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41st Annual Professional Recognition Awards and Scholarship Banquet

April 27, 2019, 6 PM cocktails, 7 PM dinner

at Genesee Grande, 1060 East Genesee St, Syracuse

 Follow syrpressclub on Twitter

Our Rundown

Poynter

Kenneth Sparrow

Herald-Journal

Herald American

Kenneth F. Sparrow joined the Syracuse Herald in 1925 as a reporter. This followed a short stint with the Oswego Palladium, where he first worked after completing his studies at Oswego Normal School, now SUNY at Oswego.
A native of Yonkers, Ken spent nearly 50 years with the Herald and its successors, the Herald Journal and the Sunday Herald American. During his early career, he covered nearly every "beat," and many special assignments before being promoted to assistant city editor.

Those years as a top reporter gave Ken a knowledge of the city, its political and government leaders and business executives, as well as a feel for the "man on the street," that few Syracusans possessed. With this experience, he knew who to telephone or interview, and where to find information on all types of news stories. He could tell young reporters the locations and names of major buildings and streets. He knew Syracuse!

His knowledge of the area served him well. In 1943, he was promoted to city editor and held that position until 1958. A police radio near the city desk kept him informed of breaking news and helped him dispatch reporters and photographers.

He memorized the Syracuse Fire Department's bell code so he could determine the approximate location of major fires by the numbers spelled out by the clanging bell in the city room.

In 1958, Ken was named business editor. For the next 15 years, he broke many important stories. With his many contacts -- top business executives whose respect he soon earned - he often was the first to learn and report news about companies coming to the Syracuse area, top management changes, planned expansions, and other developments, resulting in new jobs for Central New York. He also reported on firms leaving the area.

As business editor, Ken wrote a Sunday column sharing the activities of area businesses and their employees from the chief executives to the men and women on the production line, offices or sales floor. He rarely missed writing the column, making sure that one was written even when he went on vacation or was away covering a story.

One of the top news stories he remembers vividly was the attack on Pearl Harbor, which happened on a Sunday when the Herald-Journal had only a skeleton staff on duty. His first task that day was to find Telegraph Editor Ed Nowinski, who was essential because the stories were pouring in over the national and international news wires.

Nowinski had not heard of the attack and was east of Syracuse at a farm that had no telephone. After tracking Nowinski down, Ken returned to the office to help direct reporters getting local reaction from community leaders and residents. Still more editors and reporters arrived to help put out the newspaper's "Extra" edition about the attack.

Outside of his newspaper career, Ken had been active in his church, St. Paul's Episcopal Cathedral in downtown Syracuse. He had served in various lay positions, including clerk of the Vestry for 12 years, head usher and president of the Men's Club.

Ken was 97 when he was inducted onto the Press Club's "Wall of Distinction." He died on Sept. 15, 2005.
--Joseph A. Porcello
Last Updated ( Monday, 17 November 2008 01:10 )
 
"Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost."
--Thomas Jefferson

Wall of Distinction


Fred Hillegas

WSYR Radio and TV

The Post-Standard

Club President: 1959

Fred Hillegas probably inherited some of his talent for news work, but he worked hard to become what many area listeners and viewers considered the top broadcast newsman in Syracuse.

Read more...Link

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