North Texas Legends Of Journalism Celebrated At Trinity Trust Center

Trinity Trust Center had them lined out the door Wednesday night. Trinity River Rat Wrangler Tierney Kaufman was serving up drinks faster than the ponies at Lone Star Race Track.

Tony Zoppi

And it had absolutely nothing to do with the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge or the Trinity River project. Instead the Press Club of Dallas borrowed the facility to honor the “Legends of North Texas Journalism.” It was easy to spot the legends. They were the ones looking like prized pooches at Westminster wearing big, old blue ribbons.

Dallas Morning News business columnist Bob Miller was surrounded by fans, friends and fellow scribes like Karen Robinson-Jacobs. He was keeping one eye on the door waiting for wife Shirley. SMU professor/former DMN-er Carolyn Barta upon seeing Miller told friends how back in the 60’s Bob had been her boss at the Morning News through two pregnancies. That was a time before maternity leaves, and when smoking and manual typewriters were newsroom staples. Women just didn’t have a few months off to have a baby. They had to use vacation time or take time off hoping their jobs hadn’t been filled.

Bert Shipp

Across the way, former WFAA guru Bert Shipp and former Morning News reporter Hugh Aynesworth had guests lined up to chat. Interestingly the two made history in covering the John F. Kennedy assassination. Over Bert’s shoulder was his son Brett, who does investigative reporting for WFAA, with his fiancée Madeleine Johnson. No date has been set for their wedding.

Ron Chapman, John Gudjohnsen, Nance Chapman

KVIL/KLUV legend Ron and Nance Chapman were catching up with former KDFW/former WFAA photograph mastermind John Gudjohnsen. Ron had recently orchestrated the memorial service for Ben Laurie, who died April 15. To conclude the services, guests were given blue and white balloons to release in the sky in honor of the late helicopter traffic reporter.

Troy Dungan

Former WFAA weather guy Troy Dungan was all smiles. Suspect he was glad not to be on-air Tuesday night when the area got hit with tornadic weather.

Both Ron and Troy have been subjects of KTVT-CH. 11’s Karen Borta‘s reports on the status of well-known, retired members of the media.

If you want a list of the “legends,” follow the jump!

The honorees with their previous  affiliations include:

  • Hugh AynesworthDallas Times Herald, Dallas Morning News and Newsweek reporter,
  • Eddie Barker – news director of KRLD Radio/TV news director,
  • Kent BiffleDallas Morning News and Newsweek reporter,
  • Alex Burton –KRLD reporter and commentator,
  • Vivian CastleberryDallas Times Herald women’s editor and editorial board member,
  • Ron Chapman – KVIL program director and radio personality,
  • Mike Cochran – Associated Press reporter,
  • Jim EwellDallas Morning News crime reporter,
  • John Gudjohnsen – WFAA-TV photographer,
  • Bert HolmesDallas Times Herald executive and managing editor,
  • Helen Holmes –reporter for International News Service and Time and founding member of the Press Club,
  • Bob Huffaker – KRLD-TV news producer,
  • Shelly Katz – United Press, Time and Life photographer,
  • Ralph LangerDallas Morning News executive vice president,
  • James Lovell –  West Texas magazine editor,
  • Phil Magers – United Press bureau chief,
  • Bill Mercer – KRLD, KVIL, and  CBS radio play-by-play announcer,
  • Robert MillerDallas Morning News city editor and business columnist,
  • Blackie SherrodDallas Times Herald sports editor and Dallas Morning News columnist,
  • Bert Shipp – WFAA-TV news director,
  • Carlton StowersDallas Morning News reporter/sportswriter and author,
  • Dick Wheeler – KRLD Radio news director,
  • Former Dallas Mayor Wes Wise – KRLD radio/TV sports reporter; 
  • Bobbie Wygant – KXAS-TV entertainment reporter and
  • Tony ZoppiDallas Morning News entertainment columnist.


  1. Am I missing something? I don’t see Tracy Rowlett on this list? Don’t think anyone has given more and been more respected thru the years.. with both Stations..

  2. Wow, what a fun bunch of people! Wish I’d known about it. Would’ve crashed it.

  3. David Dunnigan says:

    Yes, I heard directly from Yvonne about the lack of Tracy. And we missed several others, too. Bob Ray Sanders for one. Please be assured we’ll continue this. Maybe even consider doing a Hall of Fame. The Club’s next step is doing a fundraising roast.

    Some folks were aksing why we chose the Trinity Center for a Press Club event. I told the audience (twice as big as we’d initially planned) that the Trinity River is the longest running news story in North Texas’ history. There’s documented proof that the Indians were Tweeting about flooding, hunting and fishing conditioons in the corridor long before G.B. Dealey brought his printing press to Dallas.

    Thanks for coming to the party and loved the pictures. More pics are coming to our website – And stay tuned for a viewing of the videos we made of the Legends and their recolections of their career highlights.