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The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences-Upper Midwest Chapter recognizes individuals who have made a significant contribution to television well above and beyond that required by their job. That contribution can be in service to the industry, to NATAS, to the community, or to people training for a career in the field.
The Gold & Silver Circle is not an award; it’s a society of honor. It is recognition of eligible individuals who have made a significant contribution to television well above and beyond that required by their job. That contribution can be in service to the industry, to NATAS, to the community, or to people training for a career in the field. Nominees answer to the highest standards of integrity and honor in all aspects of their personal and professional lives.
Nominations are accepted from the performing, creative, technical or administrative roles within the industry or in peripheral areas directly related to television such as commercial production, journalism or education. Neither nominators nor nominees need to be members of NATAS.
The Gold & Silver Award Committee reviews all nominees past and present to make a recommendation to the NATAS-Upper Midwest Board of Governors. This year, our Board of Governor’s voted and approved the following honorees.
The Gold Circle Honor
recognizes people with
50+ years in the industry
The Silver Circle Honor
recognizes people with
25+ years in the industry
During his nearly 60 years in the television business, Stu Swartz has become known as an accomplished leader, innovative programmer, and devoted community member. Leading KMSP-TV in Minneapolis/St. Paul for decades, Swartz impacted the Upper Midwest Region through successful programming, a commitment to local news, community involvement, and mentorship of team members.
After starting his career in advertising and promotion at KMSP, he moved to sales and was eventually promoted to General Manager of the station. Swartz’s 20-year tenure as General Manager of KMSP began during a seismic shift in the Minnesota broadcasting landscape as the longtime ABC affiliate had recently been dropped by the network and became an independent station. While many predicted its demise, under Swartz’s leadership KMSP became the #1 independent station in the country, and jumped from the number four revenue-producing station in the market to number two.
While delivering exceptional ratings and financial performance were important accomplishments for Swartz at KMSP, his commitment to employees and the community were notable. Swartz hired the first female account executive in the Minneapolis/St. Paul market who became the first female general sales manager in the Twin Cities. Under his leadership, KMSP became the first television station to have a person of color co-anchor the news. Swartz took a deep interest in the lives of his employees and was gratified to have very low turnover in direct managers.
News and Community involvement were hallmarks of Swartz’s tenure at KMSP. He expanded local news coverage from 30 minutes to 1 hour on weekdays, launched a morning news show, and became the first independent station in the country to launch an evening news program against network affiliate competitors. KMSP produced political debates for Mayor, Governor, and Senate races while hosting many public affairs shows. Swartz brought many hours of local sports to Minnesotans televising games from the Twins, North Stars, Wild, Kicks, Gophers, and High School Sports League. Swartz co-chaired a committee with the Attorney General of Minnesota to regulate Truth in Advertising, and was on the Boards of the Midwest Better Business Bureau and the Minnesota Ad Club. Swartz also served as Chairman of ALTV, a national organization representing hundreds of television stations and each of the major movie studios in lobbying efforts in Washington DC. Additionally, Swartz served on the original Board of Governors for the FOX Television Network.
Upon leaving KMSP after nearly 40 years, Swartz started Stuart Consulting where clients included Hubbard Broadcasting stations KSTP and KSTC and Red River Broadcasting stations KQDS in Duluth, KVRR in Fargo/Moorhead, and KDLT in Sioux Falls. Swartz also helped negotiate broadcasting contracts for the Minnesota High School League and Minnesota Wild.
Swartz’s connection to the Upper Midwest chapter of the Television Academy runs deep. While General Manager of KMSP, Swartz helped start the chapter when it separated from the Chicago region. His father Don was honored in the first class of Upper Midwest Silver Circle members in 2000.
Swartz lives in the Twin Cities with his wife, Susie.
By convention Bill Hudson should have been a print journalist. His small town childhood was largely spent hanging around the local newspaper office, where both his father and grandfather worked. Instead, the Elk River native took a slightly different path. It was the summer of 1973, and he was mesmerized by network coverage of the Watergate hearings. Television journalism became his calling.
After graduating St. Cloud State University, Hudson interned at WCCO-TV in Minneapolis where he met producer, John Hoffland. Their paths would cross again, a year later, with Hudson’s first job at WEAU-TV in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.
“It was the greatest possible start to a gratifying career,” Hudson recalls. Despite the meager pay of small market television, salary was supplanted with learning. “Things would have been tough had it not been for my wife Julie’s nursing job,” he chuckles. Hoffland became his first news director, laying a solid foundation. John was the ultimate teacher to this young, green talent. He instilled the elements of clear, concise writing, the lure of unique characters and the beauty of pairing words with pictures.
