The inaugural class to be inducted next month includes local media icons the late Robert “Bob” Black, Stan Boney, and Ralph Zerbonia. Also receiving the first-ever Youngstown Press Club First Amendment Award is The Vindicator Printing Company.
The awards ceremony and dinner will take place Wednesday, September 29, 2021 at 6 P.M. at Stambaugh Auditorium, 1000 Fifth Ave., Youngstown. Ticket information can be found at www.yopressclub.com. Tickets for the event are $40, while tables of eight are $300. Farmers National Bank is the presenting sponsor.
“The Press Club established the Hall of Fame and awards to celebrate members of our local communication, media and advertising community who have had long and distinguished careers,” said Adam Earnheardt, executive director.
The nominee must have a connection to the Mahoning Valley region. This award will only be given in instances where the actions of the awardee are exceptional. The action meriting this award must have happened in the past five years.
Bob Black’s interest in broadcasting began as a teenager when he was an announcer for WEDA-FM radio in Grove City, Pa. While attending Penn State University he continued working as an announcer and news editor at the college radio station WDFM. Black first worked as a Grove City Junior High School teacher for nine years after college until he scored a job in journalism in 1978 as a part-time weekend sports announcer WKBN-TV. He was named anchor of WKBN-TV News at Noon in 1979, anchoring the show for 17 years until 1996 when the station was sold. In 1997 he was hired by WFMJ-TV and became co-anchor of their 6 P.M. and 11 P.M. newscasts until his retirement in 2015. Black received three Cleveland Emmy Awards as well as various accolades for his coverage of Congressman James Traficant; of political corruption in the Valley; of General Motors Lordstown plant; and of the United Autoworkers Union among many other important topics. He continued contributing even after his retirement in 2015 with coverage of the 2016 Presidential election while serving on the 21 News political team. Black died in 2017.
Stan Boney is a 40-year-plus veteran of television news in Youngstown, joining WKBN-27 First News in 2015 after 36 years with 33-WYTV. He was born and raised in Findlay, Ohio and is a graduate of Ohio University. After a brief stint in Dayton, Boney arrived in Youngstown in 1979 and began his career at 33-WYTV. His first job at 33-WYTV was as the weekend sports anchor, later covering Trumbull County. In 1981, he took over weather duties, a position he held for 30 years. In 2008, Boney became the co-anchor of 33-WYTV News, and in 2011 he moved on from his weather job after being named anchor of the 33-WYTV News at 5:30, 6 and 11 P.M. His enthusiasm for writing and story-telling is evident through his coverage of major news such as Lordstown’s closing, local and national politics, and of hundreds of human-interest stories.