Some 250 veterans of numerous journalistic triumphs and embarrassments gathered on Oct. 18 to relive the brave old days, toast their colleagues and wonder what the future held for their breed.
In the spotlight were three longtime radio hosts and commentators, picked to receive the inaugural Bill Stout Memorial Award for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism.
Sharing the same stage for the first time were Larry Mantle of “Air Talk” (KPCC), Warren Olney of “To the Point” and “Which Way L.A.?” (KCRW), and Patt Morrison, host of the eponymous KPCC program and a Los Angeles Times columnist, who were collectively described by Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky as “islands of sanity in a sea of [talk-show] madness.”
At the center of the homages was the late Bill Stout, who for decades was the “redoubtable voice of local reason” as investigative reporter and political commentator for national and local CBS programs.
Sponsor of the Bill Stout awards and host of the evening was Community Advocates, Inc. (CAI), founded by civil rights veterans David A. Lehrer and Joe R. Hicks, frequent op-ed columnists and bloggers for The Journal, and chaired by Riordan.
According to its leadership, CAI believes that the nation and city are transitioning from the “civil rights” era into a more tolerant and accepting “trans-racial” society, and that therefore current human relations problems must be examined under an updated lens.
Co-sponsors of the event were the Library Foundation of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Press Club, and FM stations KPCC and KCRW.