July 15 for two other annual awards:
• 2022 Lifetime Achievement Award: This annual award recognizes individuals for exceptional meritorious service, contributions to, or achievements in, the field of broadcasting in Indiana over the course of a career. This is the IBA’s highest honor and is presented to an Indiana broadcaster whose work is uniquely beneficial and of superior value to their community and to the Association.
• 2022 Tom Severino Leadership Award: The Tom Severino Leadership Award is given to an individual with at least 10 years of service with ties to radio and/or TV broadcasting in Indiana who has demonstrated passion for broadcast media with an emphasis on serving the public. Honorees have a portfolio of leadership activities within the broadcast industry and within the communities served by the broadcast properties this individual worked for during their career.
This year’s Indiana Broadcast Pioneers Hall of Fame class will be inducted during the annual Indiana Broadcasters Conference on Wednesday, October 5 in Carmel.

Kristi Lee is best known for the nationally syndicated Bob & Tom Show where she began in 1987. Currently, she is the show’s co-host and news director. She began her career as one of the first female engineers at WRTV. Then she worked for radio stations WIRE, WNAP, and WENS. She has also covered sports for ESPN and the Indiana Pacers.

Ted Linn served as News Director of WANE-TV in Fort Wayne for 16 of his nearly 40 years in television news, before his retirement. He took the station’s news to the leading spot in the market. They received a number of IBA Spectrum Awards, two Regional Emmy Awards and an Edward R. Murrow Award. Prior to working in Fort Wayne Ted worked for WISH in Indianapolis, WLFI in Lafayette, and WKEF in Dayton.

Peggy McClelland has worked for WTTV, WNDY, KFVE and WISH. She rose to production manager at WTTV in 1987. In 1989, she left for KFVE, Honolulu to be production manager. She returned to Indianapolis and WTTV in 1995. She served as Executive Producer for the statewide Hoosier Millionaire broadcast. She is currently Creative Service Director at WISH in Indianapolis.

Prior to his retirement, John Stehr was lead anchor for 23 years at WTHR in Indianapolis. His work earned him numerous Regional Emmy Awards. Previously he was anchor in New York for CBS Morning News and CNBC’s The Money Wheel. He began his career working for stations in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Indiana.

Jerry Harkness was the first African American sportscaster in Indiana at WTHR, and was also a two-time All American at Loyola and played for the NBA New York Knicks and ABA
Indiana Pacers. He was the first Black spokesperson for Quaker Oats and Indianapolis United Way. As a social activist, he helped found the 100 Black Men mentoring organization. Harkness will be posthumously recognized.

Tom Severino’s 30-year career included two stops in Indianapolis. He managed WIRE, WXTZ and Network Indiana then left for stations in Chicago, Detroit and Cincinnati. Returning to Emmis Communications in 1994, he led WIBC, WLHK, WFNI WYXB and Network Indiana. Tom and his stations won many awards, but he is best remembered by his employees for being a beloved leader. Severino will be posthumously recognized.


Nominations Open for Hall of Fame

Each year, the Indiana Broadcast Pioneers induct a new class of broadcasters into its Richard M. Fairbanks Hall of Fame.  Honorees represent the highest level of professional broadcasting in Indiana and are inducted each fall during the annual Indiana Broadcasters Association “Best in Broadcasting” Spectrum Awards ceremony.

The Indiana Broadcast Pioneers are now accepting nominations for the 2021 Richard M. Fairbanks Hall of Fame.  Nominations for the new class will be accepted through Friday, February 19th and can be submitted by clicking the link below and filling out the form.  This 2021 class will be inducted in October during a luncheon ceremony at the annual Indiana Broadcasters Conference.

You will find the form by clicking this link: https://www.indianabroadcasters.org/recognition/hall-of-fame/

Legendary Broadcasters Inducted into the Hall of Fame

  Note:  Due to the pandemic, the 2020 Hall of Fame inductees were honored during a unique virtual presentation with the IBA Spectrum Award winners on October 22.  To see the entire 90-minute program, click here.

