When Euless resident Jerome Davis worked at radio station KMHT in Marshall during his high school years, it never occurred to him that he would one day be inducted into a hall of fame for broadcasters.
Seems that radio gig was not just a teenage job and Davis went on to have a successful career in radio and television. In recognition of his success, Davis was notified recently by officials at the Texas Radio Hall of Fame that he had been chosen as an inductee for 2015 along with 15 other broadcast professionals from across the state.
The honor is in recognition of his many years in the industry spanning the time during college when he was an on-air personality popular with students at Stephen F. Austin University at station KEEE in Nacogdoches and later after he moved on to do the news at radio and TV stations in Tyler. He landed in Fort Worth in 1963 after accepting a news job with station KFJZ.
“I covered John F. Kennedy’s visit to Fort Worth, some of the events surrounding the Kennedy assassination, including Lee Harvey Oswald’s funeral, and later the trial of Jack Ruby,” Davis said of his time at KFJZ.
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After many years in radio and television with WBAP in Fort Worth and later KRLD in Dallas as anchor-reporter, Davis shifted gears and moved from broadcasting to public relations for the last leg of his career before retiring.
Josh Holstead, who owns and operates the Houston-based Texas Radio Hall of Fame (and who incidentally grew up in Hurst), said the organization’s main goal is to recognize “broadcasting greats in the Lone Star State.” He said that inductees are selected by life members and that around 200 people have been inducted since the organization formed 15 years ago.
“Jerome represents the absolute finest of his kind — and the last of a dying breed of real radio journalists,” said Holstead. “Not a voice that merely reads prepared news stories that were sanitized and sent out from a central point, but a man who gathered the news, wrote the news, reported the news, and with that, accepted the responsibility of how to disseminate that information to hundreds of thousands of people in a way that would impact them the most.”
Holstead said those who nominated Davis for the honor noted his rise from a small-market radio career to larger markets and eventually his transition from radio to TV. Other nominators were impressed that he still makes time to volunteer his talents and voice to various organizations.
“Being selected by my peers was very gratifying and encouraging,” Davis said. “There is a lot of great talent out there, so to be chosen by your peers really means a lot.”
Davis will be inducted into the Hall of Fame at a luncheon celebration in Austin in November. The public is invited to attend the event, which is always a sellout.
“Our event this November will be dedicated to a very prominent figure in our industry — and a Fort Worth-area favorite — Terry Dorsey from KSCS,” said Holstead. Dorsey, who died this year, was a member of the Texas Radio Hall of Fame.
Meanwhile, until the induction ceremony, Davis will continue his active role as a community volunteer, most notably with the Northeast Tarrant Lions Club along with volunteering at KERA/Channel 13. He is a freelance writer and does voiceovers for various clients. He enjoys his family and five grandchildren, one of whom is majoring in broadcast journalism at the University of North Texas. Who knows — another member of the family may someday join his granddad in the Hall of Fame.
Learn more about the Hall of Fame at www.TRHOF.net. Tickets to the Nov. 14 ceremony are available online.
LINKS to host awards luncheon and ballroom boxing gala
The Mid-Cities Chapter of The Links will commemorate three decades of service at an upcoming Aug. 14 luncheon at the Fairmont Hotel in Dallas where several area nonprofits will be honored and awarded cash grants. LINKS is an international organization founded more than 60 years ago by women of African descent to make a positive impact on their communities.
Guests at the 30th-anniversary event will enjoy a luncheon and awards program and a keynote address by Jo Ann Jenkins, chief executive officer of AARP. AARP is the world’s largest nonprofit membership organization serving people age 50 and over to improve the quality of their lives.
The Links is all about educational, civic and intercultural commitment and each year publicly recognizes and rewards key organizations in the community. Receiving the LINKS award at the luncheon are: AARP, Attitudes and Attire-Boots to Heels, Boys & Girls Clubs of Arlington, Habitat for Humanity International, Irving Black Arts Council, Irving Cares and Wounded Warriors.
LINKS spokeswoman Angela Ross said the charities are selected based on the impact of their work in the arts, health and human services, services to youths, and national and international trends.
“In celebration of this 30-year milestone, we recognize these charitable organizations, all of which are committed to eliminating disparities within our communities, and we award them a total of $30,000 to further advance their work,” said Veronica Spencer-Austin, president of the Mid-Cities chapter.
The luncheon kicks off a weekend of festivities surrounding the LINKS 23rd annual fundraiser Round XXIII: A Knock Out Affair set for Aug. 15 at the Fairmont. The formal gala features a reception, dinner, dancing, auction and professional boxing. Funds raised will support the community impact of the Mid-Cities LINKS Chapter.
Events at a glance
▪ Bedford Pet First Aid is Aug. 15 at 9 a.m. at the Boys Ranch Activity Center, 2801 Forest Ridge Drive. The free event will teach you what to do for your pet in the case of an emergency and enable participants to become certified by a Red Cross instructor in administering pet first aid. This course is for humans only, no pets please. Enroll by calling 817-952-2323.
▪ Vendor Call for the Hurst Holiday Market and Craft Fair coming up on Oct. 23 and hosted by the Hurst Senior Activities Center. Vendors are asked to apply now to ensure a spot in the shopping event. To make arrangements, contact Michelle Varley at 817-788-7712.