Class of 2020: Silver Circle to add 10 TV legends

Marlin Perkins

Marlin Perkins, the former Lincoln Park Zoo director who brought the animal world home to millions of viewers through “Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom,” will be honored posthumously with the Chicago TV industry’s highest honor.

Perkins is one of 10 notable broadcasters chosen for induction this spring in the Silver Circle of the Chicago/Midwest chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

He and the other 2020 honorees were announced Saturday at the 61st annual regional Emmy Awards.

Starting in 1949, Perkins hosted the Peabody Award-winning "Zoo Parade" from Lincoln Park Zoo, produced by NBC-owned WMAQ-Channel 5 (then WNBQ). That led to the worldwide nature program "Wild Kingdom," which ran until 1985. He died in 1986.

Here are the other 2020 honorees:

  • Jackie Bange, weekend news anchor and reporter at Nexstar Media WGN-Channel 9. She joined the station in 1993 after three years at NBC 5.
  • Rich Bernal, former staff director at CBS-owned WBBM-Channel 2 and Fox-owned WFLD-Channel 32. Longtime adjunct faculty instructor at Columbia College Chicago.
  • Mark Giangreco, main sports anchor at ABC-owned WLS-Channel 7. He joined the station in 1994 after 12 years at NBC 5.
  • Alan Krashesky, main news anchor at ABC 7.
  • Marda LeBeau, former executive producer of specials and investigations at CBS 2. She joined the station in 1995 after nine years at ABC 7.
  • Jennifer Lyons, news director at WGN and CLTV.
  • Lynn Hauldren (posthumously), advertising copywriter best known as "The Empire Carpet Man." He died in 2011.
  • Jack and Elaine Mulqueen (posthumously), children's show producers, best known as creator and star, respectively, of the preteen dance show "Kiddie A-Go-Go." Jack Mulqueen died in 2016. Elaine Mulqueen died in 2012.

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 8 induction ceremony will be at the Millennium Knickerbocker Hotel Chicago, 163 East Walton Place.

Friday's comment of the day: Spike O'Dell: I never worked with Jimmy [de Castro], but everyone told me I should have. My loss. All the best, Jimmy!

Jack and Elaine Mulqueen