Heartland Chapter Inductees


Tim Dietz

Forty two years. From film to video tape; analog to digital; broadcast to online; desktop to mobile. During his extraordinary 42 year (and counting) career, Tim Dietz has been at the center of every revolution in our industry, quietly influencing how generations of Coloradoans receive and enjoy news, entertainment and sports programming.

Tim’s contributions began as a news photographer, working with 16 millimeter film and evolved to Tim’s current position as KUSA’s vice president of interactive services, a key station leadership position overseeing a variety of TEGNA and KUSA projects including ever more important digital platforms like 9NEWS.com and 9NEWS mobile.

Tim joined the 9NEWS family in July 1974, when Channel 9 was still KBTV. At the time he was a junior at Regis University and came to 9NEWS as an intern. The internship was supposed to last a year, but somehow, Tim talked his way into two, and then another 40.

Tim has done it all. He has met five U.S. Presidents and countless star athletes and celebrities. He met Pope John Paul II during World Youth Day in Colorado in 1993. KUSA’s coverage of that historic event garnered national attention. He has been to four Super Bowls and is the Denver Broncos programming guru. Beginning with the Summer Olympics in Atlanta in 1996, Tim has covered nine Olympic Games by organizing for 9NEWS and Gannet (now TEGNA) coverage in Sydney (2000) Salt Lake City (2002) Athens (2004) Torino (2006) Beijing (2008) Vancouver (2010) London (2012) and Sochi (2014). He is currently planning coverage for Rio de Janeiro 2016. Tim’s commitment to this project is largely responsible for the extraordinary level of coverage viewers in Colorado have come to expect.

In the mid-90s Tim was responsible for launching 9NEWS.com, the state’s local news and information website. Today that platform and a few new ones that Tim oversees deliver over 50 million impressions monthly. At the time this was seen as a distraction, but Tim championed the online importance and as we all know it has become the preferred way that many of us get our information, when , where and how we want it. The technological change and workflow that have overwhelmed many an organization were simply just another obstacle that Tim so adroitly navigated. He helped to launch and pioneer HD Television putting the first HD Helicopter in the air in the early 2000s.

Cindy Klose

Cindy Klose Cindy Klose has been a news anchor at KWCH-12 Wichita, KS for 25 years, a former anchor for CNN Headline News, and a reporter/anchor for almost 40 years. She is a staple in the Wichita market. Viewers have voted her Wichita's favorite anchor time and time again for good reason. They trust her. Credibility is more important to Cindy than anything else. It's something she won't compromise in the newsroom, on the set, or with her storytelling.

Although Cindy is in front of the camera each night, she believes the role of the journalist is to be behind the scenes, asking the questions, checking the facts, and holding people accountable. She doesn't believe journalists should be the focus of any story. She teaches the newsroom that journalists are there to inform viewers of how things will impact them, so viewers can make informed decisions.

In the newsroom, Cindy is an advocate for the viewer. She is not afraid to go against what's popular or what some consider "good TV". She believes in putting the viewer first, making sure the newsroom selects stories that impact the residents of Kansas. In return, the viewers trust her. The ratings show how much the viewers trust Cindy. Every show she anchors is number one in household ratings.

Throughout her career, and particularly her time with SBI, Cindy has helped develop many broadcast journalists who now work across the country. She has been a mentor to countless producers and reporters over the years. She is honorable, hardworking, and mindful of her role in our community and our democracy. She is an educator to everyone in the newsroom and across the station. Cindy pushes everyone around her to be a better journalist and to serve the public.

Cindy has helped with numerous non-profit organizations. She has given her time as the Master of Ceremonies for the Susan G. Komen Race and the American Heart Association – Go Red for Women initiative. Cindy has visited hundreds of classrooms, reading to elementary children or speaking about the importance of journalism to high school and college classes. She uses her powerful voice in support of the Fundamental Learning Center and the Child Advocacy Center of Sedgwick County.

The Silver Circle welcomes a top-rated anchor, journalist, and mentor.

Mike Nelson

Mike Nelson's 40-year career in the meteorology industry is a testament to his hard work and dedication. He has spent 25 of those years as Colorado's most trusted meteorologist, establishing himself as a pillar of the community. Mike's interest in weather began at a young age in Madison, Wisconsin, and he started his professional journey with Weather Central and WKOW TV in 1976. In 1981, he graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a degree in Meteorology and married his wife, Cindy, shortly after. During his time at Weather Central, Mike worked closely with Terry Kelly, a visionary who developed one of the first weather computer systems for television. Mike played an active role in the development of early weather computers, delivering systems and training meteorologists across the nation. Notable meteorologists like Al Roker, Harry Volkman, Stormy Rottman, and Gary England are among the many individuals Mike Nelson trained on their first weather computers.

From 1979 to 1985, Mike served as an on-air meteorologist at WKOW. In mid-1985, he became the Chief Meteorologist at KMOX TV and Radio in St. Louis, Missouri, at the age of 27. When KMOX was later sold and became KMOV TV, Mike continued his work there until 1991 when he was hired by KUSA in Denver.

Mike spent 13 years as the Chief Meteorologist at KUSA until he received an opportunity from KMGH to transform the Denver weather landscape. In 2004, he accepted the job at Denver7 and has since been dedicated to innovating and improving on-air weather coverage.

In addition to his on-air responsibilities, Mike is actively involved in community engagement. He delivers at least one school presentation per week and participates in numerous weekend charity events throughout the year. One of his passions is educating children about severe storms, climate change, and alleviating the fears of students afraid of tornadoes. Over the course of his career, Mike has visited nearly 4,000 schools, inspiring almost 1.2 million children to develop an interest in math, science, and potentially pursue careers in meteorology or journalism.

As a mentor, Mike has played a crucial role in educating his interns, co-workers, and visitors, providing daily guidance and sharing his wealth of knowledge. He has also hosted over 500 station tours over the past four decades. Mike is a strong supporter of the college weather internship program and has trained more than 30 meteorologists who are now working at TV stations across the nation.

After his remarkable 40-year career, Mike Nelson has been recognized with numerous awards. He has received 18 Emmy awards for his outstanding contributions in the field of meteorology and was honored with the "Colorado Broadcaster of the Year" award by the Colorado Broadcasters Association. One of his most cherished achievements is being named the "Broadcast Meteorologist of the Year" by the National Weather Association (NWA) in 2010.

Mike Nelson's impact on the meteorology industry, his commitment to community engagement, and his dedication to mentoring aspiring meteorologists have solidified his reputation as a trusted and respected figure in Colorado and beyond.