Newswoman Emily Rooney Wins Dennis Kauff Memorial Award for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism

in BU In the Community, College of Communication, News Releases
May 7th, 2004

Contact: Ann Deveney, 617/353-2240 | devenea@bu.edu

(Boston, Mass.) – Highly respected Boston television newswoman Emily Rooney, executive editor and host of WGBH-TV’s nightly “Greater Boston” news magazine show, is this year’s recipient of the Dennis Kauff Memorial Award for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism.

The Award was announced recently at the annual Dennis Kauff Memorial Fellowship Awards at Boston University’s College of Communication. Because of the death of her mother, Rooney was unable to attend, but the award was accepted by her “Greater Boston” colleague, John Carroll, executive producer of “Greater Boston.” Rooney personally received the award this week during a private event held at the University.

The Award for Excellence and/or Lifetime Achievement in Broadcast Journalism was created by the Boston television community in memory of Dennis Kauff, the award-winning WBZ-TV reporter who was killed by a drunk driver in 1985. Rooney’s award was presented by Paula Childs, who was married to Kauff.

In addition to the professional award, the Annual Dennis Kauff Fellowship was presented to Rachel Sabbath, an incoming student in Boston University’s College of Communication graduate program in broadcast journalism. The Fellowship also was created by contributions from broadcast journalists at both the local Boston stations and the major networks.

Past recipients of the Kauff Award include Tom Brokaw, Lesley Stahl and the late John Chancellor, nationally, and such local reporters as R.D. Sahl, of New England Cable News, John Henning, Charles Austin, Joe Bergantino, and Ron Sanders of WBZ-TV, Clark Booth, Janet Wu, Jack Harper, and the late Kirby Perkins of WCVB-TV, and Garry Armstrong and Hank Phillippi Ryan of WHDH-TV.

Biography of Emily Rooney

Emily Rooney has been host and executive editor of Greater Boston, WGBH’s local issues and public affairs program, since its debut in January 1997. Greater Boston airs Monday through Friday at 7pm on WGBH 2, at midnight on WGBH 44, and at 11pm on WGBH World, providing viewers with a fresh approach to and in-depth analysis of timely news, politics, and public affairs issues of local interest. In 2002, Greater Boston received two Regional Edward R. Murrow broadcast journalism awards. The series was honored with three New England Emmys in 2003; Rooney received a New England Emmy in the category of Outstanding Achievement in Commentary/Editorial. Most recently, Greater Boston received two 2004 Boston/New England Emmy Awards.

Rooney came to WGBH from the Fox Network in New York, where she oversaw national political coverage, including the 1996 presidential primaries, national conventions, and presidential election. When she joined Fox in 1994, she was senior producer of Fox news productions, developing news programming for Fox and producing specials. Prior to Fox, Rooney was executive producer of ABC’s World News Tonight with Peter Jennings.

Rooney worked at WCVB-TV in Boston from 1979 to 1993, as news director and as assistant news director. During her tenure at WCVB, that station’s news department was honored with numerous top broadcasting awards, including two Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards, several George Foster Peabody Awards, and the Radio/Television News Directors Association (RTNDA) Edward R. Murrow Award for “Best News Operation in the Nation.” Under her direction, the station’s coverage of the 1988 presidential campaign was recognized as the “Best in the Country” by both the RTNDA and the National Headliner Awards.

Throughout her career, Rooney has been a frequent participant in journalism roundtables, sought after for her views on ethics and standards in broadcast journalism and advocacy of media accountability. Each Friday on Greater Boston, she leads the show’s “Beat the Press” edition, a discussion of what the media covered during the week, how, and why. These lively, critical, and sometimes controversial panel discussions earned “Beat the Press” the prestigious National Press Club’s Author Rowse Award for Press Criticism in July 2001 and the 2002 Massachusetts/Rhode Island Associated Press Broadcasters Award in the News/Talk category.

Rooney is a graduate of American University in Washington, DC. A native of Connecticut, she currently lives outside of Boston.

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