Evening News Anchor, KY3TV
Storytelling is Steve Grant's passion and anchoring the news on KY3 (KYTV) has been his dream job, ever since his college days. His recognized leadership in broadcast journalism has garnered Mid-America EMMY® awards and nominations, as well as high honors from the Missouri Broadcasters Association and Kansas City Press Club (SPJ).
For his on-air work and public service, two universities awarded him honorary doctorates. He also is a Distinguished Alumnus of Evangel University, and a 2020 inductee into the Springfield (MO) Public Schools' Hall of Fame.
Steve is a lifelong resident of the "Queen City of The Ozarks". He and Stephanie share their riverside home with a tiny Japanese Chin. He is the current President of NATAS Mid-America.
Evening News Anchor, KMBC-TV
NATAS Vice President
Kris serves as Executive Vice President and Chair of the Gold/Silver Circle Induction Committee for NATAS Mid-America. He also anchors the 5, 6 and 10pm weeknight newscasts on KMBC, the ABC affiliate in Kansas City where he's worked for 38 years as a reporter and anchor. Kris has earned NATAS Mid-America EMMY® awards for news anchoring and investigative reporting along with multiple nominations over the years. He was a 2012 inductee into the NATAS Mid-America Silver Circle which honors broadcast professionals who have served with distinction for 25 years or more.
A graduate of St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa., Kris began his broadcasting career at age of 18 as a weekend news anchor for radio station WQUA in Moline, IL. In 1981 he broke into television at WQAD-TV where his father anchored the news for 35 years. Kris rose from weekend co-anchor/producer to weeknight co-anchor. A highlight of Kris' career was the chance to co-anchor a Father's Day edition of KMBC 9 News at 10 with his dad in 1998.
Kris is married to Dana Wright, a multiple NATAS Mid-America EMMY® winner and co-host of "Dana and Parks" weekday afternoons on 98.1 FM KMBZ Radio. His oldest son, Jonathan is also a reporter for WDAF-TV Fox 4 in Kansas City.
Senior Director of Content, Nine Network
Since joining Nine PBS in 2000, Anne-Marie Berger has helped create some of the station’s most popular programs, including the PBS documentary series Homeland, Living St. Louis, and Donnybrook. Berger has led the content behind the national public media initiative, American Graduate, focusing on positive outcomes for our region’s young people and, through broadcast specials, has addressed issues such as the heroin epidemic, race, poverty, and health care.
Berger began her public media career at WYES-TV in New Orleans. She currently serves as the Vice-President of Awards for the Mid-America Emmy Chapter, is a former trustee for the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, and has worked as an adjunct professor for St. Louis Community College.
A St. Louis native, Berger graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Television Production from Loyola University in New Orleans, earned a master's degree in Media Communications from Webster University, and has received 13 Mid-America Emmys.
Tony is a retired broadcast journalist with more than 32 years of experience working from small to large markets. He ended his broadcast career as news business and operations manager for KSDK-TV, in St. Louis. During his 17 years with KSDK he coordinated and submitted more than 1500 EMMY® entries to NATAS.
Following his news retirement, Tony began an eight-year career as a sports broadcast crewing coordinator for Kaufman Broadcast and Klance Unlimited. He hired broadcast technical crew for the NHL, NFL, MLB, college and high school sports.
Tony began his career in broadcasting as a reporter, film and video photographer, editor, producer, assignment editor, anchor, executive producer, news director, then news business manager. He’s worked in markets in Ohio, West Virginia, Oklahoma, Texas, Georgia, and Missouri. He currently serve as Treasurer for the NATAS Mid-America chapter.
University of Missouri – Columbia
NATAS Trustee and Past President
Stacey Woelfel is a professor emeritus at the Missouri School of Journalism and the founding director of the Jonathan B. Murray Center for Documentary Journalism. He is the former news director for KOMU-TV, the University of Missouri-owned NBC affiliate for central Missouri. The commercial station serves as the teaching laboratory for the Missouri School of Journalism.
