Milwaukee Press Club: Announces 2022 Sacred Cat and Headliner awards

Contact: Joette Richards, (262)894-2224

CNN’s Manu Raju named Sacred Cat honoree
Tommy G. Thompson, former governor and UW System President, honored as Headliner 
MILWAUKEE, WI—The Milwaukee Press Club today announced that Manu Raju, CNN chief congressional correspondent, is the club’s 2022 Sacred Cat Award honoree. The award, given annually since 1973, recognizes excellence in journalism at the national level.

Raju will accept the award at the club’s annual Gridiron Awards event, set for Friday, May 6 at the Pfister Hotel.

The club also will honor its 2022 Headliner, former Wisconsin Governor Tommy G. Thompson, who currently is serving as the eighth president of the University of Wisconsin System.

Winners of the press club’s 2021 Excellence in Wisconsin Journalism competition also will be announced at the Gridiron.

“Manu Raju is a highly accomplished journalist whose Capitol Hill reporting offers leading edge insight and perspective surrounding Washington’s political scene,” said Milwaukee Press Club President Corri Hess. “We are delighted to honor him as the 2022 Sacred Cat.”

Prior to joining CNN, Raju was a top Capitol Hill reporter at Politico and The Hill newspaper. He also is a frequent guest on political talk shows on TV and radio. He has won multiple journalism awards including the White House Correspondents Association’s Merriman Smith award for presidential reporting in 2012, and first prize in beat reporting from the Society of Professional Journalists in D.C. for his coverage of the 2014 midterm elections. In 2017, Raju was honored with the Joan Shorenstein Barone award, given annually for best congressional reporting by the Radio and Televisions Correspondent Association. In 2021, Raju was part of a team of CNN journalists who were selected as winners of the David Bloom Award by the Radio-Television Correspondents Association for their coverage of the January 6 Capitol attack.

Raju is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and was the school’s commencement speaker in December.

Past Sacred Cat honorees include Chuck Todd, Gloria Borger, Megan Twohey and Jodi Kantor, David Fahrenthold, Marty Baron, Ann Compton, Jonathan Alter, Cokie Roberts, Walter Cronkite, Malcolm Forbes, Judy Woodruff, Michael Bloomberg and David Maraniss.

The Headliner Awards are presented annually to those who have made significant, positive contributions to Wisconsin and its residents.

A native of Elroy, Wisconsin, Thompson earned his bachelor’s and law degrees from UW-Madison. He first was elected to the state’s Assembly in 1966 and became minority leader in 1981. He won election as governor in 1986 and was re-elected three times, making him the longest-serving governor in Wisconsin history. He stepped down during his fourth term to become United States Health and Human Services secretary under President George W. Bush, a role in which he oversaw an increase in funding for the National Institutes of Health and enhanced local public health preparedness.

Thompson, who was appointed in July 2020 as interim UW system president, in January announced he would step down March 18. Earlier this month, the UW Board of Regents removed the interim designation in recognition of Thompson’s contributions during his tenure.

Past Headliner honorees include Martin Schreiber, Mary Lou Young, Gary Grunau, Juli Kaufmann, Carmen Pitre, Howard Fuller, Ted Kellner, Hannah Rosenthal, Ricardo Diaz, Linda Mellowes, Michael Pink, Barry Alvarez, Jane Pettit, Bud Selig, James Lovell, Ben Marcus and Steve Marcus.

Registration for the Gridiron Awards event is available online at www.milwaukeepressclub.orgRegistration deadline is Friday, April 29. The cost is $85 per individual. Full-time students may register for $30 – the cost for their participation is being underwritten by the MPC Endowment Ltd.  Corporate table sponsorships are available for $1,000 (includes registration for eight individuals, company logo in printed program and verbal recognition during the program). Sponsorship/advertising information can be found here.   

Founded in 1885, the Milwaukee Press Club is the oldest continuously operating press club in North America. Its members represent a diverse community of media-focused professionals from nearly every local media outlet, a strong contingent of public relations and marketing professionals and others with an interest in journalism and news media.

To view past Sacred Cat Awards:

For past Headliner Awards:

Thank you to our event sponsor:

Ally Sponsor:
Kane Communications Group