The Regional Media Hall of Fame at Missouri Southern State University will honor two media professionals during the annual awards dinner at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 2, in Billingsly Student Center’s Connor Ballroom.
Presented by the Department of Communication, the Hall of Fame awards honor media professionals who have made an impact regionally throughout their careers.
The 2015 recipients are Bob Foos and Dale Switzer.
Bob Foos, the owner and editor of the Webb City Sentinel, has had a career in journalism that has spanned more than 40 years.
After receiving his bachelor’s degree from Wichita State University, he arrived in Joplin in 1972 to work for KUHI/KTVJ Channel 16. He worked for the Carthage Press as a reporter and photographer and later for the Joliet Herald News before receiving a bachelor’s degree from the University of Missouri School of Journalism.
Recognizing a need for a newspaper in Webb City, he wrote a letter to then-owner Bill Myers expressing interest in reviving the Webb City Sentinel. Myers said he had turned down offers to buy the Wise Buyer shopper in hopes that someone would take an interest in the newspaper. Foos began working to revive the Sentinel and became part owner of the publication in 1983, with Merle Lortz.
Lortz passed away in 2012, and Foos continues to work for the Sentinel as the sole owner. He has received honors for his work in photojournalism, including induction into the Missouri Photojournalism Hall of Fame. The Webb City R-7 Schools Foundation recognized him as a Distinguished Citizen.
Dale Switzer graduated from Kansas State University in 1973, having worked his way through school with part-time announcing jobs at various AM and FM radio stations. While employed as a staff announcer at KMAN/KMKF in Manhattan, Kan., he designed covers for brochures promoting the station’s playlists. Those covers caught the attention of Lou Martin, KOAM-TV’s head of operations and programming. Switzer began working for the station in 1975, hired largely because of his background in creating graphic artwork.
When not painting art boards, he served as a studio photographer and director, sometimes filling in as a news and sports reporter, anchor, weatherman and farm market reporter.
In 1981, he purchased his first computer for home use and taught himself programming. Two years later, he began writing custom programs to produce computer animations. In 1986, he officially joined the KOAM production team as a writer, artist and commercial producer. He became Creative Services Director in 1993.
Switzer’s work has received numerous ADDYs, the CBS Eye on Excellence Award, and honors from the Missouri and Kansas broadcasters associations. He has been a guest lecturer at the Kansas State University School of Journalism and Mass Communications, and at the Department of Communication and Department of Graphics and Imaging Technologies at Pittsburg State University.
The Regional Media Hall of Fame was created in 2006. Honorees receive a crystal trophy and are featured in a display located in the lobby of the broadcast facilities at Missouri Southern.