"Chances are that you will never see the full credentials used, so let's give him his due just this once," columnist Steve Blow wrote Thursday for the Dallas Morning News.
"Dr. John McCaa, Ph.D., I mean.
"I always thought of the news anchor at WFAA-TV (Channel 8) as a class act. Now I know he's also had lots of classes.
"Congratulations to all those receiving diplomas in this graduation season. But I'm especially impressed with John, who just earned his doctor of philosophy from the University of Texas at Dallas.
"And will he be 'Dr. McCaa' on the TV set now? He laughed. 'No, I won't do that,' he said.
"But what a great role model. If he won’t toot his own horn, I'll do it for him.
"At age 61 and with 31 years on the job, it's not like he needed the degree for career advancement. This was education just for education's sake.
"The one practical application, he hopes, will be in his weekly commentary during the 6 p.m. Friday broadcasts.
"'Commentary is context,' he said. And the more education you have, the more complete the context you can provide, he believes.
"'These days, people's idea of reaching back for political context is quoting Ronald Reagan,' he said. He prefers The Federalist Papers or Plutarch's Parallel Lives.
"'I'm pretty old-school about things,' he said. . . ."
Bob Ray Sanders, a columnist and associate editor at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram known for decrying capital punishment and defending the unfairly accused, announced his retirement Friday. It comes shortly after another black columnist, Merlene Davis of the Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader, told readers that she, too, is leaving.
"By the time you read this I will have retired from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the place where I began my journalism career more than four decades ago. And, after a 20-year absence, it was the place that I came 'home' to and where I complete the journey, Sanders wrote.
He added that "the regret is that while we've made tremendous progress in this state and country on the issue of capital punishment, we have not been able to completely abolish it.
"I reflect on the number of times I've watched two mothers crying, one because her son was dead, the other because her son killed him.
"Yet, I also think about the number of young men and women I've been able to assist in some way, and to share their stories of accomplishments that helped others.
"While I've been able to witness many historical events in my career and talk with some of the most powerful and influential people in the country, the real joy came in being able to write about extraordinary people who were not famous, but whose lives, conditions and achievements begged to be written about. . . ."
According to one bio, "Sanders' journalism career has spanned more than three decades and three media: newspaper, television and radio. . . . He worked many years at the Dallas/Fort Worth PBS affiliate, where he served as reporter, producer, station manager, and vice president."
"Memorial services will be held Saturday for Don Haney, a longtime newsman and commentator who helped break the color barrier in Detroit broadcasting in the 1960s,"Tim Kiska reported Friday for the Detroit Free Press. "Haney, 80, died March 24 in Little Rock, Ark., where he moved nine years ago.
"Haney grew up in Detroit, the son of Mack Haney, who owned a funeral home in the city's African-American neighborhood known as Black Bottom. Even as a youngster at Northern High School, Haney hoped to become a broadcaster.
"He came face-to-face with racism in the media when in the 1950s he dropped off a job application and demonstration disk of his work to Channel 4, the leading news station in town at the time. He said he was told: 'You're a damned fool for trying to get a job at a white station.'
"Undeterred, Haney moved to Canada, where he got work in London, Kitchener and St. Thomas, Ontario. He returned to Detroit in 1964 as an announcer at WJR-AM (760), the first African American in that post.
"He joined Channel 7 (WXYZ-TV) late in 1967. Media coverage of the riot that year, in which 43 people died, made it painfully clear that Detroit's airwaves were almost totally devoid of African-American representation. Haney was hired by Channel 7 in late 1967.
"'He was a pioneer, no question about it. There weren't many African-Americans on the air when he got here.' said Chuck Stokes, Channel 7's public affairs director. 'He opened a lot of doors, and handled himself in a such a dignified way. I think he commanded a lot of respect.' . . ."