A former Richmond Times-Dispatch editor, Thomas P. Kapsidelis, was among eight media professionals inducted into the Virginia Communications Hall of Fame on Thursday.
This year’s ceremony, planned for Thursday night at the Altria Theater, was canceled two weeks ago due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A smaller event to honor the 2020 inductees is under consideration for sometime in the fall, said Marcus Messner, interim director and professor of the Richard T. Robertson School of Media and Culture at Virginia Commonwealth University, in a news release.
The Robertson School has hosted the Hall of Fame since its inception in 1986 and has inducted 180 communications professionals since then. The Hall of Fame benefits a scholarship fund for Robertson School students.
The Hall of Fame recognizes communications professionals with exceptional careers in advertising, journalism, public relations, new media and other media fields who have made outstanding long-term contributions in the field of communications and were either born in Virginia or became distinctively identified with the state.
Kapsidelis, 63, is a veteran Virginia journalist who was an editor for 28 years at The Times-Dispatch before accepting a fellowship in 2016 at Virginia Humanities to work on a book that was published in 2019, “After Virginia Tech: Guns, Safety, and Healing in the Era of Mass Shootings.” The book was published by the University of Virginia Press.
Kapsidelis became intimately familiar with the 2007 shooting when he was dispatched to Blacksburg to organize and oversee a team of reporters providing coverage for the coming days.
A native of Petersburg, Kapsidelis previously was the Richmond bureau manager for United Press International and a reporter with The State newspaper in Columbia, S.C. He is a visiting professor of journalism at the University of Richmond for the current academic year and formerly taught as an adjunct instructor at the Robertson School.
This year’s inductees also include:
Barbara Ciara, anchor and managing editor of WTKR-TV News 3 in Hampton Roads; Doug Coleburn, retired editor of the Blackstone Courier-Record; Brian Ellis, executive vice president at Padilla, who currently leads its crisis and issues management practice; Bill Eure, who died in January 2019, was a native of Portsmouth who began his broadcasting career in the sales department of WAVY-AM/TV in Hampton Roads and later began the first African-American-programmed FM station in the Richmond market, Magic 99, in 1981; Kym Grinnage, vice president and general manager of WWBT-TV NBC12 since 2011; Cabell Harris, founder of WORK Inc., a creative branding agency in Richmond; and Donald Lee, a cameraman and journalist for CBS News’ “60 Minutes” based in Washington, who began his career at VCU, where he enrolled in the newly formed broadcast news curriculum, and later worked at WWBT-TV in Richmond.
Previous classes have included a number of current and former journalists from the Richmond Times-Dispatch and The Richmond News Leader, including:
Mike Allen, reporter, Times-Dispatch; Bob Brown, senior photographer, Times-Dispatch; D. Tennant Bryan, publisher, Times-Dispatch and News Leader; J. Stewart Bryan III, publisher, Times-Dispatch and News Leader; Virginius Dabney, editor, Times-Dispatch; John F. Daffron, reporter, Times-Dispatch; Douglas Southall Freeman, editor, News Leader; Guy Friddell, columnist, News Leader; Alf Goodykoontz, executive editor, Times-Dispatch and News Leader; Michael Hardy, reporter, Times-Dispatch; Bob Jones Jr., photographer, Times-Dispatch and News Leader; Overton Jones, journalist, Times-Dispatch; James J. Kilpatrick, syndicated columnist, News Leader; James H. Latimer, reporter, Times-Dispatch; John Leard, executive editor, Times-Dispatch and News Leader; Jeffrey K. MacNelly, cartoonist, News Leader; Charles McDowell, columnist, Times-Dispatch; Bill McKelway, reporter, Times-Dispatch; William H. Millsaps Jr., sports editor and executive editor, Times-Dispatch; Roger Mudd, reporter, News Leader; Joseph E. Nettles, reporter, Times-Dispatch; Bernie Niemeier, a former manager for Richmond Newspapers; R. Beverly Orndorff, science reporter, Times-Dispatch; Jeff E. Schapiro, political columnist, Times-Dispatch; Louise Seals, managing editor, Times-Dispatch; Thomas A. Silvestri, publisher, Times-Dispatch; Ken Tomlinson, reporter, Times-Dispatch; Tyler Whitley, reporter, Times-Dispatch; and Graham Woodlief, executive, Times-Dispatch.