Cleveland Journalism Hall of Fame inductees named

Mary Patton, publicity chair, 216-214-3951;
Michael E. Bennett, president, 216-408-3874;


Cleveland Journalism Hall of Fame inductees named
Nov. 7 gala also to celebrate Heaton Award winner

Cleveland, Ohio, August 25, 2014 –
The Press Club of Cleveland has selected five leaders from print, broadcast and digital media to be inducted into the Club’s Cleveland Journalism Hall of Fame at a gala celebration Nov. 7.
The inductees are:

·    Ed Byers, formerly of WGAR as “Ed Richards”
·    Constance D. Harper, associate publisher and editor, Call &      
·    Paul Orlousky, news reporter, WOIO Action 19 News
·    Wilma Smith, formerly of WEWS and WJW/Fox 8
·    Tom Suddes, Northeast Ohio Media Group editorial board

The club will also present its annual Chuck Heaton Award to Wayne Dawson, co-anchor, Fox 8 News in the Morning. Dawson is the seventh recipient of the annual award, which is given to an individual who best exemplifies the qualities of Hall of Fame reporter Chuck Heaton, a long-time sports writer and columnist at The Plain Dealer. Heaton, who passed away in February 2008, was known for his lifelong dedication to journalism, his fairness, his concern for community and helping others.

The Press Club of Cleveland created the Cleveland Journalism Hall of Fame in 1981. Plaques honoring Hall of Fame inductees are displayed at Nighttown, 12387 Cedar Road, Cleveland Heights, which serves as the Club’s unofficial home. Also on display are large-format news photographs of seminal moments in Cleveland history.

The Nov. 7 induction ceremony will be at Executive Caterers at Landerhaven in Mayfield Heights. Ticket and sponsorship details will be released in September. For more information, follow The Press Club of Cleveland on Facebook for updates, visit, email, or call (440) 899-1222.


About The Press Club of Cleveland

For more than 125 years, The Press Club of Cleveland has supported thriving, dynamic and top-quality communications professionals, products and platforms that defend and further the public’s right to have access to information. Its efforts to promote excellence in journalism and communications includes providing education, training and mentoring; organizing forums to share knowledge and ideas; recognizing those who do it well through the annual Hall of Fame inductions and Excellence in Journalism competition; and engaging members of the community. For details, visit

Cleveland Journalism Hall of Fame Class of 2014

Ed Byers, formerly of WGAR as “Ed Richards”
– Ed Byers is a veteran of more than 30 years in Northeast Ohio radio and television. Now serving manager of media relations for Medical Mutual of Ohio, he returned “home” to Cleveland in 1992 after a 10-year stint in Detroit broadcasting. In the 1970s and ’80s, Byers, using the name Ed Richards, was John Lanigan’s newsman on WGAR where he served as morning news anchor and news director. He was elected regional director for the Ohio Associated Press Broadcasters Association in 1995, and served as Ohio Regional AP vice president before being elected Ohio AP Broadcasters president in 1999. Byers, inducted into the Ohio Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2003, is the longest-serving president of The Press Club of Cleveland in the organization’s history, having held the post for five years (2008-12). In that time he organized an array of hugely successful events and kept the club on strong footing despite the challenges of a changing media.
Constance D. Harper, associate publisher and editor, Call & Post
– Connie Harper left her position as a Cleveland schoolteacher to become the women's editor of Cleveland’s Call & Post newspaper and later became city editor, working her way up to her current role as associate publisher and editor. She directed the women's committee for Mayor Carl B. Stokes’ re-election campaign. She also served as public affairs officer for the Leadership Institute for Community Development, a government-funded program in Washington, D.C. She is the author of the popular column “Constantly Yours,” her signature piece that appears in the Call & Post. She is a graduate of the Leadership Cleveland Class of 2004. In 2010, she was named a national honorary member of The National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa, a teacher’s sorority, and in 2012 she was in the Women of Color Foundation’s Inaugural Hall of Fame induction class.

Paul Orlousky, news reporter, WOIO Action 19 News
– Paul Orlousky is one of the best-known television news reporters in the city. He has been an aggressive, enterprising and story-breaking presence for more than 35 years. He has had tours of duty at Channels 3, 5, and 19. A reporter at Channel 19 since 1997, he broke numerous stories, including the story about Ariel Castro holding three women captive in his home, and was a leading reporter on the Cuyahoga County corruption scandal. At Channel 3, he established the station's investigative team, including an expose of Cleveland policy truancy and false ticket writing, prompting Northern Ohio Live to name him “the most effective investigative reporter” in Cleveland television. He has collected numerous awards including several local Emmys. He began his broadcasting career while a high school student in Elmira, N.Y., and his early television credits include stops in Binghamton, N.Y., and Youngstown, Ohio.

Wilma Smith, formerly of WEWS and WJW/Fox 8 – Wilma Smith served as a Cleveland news anchor from 1977 to 2013. She was with Fox 8 (WJW) from 1994 to 2013, following 17 years at WEWS-TV5. Born Wilma Pokorny, the Garfield Heights native began her broadcasting career in Richmond, Virginia. She joined Channel 5 in Cleveland as co-host of Afternoon Exchange. She co-hosted Live On 5 beginning in 1982 and the following year began co-anchoring the 11 p.m. newscast with Cleveland Journalism Hall of Famer Ted Henry. She joined WJW in 1994. From 1995 to 2005, Smith was the co-anchor of the 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. newscasts with Cleveland Journalism Hall of Famer Tim Taylor. In 2005, Smith and Taylor reduced their schedules to anchoring only the 6 p.m. newscast In December that year, Taylor retired and after that Smith anchored the newscast with Lou Maglio. Their newscast was number one in the local ratings.

Tom Suddes, Northeast Ohio Media Group editorial board – Youngstown native Tom Suddes joined The Plain Dealer in 1982. The following year, he transferred to the newspaper’s Columbus bureau, where he has covered the Ohio General Assembly and the state budget for the past 18 years. While at the Statehouse, Suddes was elected president of the century-old Ohio Legislative Correspondents Association. His Plain Dealer column on Ohio government and politics in the PD’s Sunday editions began in the late 1980s. Late in 2000, Suddes left the newspaper’s staff for graduate study at Ohio University’s E.W. Scripps School of Journalism. He graduated in 2009 with a Ph.D. in Mass Communication. Suddes returned to The Plain Dealer in 2007 and is now a member of the editorial board of the Northeast Ohio Media Group.

2014 Chuck Heaton Award recipient

Wayne Dawson, co-anchor, Fox 8 News in the morning – Wayne Dawson was hired at WJW-TV8 in 1981. In addition to co-anchoring the morning news show, he hosts “Neighborhood,” a quarterly public affairs program. He also has co-anchored the Fox 8 weekend edition, which was rated number one for five consecutive with him at the desk. Well known for Fox 8’s “Pay it Forward” segment in which he hands out $400 to people who have done good deeds, he also plays a key role in the station’s “Stuff the Bus” school-supply drive and Christmas toy collections. He and his brother Will established the Annie L. Dawson Foundation in 2007 “to give back by sharing the message and the inspiration our mother instilled in us.” The brothers aim their efforts at at-risk youth, offering empowerment seminars and scholarships to needy students. An eight-time Emmy winner, Dawson is a member of the NAACP, the National Association of Black Journalists and the Phi Beta Sigma fraternity. He is also a member of the Broadcasters Hall of Fame. Before joining WJW in the late 1970s, Dawson was an anchor/reporter at WNIR Radio in Kent, Ohio, where had had graduated from Kent State University.