Heartland Chapter Inductees


Linda Cavanaugh

During her twenty-five years in broadcast journalism, KFOR-TV's Linda Cavanaugh has become nationally known for her accomplishments. This year, Linda was inducted into the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame as "one of the most distinguished journalists in the history of the state." Through her leadership and innovation, she has set, and in many instances, raised the standards for broadcast journalists.

She began her career as a reporter/photographer. In a short time, she became the first female co-anchor of the evening newscasts at KFOR-TV and continues to anchor the 4:30 p.m., 6 p.m., and 10 p.m. newscasts. But while taking a seat behind the anchor desk, she never left the reporter's field. During her career, she has earned more than thirty national awards for her reporting, as well as twice that many state and regional awards, in addition to eleven Emmys® from the Heartland Chapter of NATAS.

Her most recent national recognitions include the 1997 Headliner's Award, the 1997 Public Service Award from the Society of Professional Journalists, and the Freedom Foundation's George Washington Medal of Honor. Linda Cavanaugh's career has been marked by a number of firsts. Her investigative reports on health conditions inside Oklahoma restaurants resulted in changes in the law. "Behind Kitchen Doors" moved lawmakers to open the inspection records of the health department so that consumers, for the first time, could be aware of violations.

She was the first non-network journalist from the United States allowed in the Soviet Union under that country's new "glasnost" policy. Linda reported on how much of Oklahoma's wheat crop was ending up on the tables of Russian families. George Washington University honored the project with its Weintal Prize for Diplomatic Reporting.

In 1995, she traveled to Vietnam to become the first American journalist allowed in the infamous Hanoi Hilton, a prisoner of war camp where many American officers spent their last days. She was accompanied by former POW Dan Glenn, a Navy pilot who spent six years as a prisoner. Through her series, "Remember the Dragon," she told the story of a war that many Americans would like to forget, as seen through the eyes of a man who never will.

Linda Cavanaugh's humanitarianism is as impressive as her journalism. An Oklahoma native, she has worked throughout her career to better her community and the state she calls home. It was through her efforts that support was spearheaded for the first hospice in Oklahoma. Her documentary, "A Time to Die," raised the seed money that was used to start Hospice of Oklahoma County – a non-profit organization that brought home care to the terminally ill.

Linda Cavanaugh approaches projects with an honesty and warmth that enables stories to be told that have never before been recorded. In the early nineties, she became the first journalist allowed to photograph ancient Indian rituals that had been closed to all except tribal members. Her resulting twelve-part series, "Strangers In Their Own Land," brought a sense of understanding and pride to Oklahoma's thirty-seven Indian tribes. Her documentary was later recognized with Delta Chi's national Distinguished Service Award, as well as ten other national awards.

Don Kinney

Emmy award-winning journalist Don Kinney has delivered in-depth television reporting to the people of Colorado for nearly 30 years. January 1998 marked his 20th year with "The State of Colorado," a weekly televised discussion of news events which airs on Rocky Mountain PBS, Channel 6 in Denver and Channel 18 in Grand Junction.

Don's career began at a small radio station in Montana, taking him to Idaho and on to CBS News in New York. As a radio reporter, a CBS Evening News researcher & writer for Walter Cronkite, and a reporter/producer covering the Gemini and Apollo space programs, Don filled a variety of roles at the network level.

In 1969, Don entered the Denver market as producer of TV News at KLZ-TV (now KMGH). In the next decade, he also served as Medical Science Reporter for KLZ-TV and Radio, as well as KOA-TV (now KCNC), before coming to KRMA-TV, Rocky Mountain PBS. Kinney also owns his own production company, Rocky Mountain Reflections.

Don's programs have received awards from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, Heartland Chapter; the New York Film Festival; the Corporation for Public Broadcasting; the Colorado Broadcaster's Association, and numerous others. Over the years, Don has devoted himself to training journalists through mentoring and internship programs and helps to raise funds for journalism scholarships. For instance, as an avid marathon runner, Don, in 1994, raised $29,000 for journalism scholarships by running across the state of Montana (a total of 666 miles in 15 1/2 days).