The Vermont Association of Broadcasters recognized VPR's Bob Kinzel this week for something we've recognized a long time: his distinguished service.
Bob's been reporting the news from Montpelier since 1977 -- after a stint at WJOY in the Burlington area, where he was hired by VPR's own Joel Najman. For years, Bob operated the Vermont News Service. His stories were heard on radio stations around the state. Bob eventually started hosting call-in programs on VPR and joined the staff full-time in 2002. He's recognized in Montpelier as the dean of the Statehouse reporting corps.
Bob was one of two long-time radio journalists honored by the association with the distinguished service award. The other was Tim Johnson of WTSA in Brattleboro, who's been reporting from Windham County since 1973.
The VAB inducted two people into the Vermont Broadcasters Hall of Fame, including Marselis Parsons, the longtime WCAX-TV anchor who recently retired. The other was Belva Keyworth, a broadcasting pioneer who died in 2004. She owned WBTN AM and FM for nearly 50 years. VPR now broadcasts on WBTN-FM in Bennington, fullfilling Keyworth's vision to maintain the station as a community resource.
Our colleague in public broadcasting, Ann Curran of Vermont Public Television, was honored by the VAB as Broadcaster of the Year for her work in helping television stations in Vermont convert to digital transmission.
Community service awards went to Ray Kimball, general manager of WCFR in Springfield, WKOL-FM in Burlington, and Nassau Broadcasting’s WWFY-FM, WORK-FM, WSNO-AM, WMOO-FM and WIKE-AM.
Congratulations to Bob and the many other fine honorees!