Six Hoosier broadcasters were inducted into the Indiana Broadcast Pioneers Richard M. Fairbanks Hall of Fame in 2020.   The 2020 Hall of Fame class includes Fort Wayne TV news anchor Linda Jackson, radio station owner J Chapman, Indianapolis on-air personality and host Terri Stacy, and Bloomington radio host Paul Mendenhall.  The IBA also posthumously inducted two legendary broadcasters, Terre Haute sports anchor Bob Forbes and public TV artist Bob Ross.

“Each of our 2020 honorees represents highest level of professional broadcasting in Indiana and we are honored to recognize their long careers with induction into the Hall of Fame.  From Fort Wayne to Bloomington, and Muncie to Indianapolis to Terre Haute, this year’s inductees are familiar names to broadcasters and viewers alike,” said Dave Arland, Executive Director of the Indiana Broadcasters Association.  “At a time when more and more Americans are turning to their local TV and radio stations for news, information, and entertainment, this year’s Hall of Fame class embodies the importance of localism in broadcasting.  They are not only great broadcasters but, more importantly, stewards of their respective communities.”

The new honorees include:

Linda Jackson

For more than 30 years, Linda Jackson has delivered the news to viewers in northeast Indiana – the vast majority of them from the desk where she has anchored morning or evening newscasts spanning two generations.

Linda graduated from Indiana University with a degree in Journalism and got her start in local news as an intern at what was then WKJG-TV, the NBC affiliate based in Fort Wayne. Her first full-time work in broadcasting was as a producer and reporter.  She has also served the community in a station management role, and it is as a news  anchor that Linda has become best known in the region.

In 2016, having spent several years as the morning news anchor at WPTA’s ABC-affiliated station, Linda was tapped to lead the re-launched NBC TV news channel in Fort Wayne. She has served as lead anchor at “Fort Wayne’s NBC” since its launch, helping to establish the news team as a source for engaging and professional coverage in the community.

Watch an interview with Linda Jackson

J Chapman

J Chapman grew up in the broadcasting industry.  His father, Jerry Chapman, led Indianapolis WFBM Radio and TV (now WRTV-TV) for three decades and J got an early start in the media business when assigned by his father to mow the grass at the Indianapolis station’s northside transmitter site.

After graduating from Hanover College in 1983, J worked as on-air talent in Indiana at stations in Indianapolis, South Bend, and Madison.  He also worked at stations in Scranton, Pennsylvania and Covington, Kentucky.  J was part of a team that launched Indianapolis Fox TV affiliate WPDS-TV (now WXIN-TV) in 1984 as a Photographer and Sports Anchor.  In the late 1980s, J decided to go into broadcast sales and joined Emmis Communications.  He started out as a sales representative for WENS-FM radio and soon became sales manager before becoming General Sales Manager for WTLC-AM/FM.   From 2001 to 2005 he was Director of Sales for Emmis’ Indianapolis Radio Group, where he worked for 17 years.

In June 2013 he became owner and President of Woof Boom Radio (affectionately named for his father’s employer, WFBM) with six stations throughout eastern Indiana serving the communities of Muncie, Anderson, Hartford City, Daleville, Yorktown, Alexandria, Pendleton, New Castle, and Marion.  He soon added more stations in Lafayette and a five-station cluster in Lima and Delphos, Ohio.  J also served as the Board Chairman of the Indiana Broadcasters Association and has been an IBA board member since 2013.  Currently, he represents the 5th Congressional District on the IBA Board.

Watch interview with J Chapman

Terri Stacy

Terri Lynn Stacy was born in the small town of Knightstown in Henry County, Indiana. She graduated from Knightstown High School in 1980 and attended Herron School of Art on a scholarship.

