LEONARD WILL INDUCTED INTO BROADCASTERS HALL OF FAME
Wednesday May 18, 2005
For many in Northeast Ohio, Leonard Will's voice is the first sound they hear each day. As local host and news anchor for National Public Radio’s (NPR) "Morning Edition" since 1988, Will wakes up the region Monday through Friday with the best in regional, national and world news broadcast over WKSU. Will's expertise and dedication to his radio audience is evident every day; his voice familiar to listeners who rely daily on his knowledge of the news, warm humor and comforting baritone. On Sunday, May 22, Will was inducted by Ohio members of the Associated Press (AP) into the Ohio AP Broadcasters Hall of Fame in a ceremony in Columbus recognizing his more than four decades as a radio broadcaster.
Will began his journalism career following a 1962 honorable discharge from the U. S. Army Security Agency, where he served in Germany as a Russian voice transcriber. His first radio job was as a newscaster at WLEC in Sandusky, Ohio in 1963. Will returned to Germany in 1966 as a freelance correspondent, covering a number of major stories for the Mutual Broadcasting System and ABC News that included the kidnapping and murders of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics. At the end of 1972, Will and his family returned to Ohio where he worked as a reporter/newscaster for WERE "People Power Talkradio" in Cleveland. He left the following year for Iowa to help in the building and formatting of one of the nation’s first fully-automated music stations.
Will returned to WERE as the station switched formats from talk to all news in 1975. Initially, he was the editor/producer of the daily five-hour morning drive news block but soon was assigned greater responsibility – rising to news director, program director, and finally operations manager. In 1983, he was approached by members of the Board of Trustees of Cleveland Public Radio and offered the job of general manager for a yet-to-be-established public radio station in Cleveland. Will accepted and was charged with building a new radio operation that became WCPN – from construction and equipping of the broadcast facility to determining the station’s format and hiring the staff.
Two years after the station was up and running, Will left WCPN to return to the on-air side of broadcasting with the 1986 launch of "Ohio Portfolio," a weekly business program that he produced and hosted on WKSU through 1991. Along with airing on WKSU, "Ohio Portfolio" was also distributed to other public radio stations in Ohio. This year, Will marks 17 years as WKSU's beloved host and local producer of NPR’s award-winning "Morning Edition." In 2003, the veteran newsman was inducted into the Press Club Journalism Hall of Fame by the Press Club of Cleveland. Last month, Will was honored by Ohio Professional Writers with its inaugural award for Best Presentation, Radio.
Honorees in the Ohio AP Broadcasters Hall of Fame must have worked in radio or TV news for at least 20 years at an AP member station or stations in Ohio, and demonstrated outstanding ability, integrity and character through their work. Honorees are to have served with exceptional distinction and honor during their career. Other Hall of Fame Inductees this year include Jim Tichy, Jim King, Winston "Win" Heohner and Johnny Walker.
WKSU broadcasts NPR & Classical Music at 89.7 FM, and is a service of Kent State University. WKSU programming is also heard on WKRW 89.3 FM in Wooster, WKRJ 91.5 FM in Dover/New Philadelphia, WKSV 89.1 FM in Thompson, and WNRK 90.7 in Norwalk. The WKSU web site is www.wksu.org.
PR05.12 ### 5/18/05
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