Class of 2018: Silver Circle to add nine TV legends

Frazier Thomas

Eight past and present Chicago broadcasters and a former FCC chairman who once declared television “a vast wasteland” have been chosen for induction in the Chicago TV Academy’s Silver Circle.

All nine 2018 honorees were announced Saturday at the 59th annual regional Emmy Awards, sponsored by the Chicago/Midwest chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. They’ll be inducted May 4.

Frazier Thomas, the legendary host of children's programs on WGN for more than 30 years, will be inducted posthumously. Thomas, whose credits included “Garfield Goose and Friends,” “Bozo’s Circus” and “Family Classics,” died in 1985 at 66.

Bill Frink

Other posthumous inductees will be Bill Frink, sports anchor at ABC 7 and WGN, and Robert Trendler, musical director of the WGN Orchestra and maestro of Bob Trendler’s Big Top Band on “Bozo’s Circus.” Frink died in 2005 at 78, and Trendler died in 2011 at 99.

Jim Williams

Living broadcasting veterans to be honored with Silver Circle induction are: Mike Adamle retired sports anchor who worked for NBC 5, CBS 2, ABC 7 as well as NBC Sports, ABC Sports and ESPN; Chuck Goudie, chief investigative correspondent of ABC 7; Terry Savage, personal finance expert and former financial and business reporter for CBS 2; Jim Williams, reporter and weekend news anchor at CBS 2 and former ABC News correspondent and WGN reporter; and Chuck Davidson, retired lead sports cameraman at CBS 2.

Newton Minow

Also inducted will be Newton Minow, the prominent Chicago lawyer who served as FCC chairman during the administration of President John F. Kennedy. Minow, who famously called television “a vast wasteland” in 1961, later served as board chairman of public television WTTW and on the boards of PBS, CBS and Tribune Co.

The Silver Circle Award, established in 1992, recognizes individuals who have devoted 25 years or more to the television industry and have made significant contributions to Chicago broadcasting. They are selected annually by a committee of academy board members.

The May 4 induction ceremony will be at the Millennium Knickerbocker Hotel Chicago.

Chuck Goudie