Aside from his role as a national trustee and past president of the board of governors of the Mid-America chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Woelfel served the television industry as the national chairman of the Radio Television Digital News Association. He also served as the president of the board of the Carole Kneeland Project, an organization focused on responsible quality journalism.
Woelfel is a regional Emmy winner, as well as a recipient of the Payne Award for Ethics in Journalism, the Edward R. Murrow, and numerous regional and local awards. In 2006, he was inducted into the NATAS Mid-America chapter’s Silver Circle for 25 years of exemplary service to the television profession. He has received the University of Missouri’s highest teaching honor, the Kemper Fellowship. Woelfel is the author of Suspicious Signs: Effects of Newscaster Scripts, Symbols, and Actions on Audience Perceptions of News Organization Bias and penned a chapter in Silenced: International Journalists Expose Media Censorship. He holds a doctorate in political science.
Dr. Ginger Blackstone is an Associate Professor at Harding University and News Director of the university's cable television station, HU16, where students produce a live weekday half-hour local newscast. She also freelances as a writer/producer at The Weather Channel in Atlanta, GA.
She received her Ph.D. in Mass Communication from the University of Florida in 2016, her M.A. in Journalism from the University of Arkansas in Little Rock in 2011, and her B.A. in Radio/TV Broadcasting at Harding University in 1991. Her research interests are in the persuasive power of media, partisan bias and misinformation, and news acceptance/belief patterns of the public. In 2017, she was named a Fellow for the Lillian Lodge Kopenhaver Center for the Advancement of Women in Communication; and in 2017, her dissertation received the Kenneth Harwood Dissertation Award from the Broadcast Education Association.
Before her career in academe, Dr. Blackstone spent 19 years in broadcast and cable news, including 13 years at CNN and CNN Headline News as a supervising/executive producer and producer. Prior to that, she held various management, producer, and on-air positions in local TV news. Her professional awards include an Emmy for CNN's coverage of the 9/11 attacks, a Peabody for CNN's 2008 political coverage, another Peabody for the 2005 Hurricane Katrina disaster, a Columbia duPont Award for the 2004 South Asia Tsunami Disaster, a 2010 regional RTDNA Edward R. Murrow Award for Best Newscast, and a 2010 NATAS MidAmerica Emmy nomination for Best Newscast.
Creative Director / jackson+appleton
Robin Jackson is the Creative Director and Co-Founder of jackson+appleton, a Branson-based Video Production Company. Producing & Directing commercials, corporate video, branded documentaries, and live TV shows/events, her work has been recognized with a regional Mid-America EMMY® Award, numerous ADDY Awards, Missouri Broadcasters Association Awards, Telly & Aurora Awards. In 2013, Robin was honored with the American Advertising Association of the Ozarks’ most prestigious award, The Silver Medalist, a lifetime achievement award for contributions to the world of advertising.
Before forming jackson+appleton in 2008, Robin served as Senior Producer and Production Manager for Branson’s Vacation Channel and TVC Productions for more than a decade.
Originally from Tennessee, Robin went to College in Missouri and never left. She holds a BS in Broadcasting and a BFA in Theatre from Stephens College. When she’s not working, which is rare, she’s directing a circus of furry friends (2 rescue dogs & 3 cats) and trying to make it to hot yoga.
Dr. Michael Murray
University of Missouri – St. Louis
Dr. Michael D. “Mike” Murray is University of Missouri Board of Curators Distinguished Teaching Professor Emeritus. He served as a NATAS Governor on three different occasions, is a NATAS Silver Circle recipient and was voted first Governor Emeritus of NATAS Mid-America.
First in his family to attend college, Mike earned undergraduate and graduate degrees at St. Louis U and a Ph.D. from the U of Missouri–Columbia. While in school, Mike worked for CBS News and News Election Service. He received a commission from the Gateway Battalion at Washington University, and served as a reserve officer and instructor, completing service as a Captain in the U.S. Army Signal Corps.
