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Tennessee Journalism Hall of Fame to induct four members into 2017 class

Posted on Friday, August 11, 2017 at 1:13 pm

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — The Tennessee Journalism Hall of Fame will induct four outstanding journalists during its fifth annual induction ceremony Aug. 15.

This year’s honorees — Leon Alligood, Tom Humphrey, Don Whitehead and Larry Woody — will be inducted at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 15, at Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center, 1200 Conference Center Blvd. in Murfreesboro.

WSMV-TV Channel 4 news anchor and 2016 hall inductee Demetria Kalodimos will emcee the ceremony, which is being held in partnership with Middle Tennessee State University and in conjunction with the 69th Conference of the Tennessee Association of Broadcasters.

Guest speakers include Ron Fryar, owner/publisher of the Cannon Courier and immediate past-president of the Tennessee Press Association; Whit Adamson, president of the Tennessee Association of Broadcasters; Ken Paulson, dean of the MTSU College of Media and Entertainment; and MTSU journalism professor Larry Burriss.

Class of 2017 honorees:

  • Stephen Leon Alligood is a former reporter for the Nashville Banner and The Tennessean who covered the 101st Airborne in Afghanistan as an embedded reporter. He has won national, regional and state journalism awards and currently is an associate professor of journalism at MTSU.
  • Tom Humphrey, retired Nashville bureau chief for the Knoxville News Sentinel and contributing editor for the Tennessee Journal, currently edits a popular blog and writes a weekly column for the News Sentinel. The Nashville School of Law graduate covered Capitol Hill politics for almost 40 years, originally for United Press International.
  • Don Whitehead was the first African-American radio news broadcaster for WLAC Radio in Nashville. After graduating in 1967 from Tennessee State University, the young journalist “became a voice for the people throughout the South, using the radio airways to encourage black youth to attend school emphasizing the importance of education,” according to the TJHOF.
  • Larry “Woodrow” Woody is a retired sports writer for The Tennessean, three-time Tennessee Sports Writer of the Year and author of several books. Woody was a Vietnam combat reporter and member of the 2001-2002 class of the Martin Methodist College Sports Hall of Fame.

Those wishing to attend the ceremony should RSVP by Aug. 11 by contacting Hooper Penuel via email at or by calling 615-347-1672. Cost is $30, to be paid at the registration table.

The Tennessee Journalism Hall Fame is an independent partner with MTSU recognizing individuals who have distinguished themselves through news or business management, leadership in the industry, or in the ordinary practice of journalism. Inductees can include reporters, writers, editors, publishers, news directors, and other managers as well as those who have excelled in advertising or public relations, and journalism advertising and PR education. Inductees may be living or deceased, native Tennesseans or non-natives who spent a substantial part of their career in Tennessee.

For more information about the hall, visit or contact secretary Hooper Penuel at 615-347-1672.