The Regional Media Hall of Fame Awards Dinner will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 7, in Billingsly Student Center’s Connor Ballroom at Missouri Southern State University.
Presented by the Department of Communication, the Hall of Fame Awards honor media professionals who have made a regional impact throughout their careers. The 2016 recipients are Jim Hamilton and Dave Koester, with the Legacy Award going to the late Larry Young.
Jim Hamilton has been an editorial icon in Buffalo for nearly four decades.
His initiation as a journalist was in 1964 as the Fair Grove FFA reporter, sending handwritten articles to the Springfield newspaper. He enrolled at Missouri State University after high school, and was named editor of the SMS Standard. In 1971, he was married, started U.S. Air Force basic training and also served as editor of the base newspaper.
He began working as a news editor at the Bolivar Herald-Free Press in January 1976.
He later began working for the Buffalo Reflex/Dallas County Republican. He managed the Buffalo Reflex for 20 years and continued as editor/publisher for Community Publishers Inc. in 1999.
In January 2004, he was back where he had started at the Bolivar Herald-Free Press. For the next decade, he served as a regional writer for CPI’s Southwest Missouri newspapers.
He has served as president of the Ozark Press Association, the Ozark Writers League and the Writers Hall of Fame. A collection of columns was published in 1994.
Hamilton retired in May 2015, though he continues to write columns and features as a freelancer.
David Koester has a prestigious 38-year career in the television broadcasting industry. It began while attending Missouri Southern State College (now MSSU), where he earned his bachelor of arts in English. His first news reporting experience was a staff writer and sports editor for The Chart.
During his junior year, Koester started working on weekends at KODE-TV in Joplin. From 1977-80, he worked as a reporter and weekend anchor, and hosted a program on topical issues.
Koester served as the station’s news director from 1980-82. He then joined KOTV in Tulsa as its chief assignment manager. From 1982-87, he supervised news crews, reporters and photojournalists, and covered breaking news stories.
For the next 28 years, he was the assignment manager for KOCO-TV in Oklahoma City.
Koester is a recipient of an Emmy from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, Heartland Region, for his live news coverage, “McVeigh Moved.” His news team received the prestigious Peabody Award in 1995 for coverage of the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building.
He recently retired and plans to continue his volunteer work and spend more time with family.
Larry Young had a career spanning more than 40 years in broadcasting, starting in radio and ending in television.
He was born in St. Louis and attended the University of Missouri-Columbia, where he majored in radio/television news and graduated in 1967.
While stationed at Chanute Air Force Base in Rantoul, Ill., he worked part-time for WDWS AM/FM radio as a weekend staff member. He also served at DaNang Airfield in Vietnam and Bolling Air Force Base in Washington.
His career in television news began at WBOC-TV in Salisbury, Md., where he worked as general assignment reporter, weekend anchor, staff announcer and program director.
In 1984, Young moved to KOAM-TV in Pittsburg, Kan., where he served as news and program director. He was later hired as news director of KODE-TV in Joplin. He left briefly in 1999, then returned to be news director at KSN-TV. He assumed the role of news director of both stations when they were purchased by Nexstar Broadcasting.
He worked until his health prevented him from being there full time, and died in 2008.
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.