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Gilbert Zermeño

Gilbert Zermeño is the youngest of five children, the son of migrant farm workers, who finally settled down in the plains of West Texas. He grew up a farmer, rising before the sun to move sprinkler systems after they watered cotton all night. He would finish up his homework and ride the bus 17 miles to school. His dad became a United States citizen when he was in his 80’s, and his Mom in her 70’s.

When he was in the sixth grade, he attended a Career Day event at Lorenzo Elementary School in Texas. The main anchor from the ABC station in nearby Lubbock spoke to his class. He spoke highly of the work photojournalists did for his station. Gilbert was hooked! After graduation, he attended West Texas State University, served an internship at KFDA in Amarillo, Texas, then moved over to KAMR-TV. Thanks to a new station accountant, he was fired from that station. It was the best thing that ever happened to him. With the help of Phoenix radio & TV personality, Bill Austin, he ended up in Phoenix. Bill was a friend of Gilbert’s main anchor and made a few calls on his behalf. He landed a phone interview with then KTSP-TV, now FOX10. They hired him and he loaded up his car with a TV, some clothes and moved to Arizona in 1986. Since his arrival, he has covered stories like Desert Storm in Saudi Arabia, former Arizona Gov. Evan Mecham when he traveled to Central America, the Los Angeles Riots, and traveled the Arizona backroads with fellow Silver Circle Society member, Bill Leverton. Gilbert was also assigned to the helicopter and flew all over the state.

In 1994, a big market shake-up landed the CBS affiliation at KPHO TV-5. Zermeño was hired as a general assignment photographer. One year later, KPHO News started up an Investigative Unit and he became a producer/photographer for the unit. Over the years they have received several regional Emmys and an Edward R. Murrow Award. Gilbert is also a member of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences’ Rocky Mountain Chapter’s Silver Circle Society.

Gilbert was named Best TV Journalist by New Timesin 2012. Along with the accolade, they wrote: “The true stars of the TV news biz often are those whose faces we rarely see on-screen — the camera people, editors, and, yes, folks who produce what passes locally for “investigative” journalism. Our winner, who universally is known in media circles as “Z,” is outstanding at what he does, which is to identify, organize, and execute some pretty in-depth yarns for local public consumption. He has been over at Channel 5 for well more than a decade, which in that line of work equates to about a century. Zermeño knows this Valley and this state like few other journalists, and is as comfortable working with “talent” (on-camera reporters, especially the usually excellent Morgan Loew) in a desert outpost on the border as he is on Phoenix’s often-mean streets. Z’s stories stand tall in a TV market not known for producing many riveting exposés, and for this we applaud him.”

Michael Wong

Michael Wong is the Director of Career Services at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University in Phoenix. In this role, he helps connect students to nearly 500 internships each year and his team assists students and alumni with job leads and research.

In addition, Wong directs the digital training center for the Dow Jones News Fund, and has placed top students from across the country in full-time, paid digital summer internships for such companies as The Wall Street Journal, NPR The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Austin American-Statesman, The Arizona Republic, Storyful and others.

Upon his graduation from Arizona State University, Wong started his career in Phoenix at KPNX-TV (NBC/TEGNA) as an associate producer/editor. He spent four years at KPNX-TV, two years as producer of the morning show. The next twelve years were dedicated to heading the news and public affairs department at KAET-TV (PBS). As the manager of news and public affairs and the executive producer of the award-winning prime-time nightly public affairs show Horizon, Wong helped plan and lead coverage of the Mecham Impeachment Trial and several elections, most of which won regional Emmys.

While he worked in television news, he taught a few classes at the Cronkite School. His teaching endeavors began in 1985— and he taught television production, writing, reporting and newscast production classes.

His 15+ years of international consulting experience includes coordinating training workshops for professional journalists from Bosnia, Macedonia, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Montenegro and Serbia.

Nadine Wimmer

Nadine Wimmer currently co-anchors KSL News at 5, 6, 6:30 and 10pm. She is also an Emmy award-winning reporter who produces a series of reports called “Staying Safe,” to help parents protect their families from danger, injuries and other preventable problems.

Wimmer moved up the ranks in the KSL 5 newsroom as weekend anchor, political reporter, education reporter, and producer. She was born and raised in Salt Lake City and began her broadcasting career at KSL Television as a University of Utah intern.

Education has always been important to Nadine. She earned her Master’s degree in political communication and bachelor’s degree in communication from the University of Utah. She attended a fellows program on education and journalism through the University of Washington.

