Tuesday, August 12 2014, 07:47 AM EDT
NewsChannel9 Anchor Bob Johnson to Be Inducted into TN Journalism Hall of Fame
Longtime NewsChannel 9 anchor Bob Johnson will be inducted into the Tennessee Journalism Hall of Fame Tuesday evening in Murfreesboro.
Johnson anchored NewsChannel 9 newscasts from 1975 until his retirement in 2007.
Bob's viewers and coworkers know him as the standard bearer for excellence and professionalism in local news reporting. During his 32 year tenure, he played a major role in making Newschannel 9 the most watched local news in the Tennessee Valley.
Among his many career highlights, in 1988, Bob traveled to Moscow to report on the Reagan-Gorbachev summit, a summit that foreshadowed the fall of the Berlin wall and Soviet communism. He spent nine days meeting Russian people on the street and bringing their stories home to the Tennessee Valley.
Bob launched a feature series in 1981 that remains an important part of Newschannel 9's coverage - Wednesday's Child. Today the feature highlights children needing matches in the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program. In the beginning, Bob told the stories of children needing adoptive families. He presented this feature for 25 years and featured hundreds of children in the process.
Bob was also one of the first journalists to recognize the talent of Fort Payne country music super-group Alabama. He produced and hosted a one hour special in 1982, one year after the Alabama's first #1 radio hit, "Tennessee River." Bob remained close to band members as their popularity grew to include more than 27 #1 hits. Bob covered many June Jams, the annual festival the group hosted on behalf of Fort Payne charities. He also brought Tennessee Valley viewers many specials and exclusive interviews with band members.
Bob retired in 2007 after announcing he had Parkinson's disease. He still is enjoying retirement in the Chattanooga area.
He will attend the induction Tuesday's ceremony, which will also include Luther Massingil of WDEF radio and television.
The other four members of the 2014 class are Joe Birch, WMV-TV, Memphis; Alex Jones, Pulitzer Prize winner, New York Times; Otis Sanford, Veteran Editor, Commercial Appeal, Memphis; and Sam Venable, Columnist, Knoxville News Sentinel.
NewsChannel9 will be in Murfreesboro to cover this special event live. Be sure to tune in Tuesday evening for coverage of the ceremony.
Click 'play' to watch a sampling of clips from Bob's 2007 retirement special on This N That with Don Welch.