Five industry leaders to be inducted into NC Media and Journalism Hall of Fame in 2019

The NC Media and Journalism Hall of Fame will induct Taylor Branch, Margaret Johnson, Mary E. Junck, Rochelle Riley and David B. Woronoff on Friday, April 12, 2019.

Founded and administered by the UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media, the Hall of Fame honors exceptional leaders with ties to North Carolina who demonstrate leadership in their spheres of influence; service to the professions and society; performance exemplifying the highest professional standards; and commitment to inspiring and advancing young people in media and journalism careers.

Honorees will be recognized during a gala benefit at 6:30 p.m. at The Carolina Inn in Chapel Hill. The benefit, which includes a reception, dinner and program, will support the Hussman School in its critical role in developing future leaders in the media and journalism professions. 

Honorees are selected by a committee of professionals and faculty that considers all nominations. Since its founding in 1981, the Hall of Fame has celebrated nearly 200 professionals in advertising, journalism, public relations and related fields.



About the 2019 honorees:

Taylor Branch

Taylor Branch is a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, journalist and public speaker best known for his seminal trilogy on the civil rights era, "America in the King Years," written between 1982 and 2006. Branch has been honored with a MacArthur Fellowship (1991) and a National Humanities Medal (1999). Branch’s 2009 memoir, "The Clinton Tapes: Wrestling History with the President," chronicles an eight-year project to gather a sitting president’s oral history secretly on tape. His 2011 cover story for The Atlantic, “The Shame of College Sports,” touched off continuing national debate. Branch’s latest book is a short compilation, "The King Years: Historic Moments in the Civil Rights Movement" (2013).  He served as executive producer for the HBO documentary “King in the Wilderness” (2018). Branch received his bachelor's degree in history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his master's degree in public administration from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University

Margaret Johnson

Margaret Johnson is chief creative officer and partner for storied San Francisco-based advertising agency Goodby Silverstein & Partners. Advertising Age named Johnson the Executive of the Year in 2018. Cannes Lions recently recognized the agency for creative campaigns ranging from the Peter Dinklage and Busta Rhymes "Doritos Blaze vs. Mountain Dew Ice" Super Bowl hit to the "#IAmAWitness" anti-cyberbullying campaign for the Ad Council. Johnson serves as president of the 2019 Cannes Lions film jury. Johnson also serves on the board of the One Show and chairs the Ad Council's Campaign Review Committee. She was a founding member of the 3 Percent Conference, launched in 2012 as the first conference for female creative directors in advertising, named for the percentage of women creative leaders at the time. The movement's goals today include increasing diversity in advertising and related fields. Johnson earned her bachelor's degree from the Hussman School, and also earned a degree in art direction at the Portfolio Center in Atlanta.

Mary E. Junck

Mary E. Junck, a longtime leader in the newspaper industry, is chair of Lee Enterprises. Under Junck's direction in leadership roles over 20 years, Lee Enterprises has grown to encompass 49 daily newspapers and 300 weekly and speciality publications, along with a division that provides innovative technology for more than 1,700 media companies. Junck served as chair of The Associated Press from 2012 to 2017. In 2018, she began managing Warren Buffett's BH Media Group, a Berkshire Hathaway Company, which operates print and digital newspapers in 30 markets. Junck received an English degree from Valparaiso University and a master's degree from the Hussman School. In 2015, Junck was awarded an honorary doctor of laws by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has supported the school in countless ways, including endowing the Mary Junck Research Colloquium for scholarly presentations.

Rochelle Riley

Rochelle Riley is a columnist for the Detroit Free Press and authored 2018's "The Burden: African Americans and the Enduring Impact of Slavery" for Wayne State Press. She's been with the Free Press since 2000, where she's a leading voice on government responsibility, education, race and children's issues. She frequently appears in the national media, including on National Public Radio, MSNBC and Fox2. In 1980, her debut column for The Courier-Journal of Louisville helped spur that city's efforts to build the Muhammad Ali Center (2005). Riley's work has been recognized with a 2011 Will Rogers Humanitarian Award by the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and the 2017 Ida B. Wells Award from the National Association of Black Journalists. She won a National Headliner Award for best local interest column on a variety of subjects in 2013 and was inducted into the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame in 2016. This year, she and writers Tamara Winfrey-Harris and Deesha Philyaw are launching Letters to Black Girls Project — a national mission to pass words of encouragement from black women to girls. Riley holds a bachelor's degree from the Hussman School, and was a 2007–08 Knight-Wallace Fellow at the University of Michigan.

David B. Woronoff

David B. Woronoff is president and publisher of The Pilot of Southern Pines, which has grown from a twice-weekly local newspaper into a statewide media company during his 23 years of leadership. The Pilot was named best community newspaper in the nation in 2002 and 2007 by the Inland Press Association and in 2015, 2016 and 2017 by the National Newspaper Association. Today, The Pilot also publishes four regional magazines (PineStraw in the Sandhills, O.Henry and Seasons in Greensboro, and Salt in Wilmington), Business North Carolina magazine and two telephone directories. The company also owns the 65-year-old Country Bookshop in downtown Southern Pines. Woronoff's career started at The News & Observer of Raleigh, and included stints at The Greenville News in South Carolina and The Anniston Star in Alabama. In 2009, Woronoff was named president of the North Carolina Press Association, the fourth generation of his family to serve in that capacity. He was the first community newspaper publisher appointed to the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association's board of directors. Woronoff graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in 1988 with a bachelor's degree in English.


Opportunities are now available to recognize the honorees and support the Hussman School as a gala sponsor, program advertiser or table host. Individual tickets will be available Friday, March 1. For more information, please contact Sarah Rierson at or (919) 962-6881.

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