Because of her commitment to education, she is most excited about her involvement in the Read Today, KSL’s reading initiative. Read Today aims to boost reading scores by encouraging families to read together and by recruiting tutors for struggling readers. Through stories and recruitment efforts, we will have close to 7,000 volunteer tutors this school year helping Utah students.

Nadine and the Read Today team received the Service to America Award from the National Assocation of Broadcaster’s Education Foundation. Read Today was selected as the Governor of Utah’s reading program when the state applied for and received a 1.3 million dollar “Read, Graduate, Succeed” grant.

In her free time, she loves the outdoors and outdoor recreating in Utah’s mountains and red rock country. She is often trail running, mountain biking, skiing, water skiing and has recently taken up skate skiing. She’s an avid reader and studies Spanish.

Her favorite thing is to spend time with family. She’s married to Phil Kirk, who works in law enforcement. They live with their two boys in Park City.

Linda Williams

Linda Williams joined the FOX 10 News team in 1981. Linda co-anchors the weekend editions of FOX 10 News broadcasts – Saturdays and Sundays from 5pm to 6pm and 9pm to 10:30pm.

Williams began her broadcast career in 1979 at the PBS station here in Phoenix. In 1981, she joined FOX 10 News. She worked her way up from tape editor to general assignment reporter to news anchor.

A native of Boston, Massachusetts, Williams moved to Phoenix in 1973. Linda graduated from Arizona State University with a degree in Broadcast Journalism in 1981.

Linda enjoys watching her two children grow, tracking the stock market and traveling. Linda is involved in various contests events, from reading to classes at Valley schools and encouraging young people to seek a career in Broadcast Journalism. She is a member of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences’ Rocky Mountain Southwest Chapter’s Silver Circle Society.

Mary Jo West

Mary Jo West has been called “The First Lady of TV news” in Phoenix. In 1976, she became the city’s first prime-time anchorwoman when she debuted with co-anchor Bill Close on CBS’s KOOL-TV. In her broadcast career, she has anchored over 5000 newscasts in Florida, Arizona, and with the CBS News network in New York. She has won her industry’s most prestigious awards including the Peabody, 2 regional Emmys, 13 Arizona Press Club awards and the national Gracie Allen Award from American Women in Radio and TV. Mary Jo was the first anchorwoman to be inducted into the Arizona Broadcasters Hall of Fame and is a member of the Rocky Mountain Southwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences’ Silver Circle Society.

Volunteering in the community has been a passion of hers and the City of Phoenix presented her with the Martin Luther King Living the Dream Award for her advocacy on behalf of the mentally ill. The American Bar Association and Paralyzed Veterans of America honored her for her reporting on the rights of the physically challenged.

In her personal life, Mary Jo is the proud mother of daughter, Molly, and has two grandchildren.

Gary Wenzlaff

Bio coming soon

Patty Weiss

Patty grew up in Tucson and attended Palo Verde High School. After only three years, she graduated cum laude from the University of Arizona with a degree in Journalism. Weiss began her television career reporting and anchoring for KOLD-TV in Tucson. Two years later she moved to San Diego, where she wound up ducking a typewriter thrown by anchorman Harold Greene, the model for Will Ferrell’s Ron Burgundy in “Anchorman.” After a couple of years in Southern California, Weiss accepted a position at KVOA in Tucson in 1975. She has the distinction of being the first woman to anchor an evening newscast at a commercial television station in Arizona. She served as one of the station’s main news anchors until her retirement in 2005.

After leaving KVOA, she hosted television segments for the Tucson Unified School District, then set her sights on political office. She ran for Congress in 2006 against Gabrielle Giffords. After the election, Weiss joined Western Progress, a nonpartisan think tank, where she served as the group’s communications director. In 2007 she moved to Wisconsin with her husband, Dr. Alan Gelenberg. They have five grown children.

Over the years, she has been honored with numerous awards, including being inducted into the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences’ Rocky Mountain Southwest Chapter’s prestigious Silver Circle, which recognizes broadcasters for twenty-five years of outstanding service in the same television market. She was also one of a handful of UA graduates who led the charge to save the University Of Arizona Department of Journalism when the administration wanted to eliminate it during the 1990’s. Patty has served on many of the university’s advisory boards, including those for the College of Behavioral Sciences; the Departments of Journalism and Psychology; the Institute For Children, Youth and Families; and UA Presents. She has also been involved with many civic and charitable organizations, serving on the Boards of the Tucson Botanical Gardens, Green Fields Country Day School and the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona.

