Well-deserved recognition

Media banquet celebrates work of TV, radio journalists who covered tragedies

Bruce Spotleson

Bruce Spotleson

Northern Nevada has had a run of tragic news recently.

The calamities that hit the region in 2011 and 2012 were epic. A train wreck in Fallon. The IHOP shooting in Carson City. The Reno air races crash. The devastating Caughlin and Washoe fires.

So it seemed right that the Nevada Broadcasters Association would salute the TV and radio journalists who reported them. Those “first responders” were honored Aug. 27 at the annual Hall of Fame gala at Red Rock Resort.

Gov. Brian Sandoval headed south to make a presentation and stayed for the entire program. As one might expect, broadcasters know how to put on a recognition show. And there was plenty of recognition to share.

Las Vegas Events was bestowed with the Pinnacle Award, which president and CEO Pat Christenson accepted. The Lifetime Achievement Award went to former Oregon Sen. Gordon Smith, a self-described “recovering politician” who now is president and CEO of the National Broadcasters Association. And KCEP 88.1 radio, celebrating its 40th anniversary, picked up the Community Achievement Award.

Special salutes went to Richard Zaragoza, the association’s legal counsel and mentor; Earlene Leffler, who has played an instrumental role in the group’s Hall of Fame; Eric Bonnici, fundraising chair of its Foundation Scholarship Committee; and the late J.K. Metzker, a Northern Nevada television sports director.

One familiar voice at the microphone was Gary Waddell, who recently ended a long and successful career as a KLAS-TV news anchor (although one gets the feeling he’ll show up again sometime on the flat screen.)

Smith made mention of the challenges broadcasters face, saying it’s time the industry worked “hand in glove” with lawmakers on key issues and pledging to help raise awareness of its concerns in the fast-evolving media world. It will take some work, he noted.

“Most people take for granted that they turn on the television and there you are,” Smith said.

That same Saturday, more bad news was to surface. We lost acclaimed researcher Nasser Daneshvary, director of UNLV’s Lied Institute for Real Estate Studies since 2010.

Nasser was a wonderful and brilliant man, whom local media often sought as a source on real estate issues plaguing Southern Nevada. In studying the market, he built a keen understanding of the region and its foreclosure crisis, and we often turned to him for analysis and explanation of complex data.

When I spoke with him a few weeks ago, Nasser was particularly excited about the Sept. 20 Lieder Awards banquet that will honor former County Commissioner Bruce Woodbury. Marcus Conklin, associate director of the Lied Institute, has assumed the lead role for the program, and now it will honor Nasser Daneshvary as well.

Our condolences to Nasser’s wife Rennae, his son Arash and his many friends in and out of the real estate community. We will miss him deeply.