Milwaukee Press Club: Reitman to receive award at Gridiron Dinner

For more information, please contact:
Gloria Gappa-Grundman, (414) 588-9571

Radio personality will join Sister Joel Read and news anchor Aaron Brown as award recipients

MILWAUKEE, March 15, 2006 — Bob Reitman, who will retire in December after four decades as a popular radio personality in Milwaukee, will be the emcee and the recipient of a special award at the Milwaukee Press Club’s annual Gridiron Awards Dinner on Saturday, April 29.

Reitman recently announced he will retire as the co-host of the “Reitman & Mueller & Amy Taylor Too” morning drive show at FM 94.5-WKTI. Reitman began his radio career in 1966, and it blossomed as the FM dial grew in popularity. He hosted various programs at WUWM, WZMF, WTOS and WQFM before joining WKTI in 1980.

The Press Club will present a Headliner Award to Reitman for his 40 years on the air in Milwaukee. Reitman will join Sister Joel Read, the retired president of Alverno College, who also will receive a Headliner Award at the Gridiron Dinner. Read is a member of the School Sisters of St. Francis. She served for thirty-five years (1968–2003) as president of Alverno College, a women’s liberal arts college located in Milwaukee. Under her leadership, Alverno has earned national recognition. Read was named a Presidential appointee to the United States Commission for the Celebration of International Women’s Year. She chaired the Commission on the Status of Education of Women for the American Association of Colleges and is a past president of the National Forum for Women.

The keynote of the Gridiron Awards Dinner will be the presentation of the Milwaukee Press Club’s 2006 Sacred Cat Award for outstanding achievement in journalism to veteran television news anchor Aaron Brown.

Brown was the anchor and managing editor of Newsnight on CNN from 2001 until last November. He is best known for his on-site reporting in New York on the 9-11 terrorist attacks. On the air a half-hour after the first attack and broadcasting from a rooftop in lower Manhattan, Brown’s coverage was critically acclaimed as courageous, calming and insightful. Brown’s anchor work during 9-11 earned him the Edward R. Murrow Award in journalism.

Brown’s 30-year journalism career spanned from covering the Vietnam protests and Watergate in the 1970s to the Iraq War. Before his work at CNN, Brown worked at ABC News. In addition to anchoring ABC World News Tonight Saturday, Brown covered the trial of O.J. Simpson, two California earthquakes, the shootings at Columbine, the violent struggle for democracy in Haiti, the war in Bosnia and much more for both World News Tonight with Peter Jennings and Nightline. Brown is the winner of three Emmy Awards, a DuPont Award and two New York Film Society World medals.

The Sacred Cat Award is named after the Milwaukee Press Club’s mascot, Anubis, the mummified cat, and recognizes excellence in journalism at the national level. Previous Sacred Cat Award winners have included Walter Cronkite, Peter Arnett, Helen Thomas, Irv Kupcinet, Louis Rukeyser, Malcom Forbes, Ted Turner, Art Buchwald and Jim Miklaszewski. The award was given last year to William Allen, retired editor-in-chief of National Geographic magazine.

The Sacred Cat Award is presented each spring at the Gridiron Dinner, which also honors winners of the club’s Excellence in Wisconsin Journalism competition. More than 500 entries of print, electronic and Internet works of journalism were submitted for this year’s contest, as the Milwaukee Press Club has swelled to more than 300 members.

“Having Reitman as a Headliner Award winner is the icing on the cake of what should be a great night. Bob’s black vest, his voice, his talent and his kindness made him a human icon in Milwaukee, and deservedly so,” said Steve Jagler, executive editor of Small Business Times and president of the Milwaukee Press Club, who will be the master of ceremonies at the Gridiron Dinner. “Sister Joel Read is so deserving of her Headliner Award, because she has given so much to this community. Sister Joel has been a pioneer in education and has helped thousands of Milwaukee-area women launch successful careers. And Aaron Brown will surely provide some provocative food for thought, as he will share his insights from covering all of the world’s major news stories over the past decade. Aaron has some unique perspectives about 24-hour journalism in the information age.”

Founded in 1885, the Milwaukee Press Club is the oldest continuously operating press club in the United States. The Milwaukee Press Club’s Gridiron Awards Dinner will take place Saturday, April 29, at the Radisson Mayfair Hotel, 2303 N. Mayfair Road, in Wauwatosa. The event will begin with a 5:30 p.m. reception and silent auction, followed by the dinner and awards program at 6:45 p.m. The public is invited to attend the Gridiron Awards Dinner, but reservations are required.

The Press Club is still looking for businesses and organizations interested in sponsoring the Gridiron Awards Dinner. Additional information about the event is available at or by contacting Gloria Gappa-Grundman at [email protected] or (414) 588-9571.