WNA Foundation announces 2019 Newspaper Hall of Fame inductees

The Wisconsin Newspaper Association Foundation is thrilled to announce the distinguished industry leaders who will be inducted into the Wisconsin Newspaper Hall of Fame on Thursday, Nov. 14, in Madison.

The 2019 inductees are:

The 2019 Hall of Fame Banquet & Fundraiser will be held at The Madison Club, 5 E. Wilson St., Madison, with a reception at 5:30 p.m. and dinner at 6:30 p.m. The induction ceremony will immediately follow dinner. Tickets can be purchased online for $55 per person, $500 for a table of 10, or $750 for a corporate table sponsor (includes a table of 10 and recognition at the event).

Sponsorship opportunities and congratulatory ads are available, with proceeds benefiting the WNA Foundation.

2019 Inductees

Kent Eymann

Kent Eymann, 2019 Newspaper Hall of Fame inductee
Kent Eymann

Kent Eymann, a tireless innovator and leader, spent 25 years as publisher of the Beloit Daily News before retiring in July 2019.

Eymann, an Iowa native, began his Wisconsin newspaper career in the early 1990s as advertising director for the Daily News. In 1994, he was promoted to publisher following the retirement of Wisconsin Newspaper Hall of Fame member William Behling.

During his more than two decades at the helm, Eymann was instrumental in shepherding the Daily News through times of tremendous change in the newspaper industry. Under Eymann’s watch, the newspaper also won numerous state and regional awards for excellence, including first place in its circulation division in the 2018 WNA Foundation Better Newspaper Contest.

Eymann served on the WNA Board of Directors from 2006 to 2015, including a term as president in 2013.

Elliott Maraniss

Elliott Maraniss, 2019 Newspaper Hall of Fame inductee
Elliott Maraniss

Elliott Maraniss, a newspaperman nearly his entire life, was a longtime editor for The Capital Times in Madison.

Maraniss joined The Cap Times in 1957, hired by William T. Evjue, a Wisconsin Newspaper Hall of Fame member and the newspaper’s founder. Maraniss quickly made his mark as a tough investigative reporter through a series of stories that exposed paper mill pollution of the Wisconsin and Fox rivers.

He worked his way up to city editor in 1967, and in the role, he made The Cap Times one of the first newspapers in Wisconsin to diversify its news staff. Maraniss hired the paper’s first black reporter and filled several reporting positions with women to make the staff more reflective of the community it covered.

Maraniss served as a strong mentor for young reporters, teaching them to be fearless in questioning authority, to stand up for the First Amendment and about the importance of exposing wrong-doing.

Following Evjue’s death in 1970, Maraniss was named executive editor. In 1978, he was named the third editor-in-chief in the paper’s history. Under his leadership, the newspaper won several state and national awards for public service journalism and investigative reporting.

Maraniss retired in 1983, but remained curious and supportive of the Wisconsin newspaper industry until his death in 2004.

Susan Shemanske

Susan Shemanske, 2019 Newspaper Hall of Fame inductee
Susan Shemanske

Susan Shemanske served over 27 years as sports editor of The Journal Times in Racine, one of the first women in Wisconsin to hold that title. She currently serves as a freelance writer covering the Milwaukee Brewers.

Shemanske earned her bachelor’s degree in mass communications from UW-Parkside in 1977. The following year, she joined The Journal Times as a sports writer and copy editor before moving up to assistant sports editor and eventually being named to lead the department in October 1990.

During her tenure as sports editor, The Journal Times won numerous awards for best sports pages, including first place honors in 1998, 2004, 2006, 2015 and 2016. Members of her staff, including Shemanske, also won numerous national and state writing awards.

Described as “one of the most thorough reporters I ever saw” Shemanske earned the respect of her colleagues through both her ability as a reporter and her leadership skills within the sports department.