Mike Watkiss

Mike Watkiss is a veteran reporter who has been on the frontline of some of the biggest stories of the last four decades.

Watkiss has interviewed serial killers and super stars.

He was one of the first reporters on the scene the morning the bodies of Ron Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson were discovered.

Watkiss then covered the so-called “Trial of the Century” — the criminal prosecution of O.J. Simpson.

During an eight year run with the show “A Current Affair” Watkiss first worked as a New York-based correspondent and then was transferred to Los Angeles to serve as both the L.A. Bureau Chief and West Coast Correspondent.

While with “A Current Affair” Watkiss covered the L.A. Riots, the Northridge Earthquake, the Oklahoma City Bombing, “Night Stalker” Serial Killer Richard Ramirez, Hollywood Madam Heidi Fleiss, and Figure Skater Tonya Harding.

Watkiss also traveled the world from Singapore to Switzerland covering Super-Star Michael Jackson.

For the last eighteen years, Watkiss has worked as the Senior Reporter at Phoenix TV Station KTVK.

During this time, Watkiss covered the 9-11 attack from New York City, Hurricane Katrina from Biloxi Mississippi, the Death of Princess Diana from London, the trial of American Terrorist Timothy McVeigh from Denver and countless wildfires all over the Western United States.

Watkiss has received many of journalism’s major awards. In 2009 Watkiss was also presented the FBI’s Community Leadership Award by then FBI Director Robert Mueller.

Because of his extensive work covering the practice of polygamy in America, Watkiss, who comes from polygamist ancestors, is recognized as one of the leading experts on American polygamy, the FLDS Church and Polygamous Prophet Warren Jeffs.

In 2005, Watkiss produced the Emmy and Edward R. Murrow Award-winning Documentary “Colorado City and the Underground Railroad.”

The documentary chronicles the stories and struggles of a handful of brave women who stood up against the abusive Prophet and power structure of the FLDS community and, ended up, changing the course of history.

Watkiss has a B.A. in Anthropology from Stanford University and a Masters’ Degree in Journalism from Columbia University.

Watkiss has appeared in several movies including “Dumb and Dumber,” “The Positively True Adventure of the Texas Cheerleading Murdering Mom,” and “Outlaw Prophet Warren Jeffs.”

Watkiss was inducted into the Silver Circle in 2018. He is a native of Salt Lake City and now lives with his family in Phoenix.

John Warren

For more than 40 years, John Warren has worked in both radio and television in order to tell stories. After graduating with a degree in broadcast journalism from Northern Arizona University in 1976, John started his television reporting career in Flagstaff, before moving to Tucson, and finally to Phoenix, where he was hired to be a reporter at KOOL-TV (now KSAZ-TV). John eventually moved to KTVK-TV, where he was the News Assignment Manager for 20 years and managed the day-to-day operation of the news desk and directed a staff of 60 or more people. John became an assignment editor “because I had a desire to do more than just tell one story. I wanted to tell them all. The assignment editor is involved in every story that is presented; how the story is told and what message we are telling our audience. We help shape the message and as a trained journalist we make certain that every story is not only truthful but also accurate.”

John is currently the Content Manager at KPNX-TV in Phoenix, where he continues to make daily news assignments and manage the logistics of reporting the news.

“I have been a part of some of the most logistically demanding story telling opportunities over my career and those were some of the most rewarding times of my life,” says Warren. “From the Super Bowl coverage to the Presidential debates and the Phoenix Open to the marches on the State Capitol. Through it all, the logistics planning was important because the purpose is to be able to tell the story, without letting the effort it took to bring the story to the audience get in the way of the message. In the end, I can say that I am a storyteller who endeavors to live up to the career and profession I have chosen.”

John credits Bill Miller, Phil Alvidrez and Dennis O’Neil for helping to shape and guide his career.

Todd Walsh

Todd Walsh has worked with FOX Sports Arizona since 2001 and fills many roles at the network, including its pre-game/post-game host and in-game reporter for Arizona Diamondbacks and Arizona Coyotes telecasts. One of the most versatile and respected television personalities in the state of Arizona, he also hosts the Emmy Award winning “D-backs 10th Inning” as well as “the Local 9” and “Urban Coyotes. He also contributes content to FOXSportsArizona.com.

A 13-time Emmy Award winner, he has been honored as the best sports anchor three times. He was also named “Favorite Sportscaster” in Arizona Foothills Magazine “Best of Our Valley Poll” in November of 2010. The Arizona Republic named him the top sports reporter in Phoenix in 2001 and again in 2002.

