The St. Louis Media History Foundation is inducting 12 of St. Louis’s radio and television personalities and executives, journalists, advertisers, and public relation employees into its Hall of Fame last month.
The Hall of Fame Gala is March 30 at 5:30 p.m. in the Breckenridge Ballroom at the Red Lion Hotel, St. Louis City Center.
The inductees were chosen for their significant contributions to St. Louis media, according to the foundation.
The 2019 Media History Foundation Hall of Fame Inductees
Jo Mannies, Marguerite Martyn, and Avis Meyer are being inducted into the Hall of Fame for their work in print journalism.
Mannies was the premier political reporter in Missouri for decades, first at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, then the St. Louis Beacon and finally at St. Louis Public Radio. She was the first woman to cover St. Louis city hall. Martyn, who was inducted posthumously, was a Post-Dispatch Illustrator from 1905-1939. Meyer was a journalism professor at St. Louis University for 42 years and a Post-Dispatch copy editor for 24 years. He served as a mentor and father figure to a generation of copy editors at the paper.
Wiley Price is being inducted for his work in photojournalism. His work was seen in the St. Louis American and The Suburban Journals for more than 30 years. He’s also a member of the Missouri Photojournalism Hall of Fame.
Ted Koplar, Spencer Koch, and Dave Murray are being inducted for their work in Television.
Koplar is best known for growing KPLR into one of the most successful independent television stations in the nation and launching the animated television show Voltron: Defender of the Universe. Koch was the former president for KTVI and general manager for KPLR. He oversaw KTVI when it switched from ABC to FOX. At both stations, he increased local news. Murray, a meteorologist for KTVI, has been in the business for 42 years. For 36 of those 42 years, he provided weather reports and forecasts for viewers in the St. Louis area on both sides of the Mississippi River.
Radio legends, Bill Wilkerson and Gene Roberts are being inducted into the Hall of Fame with the Rev. Boniface Wittenbrink. All are being inducted posthumously.
Wilkerson, who died in November 2017, was on the St. Louis radio for more than 35 years. Wilkerson gained city-wide popularity as a morning talk-show host on KMOX.
Roberts hosted the long-running KDHX show, “Country Function, Bluegrass Function,” until 2008. His involvement with radio spanned back to the 1940s. Roberts died in 2011.
Wittenbrink was the founder of the Radio Information Service for the Blind, which operates out of the Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows in Belleville, Illinois.
Joe Finnigan and Suzi Schrappen Mahe is being inducted for work in public relations.
Mahe is the vice president for creative services at KTVI and KPLR television stations. She’s worked in media relations since 1984. Finnigan is being inducted posthumously for his 35 years of work in public relations, notably 28 years with FleishmanHillard. He played a major role in the company’s growth into one of the nation’s largest public relations firms. Among his clients were Anheuser-Busch, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, and Ralston Purina.