One of the highest honors given by NATAS, the Michigan Silver Circle recognizes television professionals who have performed distinguished service within the television industry for 25 years or more, a significant part of which was done within our chapter. Gold Circle inductees have served the industry for 50 years or more. Silver and Gold Circle members are honored for more than their longevity — they are honored for making an enduring contribution to the vitality of the television industry and for setting standards of achievement we can all hope to emulate. These honorees also give back to the community as mentors, educators, and volunteers.
2015 SILVER AND GOLD CIRCLE HONOREES
The Michigan Chapter is pleased to announce the Silver/Gold Circle® Class of 2015.
John Ciolino is a photojournalist for WXYZ-TV. Since his career began in 1983, he has shot, edited, written and produced reports that have given a name to Detroit’s anonymous heroes, documented the plight of our most vulnerable and confronted our region’s biggest challenges. He has been awarded with 20 Emmys and a Peabody Award, one of journalism’s highest honors. Most recently, he has been the lead photographer for Detroit 2020, a 10-year station initiative designed to return Detroit to its former glory.
Eduardo (Ed) Fernandez was named VP/General Manager of WXYZ ABC7 Detroit in 2010. In 2012, he assumed additional duties of Divisional GM of E.W. Scripps Television Station Group’s in Kansas City, Indianapolis Cleveland and Azteca America properties.
Under his watch, WXYZ has been recognized with numerous awards including Michigan Association of Broadcasters (MAB) “Station of the Year” for four years running 2010, 2011, 2012 & 2013, the DuPont-Columbia University Awards for Excellence Michigan AP’s “General Excellence” Award for 2011 & 2012. Prior to joining WXYZ, he held the position of President/GM of WSNS Telemundo Chicago. Previous to joining WSNS, Fernandez served as VP/GM of WXMI-TV in Grand Rapids. He has also held Sales Management positions with WXMI and Account Executive positions with WSB (Atlanta), WOOD TV and WZZM in Grand Rapids. He started his career as a Master Control Operator with WZZM in 1984.
Jeff Forster career at Detroit Public Television’s (DPTV) Executive Vice President of Productions and Operations spans more than three decades. His career began at WCMH-TV in Columbus, Ohio where he served as a producer/director. From Ohio, Jeff relocated to Michigan to begin his long career at WJBK Fox 2 Channel, starting out as a producer/director in 1980 and ending his tenure in 1997 as the Director of Broadcast Operations. For the past 11 years, Jeff has been able to transform the production department at DPTV from a local to a national powerhouse overseeing award-winning local and national programs.
Janet Mason came to Michigan in 1997, becoming one of the first Asian American television station general managers in America. Janet’s television career began in 1975 at WOI-TV in Ames, Iowa, where she worked as a part-time reporter, photographer, editor and vacation relief weathercaster. She also worked at WSAU-TV in Wausau, Wisconsin before moving to KARE-TV in Minneapolis. At KARE, Janet rose from reporter and fill-in anchor to bureau chief and managing editor, before rising to News Director and Vice President/News. Janet spent one year as a Gannett Broadcasting Vice President/News Executive before arriving in Grand Rapids.
Keith Thompson has been a meteorologist at WWMT-TV, the CBS affiliate in the Kalamazoo-Grand Rapids-Battle Creek television market, for 25 years. He has been Chief Meteorologist for the last 20 years. Prior to WWMT, Keith spent five years as a reporter and weather anchor at WCJB-TV, the ABC affiliate in Gainesville, Florida. He is a member of the American Meteorological Society, holding the Broadcast Seal of Approval. Keith has a B.A. in Communication from Harding University, and an M.A. in Communication from Western Michigan University. Keith won an Emmy award last year in the Weather Talent category. Keith is married and has five children.
Ken Krato has enjoyed a long and distinguished career in Detroit television. He joined WJBK-TV in 1966 and remains a full-time employee to this day. Krato is also one of the most honored local TV news veterans having earned 19 Emmy Awards for his work as a video editor at Channel 2.
Ken began his TV news career at WDBO-TV in Orlando, Florida, in 1964 as head of the news film processing lab and chief editor. In 1966, accepted the same position at WJBK-TV and has been there ever since. Krato was inducted into the NATAS Silver Circle in 2004.
Silver and Gold Circle Press Release