Cynthia Hessin

2013 Inductee

A love of words and language has defined Cynthia from grade school, when writing was her passion; she never let it go. With a degree in journalism, she got her foot in the door as a receptionist at KBOL radio and was asked to ‘try’ reading copy; from there she moved to KHOW radio in Denver, handling drive-time newscasts for two years. When KOA-TV asked her to do on-camera cut-ins for The Today Show, a television career was born: Cynthia joined KCNC in 1979 as a reporter, fill-in anchor and host, moving to KMGH in 1984. For 11 years she worked as a reporter, anchor and producer, enterprising and presenting daily news reports; she became proficient in covering stories involving politics, government and public policy. A profound shift in her career came in 1995 with a move to Rocky Mountain PBS – a world of no commercials and shoestring budgets. At that time Cynthia was the station’s sole executive producer, responsible for creating original programming for a statewide network and for wearing a plethora of hats in the process: budgeting, personnel and longer-format shows. She is currently the Executive Producer, Public Affairs, and host of the weekly series Colorado State of Mind.

Cynthia is the recipient of 5 regional Emmy awards, ranging from News reporting, to Narration, to Documentary – a testament to her versatility. She has served on the Heartland Chapter Board of Governors as 1st VP, and as a member of the Board of Directors of the Denver Press Club, including past president (first female!); she also serves on the regional board of the Society of Professional Journalists. Cynthia volunteers her time generously to community and industry events, and is a regular member of the Press Club’s annual Gridiron Show.

While her list of awards and accolades is long, Cynthia’s peers and coworkers commend her team spirit and can-do attitude: no matter how the industry changes, she is always willing to learn something new. Whether she’s producing a special about women’s issues, water rights, immigrants or local philanthropists, everyone knows that Cynthia will put her energy and heart into every project. Cynthia feels it’s a privilege – and a huge responsibility – to pass along information, and she’s known for going to great lengths to get it right. In fact, three Governors of the state of Colorado enthusiastically attest to her fair and balanced work, to her ability to understand critical issues and the impact they have on people in the state, and to her integrity as a journalist: she is an outstanding example of what journalism should be.