In 1985, Terri was hired as the receptionist for WIBC-AM Radio in Indianapolis.  After winning “Employee of the Year” in 1989, Terri was rewarded with a guest stint on WIBC’s morning show, hosted by Jeff Pigeon.  Terri was such an instant hit that station managers decided to continue having her cohost the morning show even though she was still working her full-time job as the station’s receptionist. In less than a year, the station made her a full-time on-air personality and morning show co-host. She would continue in that role, despite the ever-changing radio landscape, for more than 20 years.

In 2010, Terri finally stepped down from morning drive and began a new direction as the traffic reporter for WIBC.   Since 2005, Terri has hosted “The First Day Sunday Magazine Show” and she continues as host of the “Caregiver Crossing” show on WIBC.

In 2012, Terri became the face of WIBC’s community outreach program, “Neighbor-To-Neighbor.” In this capacity, Terri attends over 200 events a year, raising awareness and assisting the fundraising of countless nonprofits and worthy causes.  In both 2007 and 2008, Terri was acknowledged by Indianapolis Woman magazine as the “Local Female Radio Personality of the Year.”

Watch interview with Terri Stacy

Paul Mendenhall

Paul Mendenhall began his life-long radio broadcasting career in 1970 at Carmel High School where he worked at the school’s radio station WHJE. After high school graduation, Paul worked part-time at WHYT Radio in Noblesville, and in 1974 at WXLW Radio in Indianapolis while attending Butler University.

From there,  Paul transferred to Ball State to take his first full time job for Bill Shirk’s family at WERK Radio in Muncie.  At WERK, he became Program Director and served as one of the “Men at WERK” until 1981.

Paul also managed the radio station at Ben Davis High School and was a teacher for 17 years.  After stepping down for a few months to student teach, Paul joined Fairbanks Broadcasting in Indianapolis working for Cris Conner at  WNAP Radio, then WIBC Radio, and finally his current professional home, WTTS Radio.  Paul joined WTTS in Bloomington in in 2001, where he hosts the WTTS “Morning Show.”

In addition to hosting charitable events that WTTS Radio presents for children’s reading programs through the Indianapolis Public Library, the Indiana Children’s Wish Fund, Toys for Tots and local food banks, Paul devotes his time to a number of other worthwhile local causes.

Watch interview with Paul Mendenhall

Bob Forbes

Terre Haute broadcaster Bob Forbes started broadcasting at WBOW-AM in 1947 while still in college at Indiana State Teachers College.

In 1948, Bob joined WTHI-AM when it first went on-the-air.  WTHI-TV launched served in 1954, as just the tenth Hoosier television station.  Bob Forbes was WTHI-TV’s first sports anchor and the only sports anchor at the television station until he retired in 1985. Bob was the longtime voice of the Indiana State Sycamores, including the Larry Bird-led NCAA runner-up basketball team in 1979.

Bob Forbes was inducted into the Indiana State University Athletic Hall of Fame in 1984 for his broadcasting career and was also inducted into the Indiana Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association Hall of Fame in 2006.  Bob Forbes passed in January 2005 and the IBA recognition will be posthumously awarded.

Bob Ross

Although a native of Florida, Bob Ross lived and worked in Muncie. His “Joy of Painting” program is still nationally and internationally syndicated, and was produced at WIPB-TV, a community PBS station affiliated with Ball State University.

Bob’s programs have been carried by nearly 300 television stations, covering an estimated 80 million households.   One early individual station report showed Ross’s “Joy of Painting” program was more widely viewed than “Sesame Street!”

Bob Ross passed in 1995 at the age of 52, and the IBA recognition will be posthumously awarded.

 
 

 

2019 Hall of Fame Induction Album

Four Hoosier broadcasters became the newest inductees into the Indiana Broadcast Pioneers Richard M. Fairbanks Hall of Fame as part of the annual Indiana Broadcasters Conference October 24, 2019, in Carmel.  Biographical material about each inductee will be found in the Hall of Fame section of this website.

Ann Craig Cinnamon

James David Longest

Linda Lupear

Ed Spray