In what was one of the top highlights of his career, he emceed the 35th reunion of the famed 1980 gold medal-winning USA Men’s Hockey team in Lake Placid, NY back in 2015. D-backs pitcher Randy Johnson allowed him to become the first reporter to ever be invited inside his home to profile his baseball and rock and roll memorabilia collection. The visit was for the critically acclaimed “In My Own Words – Randy Johnson” episode Walsh hosted. The show was awarded with an Emmy in 2008. Todd was also the only local television reporter to go to Cooperstown, NY for Johnson’s Hall of Fame induction and was given exclusive access with Johnson for that historic weekend.

A fixture as well in Phoenix and Tucson sports radio, he has been the host for the Phoenix Coyotes radio pre-game broadcasts since 1996. He has also done weekday sports updates for KSLX radio (100.7 FM) in Phoenix and was the sports director for KDKB radio (93.3 FM).

Walsh worked for KTAR radio in Phoenix from 1988-93 as a sports reporter, talk show anchor and co-host of the pre and post-game radio broadcasts for the Arizona Cardinals and Phoenix Suns. From 1991-93, he was the color commentator for Cardinals games.

From 1988-91, Walsh served as the play-by-play announcer for the Phoenix Firebirds of the Pacific Coast League (Triple-A minor league baseball) and in 1987, he did the play-by-play duties in Tucson for the Triple-A Tucson Toros and the University of Arizona Ice Cats hockey team.

A native of Rochester, NY, Walsh graduated from the University of Arizona in 1986 with a degree in radio and television. He got his start in the business while at the UA, hosting a nightly sports talk show and serving as the pre and post-game host for Arizona Wildcats football and basketball games on KNST radio. Also during his time at Arizona, he served as a basketball manager for Lute Olson and had a role as a sports reporter in the 1987 movie “Can’t Buy Me Love.”

George Wallace

George Wallace was born on September 25, 1925 in Long Beach, California to Thomas Jay Wallace and Angela M. Phillips Wallace. He graduated from New Trier High School, Winnetka, Illinois in 1943. He attended the University of South Carolina in the U.S. Navy College Program and received his Navy Commission at the Notre Dame University Midshipman School as Ensign, USNR in 1945. He completed an overseas assignment as Executive Officer on a District Minesweeper in the South Pacific. His passion for athletics and his talent for the game of basketball earned him an athletic scholarship to the University of Idaho, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering in 1949. He met his wife, Lois Tiller, while attending the University of Idaho. They married on December 21, 1947. In 1952, he moved his family to Tucson to join KTKT Radio as an early morning DJ and radio time salesman. The position sparked a successful and fulfilling 33-year career in radio and television broadcasting, during which he served as station manager for KTKT and KCUB Radio. In 1962, he joined KGUN TV as local sales manager, and later became General Manager. His leadership afforded him the opportunity to serve on the National ABC Affiliate Board for a number of years. From 1978-1983, he was responsible for fundraising to support the University of Arizona athletic programs. Prior to his retirement in 1990, he served as Sales Manager at KAIR/KJOY Radio and a national sales consultant for KIIM/KCUB Radio. His significant contributions to the broadcast industry were recognized by the Tucson Ad Club where he received the Silver Medal Award in 1987. In 2003, he was honored by the Rocky Mountain Southwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences as a member of the Silver Circle Society. During his career, he served as President of the Tucson Ad Club, the Tucson YMCA, and the Tucson Conquistadores. George passed away peacefully at the age of 80 in 2006, after a brief battle with brain cancer.

Mary Morse Vasquez

Mary Morse Vasquez grew up in the Midwest but moved to Arizona at the age of 18. During her senior year at NAU she heard about an internship and job opportunity at Channel 10, the then CBS affiliate – now FOX 10. Little did she know walking through the doors on that first day that this TV station would be a major part of her life for the next 33 years. Morse Vasquez spent a few years producing evening newscasts, but soon realized that morning television was her true calling. As Executive Producer of the morning show from 1994 to 2019, she worked with what she calls some of the most talented, hard-working people in the industry. “This amazing career provided me the opportunity to write and produce stories about events that have shaped our lives and for that, I will always be grateful,” said Morse Vasquez

Recently retired, she no longer sets the alarm for 2:30 a.m. (Woohoo!) She now watches the news and morning show from her home in Payson where she lives with her husband.

© Rocky Mountain Southwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences 2020

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