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For more than 30 years, John Kiesewetter has been the source for information about all things in local media – comings and goings, local people appearing on the big or small screen, special programs, and much more. Local media is still his beat and he’s bringing his interest, curiosity, contacts and unique style to Cincinnati Public Radio and 91.7 WVXU. Contact John at johnkiese@yahoo.com.

Chad Pergram salutes Fox News colleagues in Ukraine

Courtesy Fox News Channel
Chad Pergram was named Fox News congressional correspondent in 2020.

Fox News' congressional correspondent from Butler County uses acceptance speech at awards dinner to praise journalists covering the war.

Accepting an award from his Radio Television Correspondents' Association peers, Jacksonburg native Chad Pergram used his few minutes at the podium to talk about the brave journalists covering the Ukraine war rather than himself.

"The night was truly about my colleagues in Ukraine," says Pergram, who was presented his second Joan S. Barone Award for excellence in journalism in 15 years from the RTCA.

"I had the floor for a few minutes, so I thought we should salute them for their courage and sacrifice. That’s why I quoted Winston Churchill's ‘Whatever the cost shall be’ speech. It’s just so reflective of them giving their lives to the cause of truth, at whatever cost."

The Edgewood High School (1987) and Miami University (1991) graduate told members attending the banquet:

"We come here tonight a confused, stunned and saddened profession for me and many of my colleagues at Fox and in our industry. This is a somber occasion. I accept this honor tonight on behalf of Pierre (Zakrzewski), Sasha (Kuvshynova ) and Benjamin (Hall) …

"The sacrifices of my colleagues remind me of Churchill’s most famous speech, given to the House of Commons in June of 1940. Churchill’s words are emblematic of what journalists do to get the story, to tell the truth, to inform. Even in the face of danger. Churchill said: 'We shall go on to the end. Whatever the cost shall be…'

"Journalists like my colleagues in Ukraine possess that same fortitude. We as journalists shall go on to the end….  We will always report. We shall never surrender. And tragically, as Churchill might say in the case of my colleagues, whatever the cost may be.”

In 2006, Pergram also won the Barone Award from the NCTA, which was founded in 1939 by journalists who cover Congress.

"It’s frankly a little surreal to be honored with an award won by people like Roger Mudd, Bob Schieffer and Tim Russert, let alone twice," Pergram tells me.

Pergram has always been an overachiever. He started his broadcasting career as an unpaidintern in WKRC-AM's newsroom in 1987during his senior year at Edgewood High School in Trenton.

He later worked at Miami's WMUB-FM, C-SPAN; National Public Radio and the Capitol News Connection radio service until joining Fox News Channel in 2007 as a Capitol Hill producer. He was promoted to congressional correspondent two years ago.

All that might not have happened without his mentors at WKRC-AM.

"WKRC — where I started as an intern in 1987 while I was in high school — is still in my heart. They hired me after a few months to do the overnight weekend newscasts. It was a thrill to do my last overnight newscast and look across the glass window from the news studio and see Jerry Thomas in the control room starting his show," he says.

"Richard Hunt was the news director and took a chance on an 18-year-old kid. I still have the memo he typed, critiquing my first newscast. He told me to slow down. I was talking too fast. It was very constructive criticism. But he also complimented me on my story selection and some other production elements of my newscast. He was always in my corner.

"I learned from some real pros. Don Jensen really worked with me about using active voice in writing. Larry Davis taught me how to double and triple check things. Since I was so green, Dick Coleman told me to make sure I was in the studio at least five minutes before each newscast ‘unless the Carew Tower was burning down.'

"WKRC really built my news foundation."

Read more about Pergram in my 2020 story, Fox News Reporter Chad Pergram Says: 'I Try To Provide Context'

John Kiesewetter, who has covered television and media for more than 35 years, has been working for Cincinnati Public Radio and WVXU-FM since 2015.