Robertson School Director Hong Cheng addresses the crowd at the Virginia Communications Hall of Fame ceremony. Photo by Kegham Hovsepian
Seven longtime media veterans were inducted into the Virginia Communications Hall of Fame in April. The 28th annual induction took place at the John Marshall Hotel, with almost 200 guests in attendance.
Each year, the Virginia Communications Hall of Fame honors media professionals with extraordinary careers in public relations, journalism, advertising and other media fields. Throughout the night the seven inductees, whose careers range from radio, public relations, broadcast and print, shared personal stories as they accepted their medals.
Francis Eugene Wood shared how he got his start in radio more than 30 years ago. Wood joined WFLO in 1971 and hosted morning shows, as well as the award-winning “Call Flo Radio Show.”
“Years later my boss found my original application for the station ,” Wood said. “He told me he didn’t think I was very good, but he needed someone for the job.”
Over the years, Wood would go on to prove that WFLO made the right choice in hiring him. Wood is now the general manager of Colonial Broadcasting Company Inc., which includes the Farmville, Va. station he began his career at.
For some inductees, a career in journalism was a childhood dream that came to life. Cheryl E. Miller from CBS 6, and Diane Walker from NBC12 both shared stories about growing up as young girls watching television. Walker stressed the importance of media representation in her ultimate decision to study journalism at the University of Virginia.
“I didn’t see anyone who looked like me on TV,” Walker said. “Then one day my little brother ran into my room, laughing, and said ‘Diane, there’s someone on TV who looks like you.’”