The Milwaukee Press Club will recognize six journalists and posthumously honor two others during its Media Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Oct. 20 in Milwaukee.
Among the honorees are three journalists with ties to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, a member of the Wisconsin Newspaper Association. They are Garry D. Howard, Damien Jaques and the late Bob Riepenhoff.
The other honorees are Mike Anderson of WISN-TV; Mike Gousha of WTMJ, WISN and Marquette University Law School; Mikel Holt of the Milwaukee Community Journal; Myra Sanchick of WITI Fox6; and the late Eric Von of WMCS-AM.
The WNA is the presenting sponsor of this year’s Milwaukee Press Club Media Hall of Fame event, which will be held in the Woodland Dreams Ballroom at Potawatomi Hotel & Casino, 1721 W. Canal St. Tickets can be purchased online.
Meet the Journal Sentinel Honorees
Garry D. Howard
Garry D. Howard, born in New Bern, N.C., and raised in the South Bronx, was a veteran sports editor for the Milwaukee Journal and Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Howard graduated from Lehigh University and The Lawrenceville School and began his journalism career at the Trenton Times as a sports reporter. He worked as an obituary, police and municipal government reporter at The Home News, in New Brunswick, N.J., before joining the Rochester Times-Union, Rochester, N.Y., as a sports copy editor in 1985.
Howard left Rochester in 1986 to join the St. Petersburg Independent as a sports copy editor. The Independent merged with the St. Petersburg Times, where he worked as the prep design editor.
Howard left the St. Petersburg Times to join The Philadelphia Inquirer as a sports copy editor in 1987. He was promoted three times to deputy sports editor at The Inquirer. He left The Inquirer in 1994 to accept the executive sports editor’s position at the Milwaukee Journal, becoming the only African-American sports editor at a major metropolitan daily at that time.
The Journal merged with the Milwaukee Sentinel in April of 1995 and Howard was named senior editor of the new, combined sports department at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Howard was promoted to assistant managing editor/sports in 2000.
Howard left the Journal Sentinel in Dec. 2010 to accept a position as editor in chief with Sporting News and was hired as director of corporate initiatives at American City Business Journals in April of 2014.
Howard is a past president of the Associated Press Sports Editors and was the first African-American to hold that position in the 36-year history of the organization. In 2009, Howard was awarded a 2009 Sam Lacy Pioneer Award by the National Association of Black Journalists’ Sports Task Force for his lifetime commitment to the field of sports journalism. Howard also served as president of the NABJ Sports Task Force from 1999-2001.
In addition, Howard was host of Preps Plus, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s high school sports show on WTMJ-4 (NBC), for a total of 14 years. In 2007, he and the show were awarded an Emmy Award for “Outstanding Achievement for Sports Program Series.”
Damien Jaques wrote for the Milwaukee Journal and Milwaukee Journal Sentinel for 37 years before leaving the paper in 2009. He spent the last 29 years at the newspaper as a theater critic.
Jaques, who now resides in Sarasota, Fla., also hosted “Milwaukee Presents with Damien Jaques” on Wisconsin Public Radio for eight years, served as a substitute host on other Wisconsin Public Radio programs and was a senior contributing editor for OnMilwaukee.com.
He was born and raised in Milwaukee and was a second-generation Milwaukee newspaper journalist. His father, Norman Jaques, was a Milwaukee Journal reporter before World War II. His uncle, Emmett Jaques, was also a copy editor for the Wisconsin News before it merged into the Milwaukee Sentinel in 1939.
“There is nothing quite like being a journalist in your hometown,” Jaques said. “It was great fun and richly rewarding.”
Jaques received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Marquette University in Milwaukee and a certificate from the Iowa Writers Workshop. Other past honors include a fellowship on “Latinization of American Culture” at the University of Southern California, two terms on the board of the American Theater Critics Association (ATCA) and serving as a jurist for the National Steinberg-ATCA Award.
Bob Riepenhoff, who died of leukemia in 2012 at the age of 61, spent his career at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. He worked for Journal Communications for 31 years, serving as the outdoor editor from 1995 until his retirement in 2007.
During his career, Riepenhoff was part of a Journal Sentinel team named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Explanatory Reporting in 2003 for the paper’s series on chronic wasting disease in Wisconsin’s white tail deer population. He also published a book – “Net Results: Great Fishing Spots in Southern Wisconsin” – in 2004 and had a story published in “Wisconsin Seasons (Classic Tales of Life Outdoors)” in 1998.
Riepenhoff grew up in Wauwatosa and came from a family of journalists. A story in the Journal Sentinel after his death noted his grandfather, Jeremiah O’Sullivan, served as dean of the Marquette University journalism school for more than two decades. Riepenhoff attended Marquette High School in Milwaukee and earned a journalism degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
One of Riepenhoff’s sons, Joe, wrote that his father was passionate about the outdoors (the Northwoods in particular), dogs, family, the importance of the written word and food.
“He would have been honored by this award,” Joe Riepenhoff wrote in a questionnaire for the Milwaukee Press Club. “He took his job seriously and worked hard to bring his love of the outdoors to readers every week for so many years.”