WV Press Release Sharing
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Eyewitness News has announce that senior reporter Bob Aaron will be inducted into the Gold Circle by the Ohio Valley Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS).
The Gold Circle is one of the highest Emmy honors given by NATAS, recognizing television professionals who have performed distinguished service within the television industry for 50 years or more, a significant part of which was done within the Ohio Valley region of Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, and West Virginia. On Tuesday, it was announced that Aaron was one of only two recipients of this high honor this year.
Gold Circle members are honored for more than their longevity — they are honored for making an enduring contribution to the vitality of the television industry and for setting standards of achievement their peers and colleagues can all hope to emulate. The honorees also give back to the community as mentors, educators, and volunteers.
Aaron, 76, of Ravenswood has been a staple in West Virginia television news for decades and will celebrate 41 years with Eyewitness News in August, but his amazing broadcasting career spans 58 years in total.
Aaron’s first taste of TV news came in 1965 when he started as a booth announcer/newscaster at WDTV in Fairmont, W.Va. Aaron, who was born in Clarksburg, knew quickly he had found his calling, but little did anyone know he would go on to become one of the, if not the, longest serving television reporters in West Virginia history.
“Bob insists on being a one-man-band. He truly does it all. Can you imagine coming from the days of pulling copy off the AP wire, to tweeting and Facebooking? His news page has 25,000 followers. He does this while also battling Parkinson’s disease, but he truly has not missed a single beat,” WCHS-TV Assistant News Director Leslie Rubin said.
After his time at WDTV, Aaron had a few stints in local radio before he served in the U.S. Navy as a public information officer. He started his naval career as an ensign but ended as a decorated lieutenant who was honored for his service in Vietnam. He also was awarded a Navy Achievement Medal and received a Presidential Unit Citation.
Following his time in the Navy, Aaron landed in West Palm Beach, Fla., as a newscast reporter on AM radio, where he was ranked fourth statewide in contributions to The Associated Press for moving more than 200 stories on The AP wire from October 1972
through August 1973. From there, he worked at two more TV stations in West Palm Beach as a weekend anchor and managed a 10- person news staff.
Aaron’s next stop was Columbus, Ohio, at WTVN-TV, where he served as an assignment editor and news operations manager. He would move to WCPO-TV in Cincinnati, Ohio, as a reporter/writer for a year before making a move to KCRG-TV in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and WTCN-TV in Minneapolis, Minn., to work as a reporter and producer from December 1977 to July 1981. But that was the end of Bob’s moving around for the job he so dearly loved. On Aug. 25, 1982, he signed his first contract at WCHS-TV, and the rest is history.
During his career, Bob has been honored dozens of times for his work by numerous organizations including The Associated Press, Society of Professional Journalists and West Virginia Broadcasters Association. He has been awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Virginias Associated Press Broadcasters, twice.
“Only Bob could make such an impact in TV news in our area that he has achieved two lifetimes worth of recognition,” Rubin said. “He is, without a doubt, the most dedicated reporter I have ever encountered, and he has set the standard for the reporters who have worked alongside him all these years.”
In 2011, Bob was inducted into the West Virginia Broadcasting Hall of Fame.
WCHS-TV Vice President and General Manager Shane Schwirian said, “Bob Aaron is a journalistic legend serving the Tri-State for more than four decades. Bob’s dedication, tenacity, and candor is unmatched.”
Several journalists who have been impacted by Aaron’s work ethic, mentorship and guidance shared their thoughts about his leadership and knowledge in their recommendation letters for his nomination for the Gold Circle. From young journalists to veterans in the business, they all have their favorite “Bob story.”
WSAZ-TV Anchor Tim Irr worked with Aaron in 1989, comparing him to a “caged cheetah on caffeine” waiting for the first hint of breaking news every morning. Irr noted that Aaron’s love for spot news still prompts him, more than 30 years later, to pick up a camera and rush to breaking news.
“I may never be Bob or beat Bob. But the lessons I learned early in my career still serve as inspiration every time I hear that scanner,” Irr wrote.
Another nod to the news veteran comes from young journalist Anna Saunders. She recalls getting scooped by Aaron on a story in her own market before she came to work in Charleston at WCHS-TV. She said reporters in her smaller southern West Virginia market would gauge how big the story was based on whether Aaron showed up.
“Bob is influential in our newsroom just by simply being Bob with his police scanner cranked and always ready to jump in the car to chase after the next big story,” Saunders said. “He inspires the rest of us to keep going and makes us all up our game when it comes to impactful storytelling.”
Charleston Mayor Amy Shuler Goodwin also recommended Aaron for the honor.
“Bob was, when I worked with him, and still is to this day a true ‘one-man-band.’ He doesn’t require anyone to do his heavy lifting – whether it’s lugging his gear up 10 floors, teetering on a hillside in our beautiful Mountain State, or making beat calls in the morning,” Goodwin said. “In fact, reporters today should be so lucky as to work in Bob’s classroom – the field – to listen and learn from a true champion of the craft.”
Aaron will be honored during the 59th Annual Regional Emmy Awards gala on July 29, 2023 at the Lawrenceburg Event Center Lawrenceburg, Indiana.