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Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame announces new class of inductees

Kelly Dyer Fry, editor of The Oklahoman and vice-president of news for OPUBCO Communications Group, will be among nine outstanding journalists honored
FROM STAFF REPORTS Modified: March 28, 2014 at 10:50 pm •  Published: March 30, 2014
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Kelly Dyer Fry, editor of The Oklahoman and vice-president of news for OPUBCO Communications Group, will be among nine outstanding journalists honored during the 44th anniversary celebration of the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame on April 24 at the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond

Fry is a third-generation Oklahoma journalist who joined OPUBCO in 1994 as features editor of The Oklahoman before joining its digital operation in 1996. She served as director of multimedia and led the team that launched NewsOK in 2001.

She began her career at the family newspaper, the El Reno Tribune, and worked on The Daily O’Collegian before graduating from Oklahoma State University with a journalism degree in 1981.

She serves on OSU’s Student Media Board and on the boards of the Health Alliance for the Uninsured and F.A.T.E., or Fighting Addiction Through Education. She also served on the Teen Recovery Solutions board for six years, helping grow Oklahoma’s only sober high school.

Other honorees this year are Ed Blochowiak, Shawnees News-Star photographer; Thomas H. “Tom” Boone, of the Bixby Bulletin, retired; Jay Cronley, Tulsa World columnist; Carolyn Estes, marketing director of the Oologah Lake Leader; Larry Ferguson, of the Pawnee Chief; William A. Hamilton, retired; Tim Schnoebelen of the Mooreland Leader; and Jan Stratton, of KSWO-YV in Lawton, retired.

The luncheon program will begin at 11:45 a.m. on the third floor of the university center. Master of ceremonies will be Mark Thomas, executive vice-president of the Oklahoma Press Association.

More than 250 journalists, friends and families are expected for the ceremony, said Terry M. Clark, director of the Journalism Hall of Fame.

“The event has become sort of a homecoming celebration for members of the Hall of Fame to come together and recognize each year’s honorees,” Clark said.

Luncheon reservations are $15 and may be made by contacting Clark at tclark@uco.edu, or calling 974-5122, by April 17.

Honorees are selected by a committee composed of members of the working press and the Hall of Fame. The committee sifts through all nominations, both new ones and those held over from previous years, before selecting the nine honorees. Nomination forms are available at any time from the UCO Department of Mass Communication.

Framed citations are on display in a new Hall of Fame display in the Nigh University Center at UCO. The school’s Department of Mass Communication is host and administrator of the Hall. The Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation helps underwrite expenses for the ceremony.

The Hall of Fame was founded in 1971 by former journalism Chairman Ray Tassin. This year’s inductees make 398 total members. The Hall is supported with funding from UCO, The Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation, and the Oklahoma Newspaper Foundation.

The other inductees

Ed Blochowiak (1950- ) has been a photojournalist for the Shawnee News-Star since 1973. A native of Shawnee and graduate of Shawnee High School, he joined the paper after returning from a tour of duty in Vietnam in the U.S. Air Force. He has covered everything from dance recitals to politics, fatal fires and the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. Known for his dramatic compositions, he is interested in shooting civic ceremonies. He approaches photography knowing that whatever happens each day can be exciting. His photos have won more than 90 awards from The Associated Press and Oklahoma Press Association and other organizations. He has been awarded Photo of the Year once by AP and twice by OPA.

Thomas H. “Tom” Boone (1936- ), worked as sports writer for the Bixby Bulletin for almost 40 years before retiring in 2012. A Missouri native, he served in the U.S. Marine Corps and played baseball for the Marines. He began writing for the Bulletin in 1972 for $10 a story. He created the Bulletin’s “Player of the Year” award in 1979, and the award is now named for him. He was credentialed by four post-season bowl games, The World Series and major league baseball teams. He was elected to the first class of the Bixby Athletic Hall of Fame in 2006, and is a member of the Oklahoma Press Association Quarter Century Club. He owns a sports reporting company. He earned two degrees from Cal State Fullerton, worked as a police office and as an insurance adjustor, and served on the Bixby City Council.

Jay Cronley (1943- ) has been an institution of Tulsa newspapers since the early 1970s. Writing three columns a week for the Tulsa World since 1992, he’s never missed a column. He’s known for his wry humor about everyday life. After attending OU, where he was all-conference second base, he worked in New York as a stockbroker before joining The Daily Oklahoman as a sports writer. He worked at the Tulsa Tribune as sports writer and columnist in the 1970s until it closed. He also writes a column for ESPN about horse racing. He has written eight novels, five of which have been made into major movies, including “Funny Farm” with Chevy Chase, “Quick Change” with Bill Murray and “Let It Ride” with Richard Dreyfuss. In addition to numerous state awards, he won a national non-fiction writing award from Playboy Magazine. He was inducted into the Oklahoma Writers Hall of Fame in 2001.

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