Forty-six years after their first auspicious meeting, Chicago television luminaries Fahey Flynn and Bob Sirott are about to be inducted into the same class of the industry’s prestigious Silver Circle.
The two are among 10 broadcast veterans who’ll be honored May 8 by the Chicago/Midwest chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Carol Marin, a 2002 Silver Circle inductee, will emcee the event at Millennium Knickerbocker Hotel Chicago.
Flynn, who died in 1983, will be inducted posthumously for a career that spanned more than 40 years and included anchoring first-place newscasts at two stations — CBS 2 and ABC 7. Sirott, who began as a page for NBC 5 in 1966 and went on to numerous prominent positions in Chicago TV and radio, currently hosts middays with his wife, Marianne Murciano, on Tribune Media news/talk WGN AM 720.
In 1969 the two men first crossed paths when Flynn presented the 19-year-old Sirott with an award for a series of public service announcements Sirott wrote and produced for the Chicago Heart Association while working as public affairs director for WMAQ Radio.
The moment was captured in a photo reminiscent of a 16-year-old Bill Clinton meeting John F. Kennedy at the White House in 1963. “Bill Clinton has his famous JFK picture,” Sirott said. “I have mine with Fahey.”
Presenting Sirott with his Silver Circle Award will be the legendary anchor team of Bill Kurtis (a 1996 inductee) and Walter Jacobson (a 1998 inductee). The two worked with Sirott starting in 1980 when he segued from radio to television and became the first entertainment and lifestyle reporter at CBS 2.
“Having Bill and Walter present me, and going into the Silver Circle with Fahey Flynn seems a bit far-fetched for a kid who just wanted to be the next Dick Biondi,” Sirott said.
“P.S. I still have the plaque.”
This year’s other Silver Circle inductees:
- Larry Wert, president of broadcast media at Chicago-based Tribune Media, and former president and general manager of NBC 5. (Presented by Dennis Swanson, 1995 inductee.)
- Paul Meincke, 30-year veteran general assignment reporter at ABC 7. (Presented by Janet Davies, 2013 inductee, and Frank Mathie, 2004 inductee.)
- Howard Sudberry, former sports reporter and anchor at CBS 2. Now senior director of marketing and communications at Arlington Park. (Presented by Steve Baskerville.)
- Pam Grimes, special projects producer at WGN. (Presented by Steve Sanders, 2010 inductee.)
- Richard “Ike” Isaac, news and sports cameraman for WGN. (Presented by Robert Jordan, 2007 inductee.)
- Michael Dukewich (posthumous), former ABC 7 photojournalist and cameraman.
- Carl and Alison Ebert (posthumous), father and daughter directors at NBC 5.
For ticket information, see chicagoemmyonline.org.