As college administrator, Mike started and led academic programs at Virginia Tech, U of Louisville, U of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) and U of Missouri-St. Louis (UMSL). He was the first faculty member tenured in the field at U of L; while chairing his department and also overseeing production of a public affairs program for NBC affiliate, WAVE-TV. In St. Louis, he was chair of the Faculty Senate and University Assembly and recently served as the President of the Board of the University Retirees Association. He was also founding director of the Greenspun School of Journalism and Media Studies at UNLV. He has published many books including "Television in America," "The Political Performers" and “Encyclopedia of Television News.” He also published interviews with Walter Cronkite, David Brinkley, Tom Brokaw, and Dan Rather, among others. He co-authored the college textbook, “Media Law and Ethics” in sixth edition. His book, “Prime Time Pioneers,” was issued by Mizzou Publishing. Proceeds from its sale go to scholarships honoring the late Jack Buck of CBS Sports and Mark McDonough of ABC News.
Mike and his wife Carol, a research librarian for the Washington University School of Medicine are the proud parents of two daughters, Ellen, a CPA and Katherine, a corporate attorney. The Murray’s are grandparents to six kids: Ava, Gabriel, Kourtney, Luke, Lauren and Michael.
Director of Digital Media, Nine Network
Digital Engagement Committee
Joe coordinates efforts in the digital space for the Nine Network, including social media, web, fundraising, and digital content distribution. As our footprint at the Nine Network grows in non-broadcast content distribution, Joe is going to be continuously exploring, evaluating, and measuring the methods and tactics that can be employed to increase the reach and impact of our work.
Prior to joining Nine in October of 2018, Joe spent almost 15 years with the American Cancer Society, serving most recently as Director of Digital Strategy. Joe has been a leader in the non-profit industry in online community building, speaking frequently at industry gatherings like the Peer to Peer Professional Forum and the Non-Profit Technology Network Conference.
He is proud life-long St. Louisan, along with his wife Jessica, and children, Amelia and Jonathan. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from the University of Missouri-Columbia.
Thompson Coburn LLP
Professional Development Committee
Mark Sableman is a partner with Thompson Coburn LLP in St. Louis, Missouri. His litigation practice focuses in the areas of media, Internet, technology and intellectual property law. He has tried media, intellectual property and technology cases in federal and state courts.
He is author of the Internet Law Twists & Turns blog at internetlawtwists.com, the book More Speech, Not Less: Communications Law in the Information Age, and more than twenty law review articles and book chapters. He has been listed in Best Lawyers in America since 1996, and is currently listed for media law, and First Amendment law and litigation, as well as other area.
Evening Anchor/Special Projects Reporter Fox 4-Kansas City
Silver Circle Committee
John is the weeknight 5, 6, and 9pm co-anchor, as well as a special projects reporter. In addition, he co-hosts the weekly program “4Star Politics”, as well as “KC Endzone” during the Kansas City Chiefs season.
Prior to joining Fox 4 News in 1994, John earned his Journalism and Law degrees at the University of Kansas, then anchored and reported in Topeka (WIBW) and Wichita (KSNW).
John grew up in Great Bend, KS and lives in Leawood, KS with his wife Suzy.
News Director, WPSD
Silver Circle Committee
Perry Boxx is News Director of WPSD Local 6, the NBC affiliate in Paducah, Kentucky. He is a native of Paragould, Arkansas and a graduate of Arkansas State University. Perry worked in local radio through high school and college. He moved to television after college graduation, first as a reporter and anchor at KAIT-TV in Jonesboro, Arkansas and then KARK TV in Little Rock. February 2021 marked his 50th year in broadcasting.
He began his career in news management at KARK TV and has managed news operations in 14 states. He is a recipient of broadcast journalism’s two most prestigious awards, The George Foster Peabody Award from the Grady School of Journalism at the University of Georgia and the Dupont Award from Columbia University in New York. Other awards include the Clarion, the National Association of Broadcasters Service to America medal, multiple regional Emmys and Radio Television Digital News Directors Association Murrow awards. He is a Kneeland Fellow.
Perry is the father of two. His son Miller Boxx is an attorney and his daughter Cain Anne Beachum is a pharmacist, both in Birmingham, AL. Perry was rescued by a cat named Sabbath 18 years ago and by a dog named Hero two years ago.