Three years later, Bill and Julie packed up and headed to WITI-TV in Milwaukee. He’d hone his skills covering politics and environmental issues. He was sent to cover the 1984 Democratic National Convention in San Francisco and 1988 DNC in Atlanta. In 1986, with newborn daughter Ellen at home, Hudson spent the summer traversing the country. As much of the nation was gripped in drought, Hudson produced an award winning national documentary series for all Storer Broadcast stations, “Water, The Great Divide.”
By spring of 1989, it was time to fulfill his ultimate dream. Although it was difficult leaving close friends and colleagues, the pull of returning to Minnesota was powerful. WCCO-TV was the station he’d grown up watching, home to legendary anchor Dave Moore, acclaimed documentaries and investigative reports - and countless network correspondents.
Back then, ‘CCO was like its own mini-network. Hudson was given a constant flow of national and international assignments. In fact his first reporting duty sent him to Chicago to cover a national student protest over the Chinese crackdown at Tiananmen Square. He’d do a 6 p.m. live shot from Navy Pier then catch a flight home.
It didn’t stop. Later that summer came the tragic crash of United Flight 232 in an Iowa cornfield. A short while later, the couple’s second daughter, Anna was born and it seemed dad was still never home. A packed bag was always under his newsroom desk, as he never knew if he’d be home that night. Other assignments included Hurricane Andrew, National Guard missions to Bosnia, Panama and Honduras, California wildfires, the Branch Davidian tragedy in Waco, Texas and visiting Gulf War soldiers in Saudi Arabia.
For 20 years Hudson served colleagues as their SAG/AFTRA shop steward, negotiating contracts and solving union issues. His retirement in September 2020 enabled him and Julie to provide daycare to their grandsons during the height of Covid-19.
This past May, Hudson joined daughter Ellen O’Brien as consultant and trainer for her new company, Hudsons Media and has enjoyed the chance to slow down and spend more time with family.
Monica Hannan has never met a story she didn’t want to tell. It’s what led her into the world of journalism, and it’s what has inspired her along a path of lifelong learning.
With Bachelor of Arts degrees in History and Mass Communications in hand, she set off for her first broadcast job at KUMV in Williston, N.D., in 1982 and though her path took her away from the Peace Garden State to a television station in Idaho for a time, she returned to North Dakota in 1988 and has anchored the number-one rated 6 and 10 p.m. newscasts at KFYR-TV in Bismarck ever since, although she has never been one to let the grass grow under her.
Between 2004 and 2015 she served as News Director at KFYR, winning three Upper Midwest Regional Emmy® Awards for Outstanding Newscast while still anchoring evening newscasts. She has been named “Best Anchor” by the North Dakota Broadcaster’s Association three times and has also been a 10-time winner of Eric Severeid Awards for her reporting and writing.
She has been active in the broadcast industry, serving as a board member for the Radio and Television News Directors Association from 2010 through 2015, and a North Dakota Regional Vice President for the Upper Midwest Emmy® Chapter Board of Governors. Monica has been involved in her community as well, volunteering and serving as a board member for The GOD’S CHILD Project, Catholic Charities North Dakota, The American Heart Association, Bismarck State College Communications Advisory Board, Bismarck Historical Society, and most recently was named to the Tepeyac Leadership Institute of Arizona Central Board of Directors.
Monica has authored five books, with three of those titles selling more than 20,000 copies, and one of which has been optioned for a feature film by Lightworks Pictures.
In addition to anchoring the news, Monica spent several years as a talk show host for North Dakota Today, and First at Four, and is a frequent keynote speaker on topics both inspirational and humorous.
She currently serves as Managing Editor at KFYR-TV. She anchors First News at Five, and co-anchors The Evening Report at 6 and The Night Report at 10.
She holds a Master of Arts degree in Management from the University of Mary in Bismarck, and a Master of Arts degree in Theology from the Augustine Institute in Denver.
She is married to Cliff Naylor and they have three children.
Daniel Pierce Bergin is a filmmaker whose work centers the power of people, place, and the past. The Twin Cities PBS Executive Producer is a winner of 15 Regional Emmy® Awards. His notable productions include Jim Crow of the North, Lost Twin Cities 5, Make it OK: Mental Illness & Stigma. North Star: Minnesota’s Black Pioneers; Homeless Youth: Finding Home, and Out North: MNLGBTQ History.
Daniel Bergin’s decades of work have allowed him to work with many collaborators and produce in a wide range of content, from 30 second PSAs to feature length documentaries, from news feature producing to narrative films, from 16mm film to Minnesota’s first live high definition broadcast and first HD broadcast documentary. In the 1990s, Daniel Bergin co-produced the groundbreaking ‘Don’t Believe the Hype,’ tpt’s award winning youth media program.
The filmmaker’s narrative films have screened at the American Film Institute, KQED San Francisco’s Living Room Film Festival, the Martha’s Vineyard African American Film Festival, The Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival, The Chicago International Children’s Film Festival, and the Hollywood Black Film Festival.
The Minneapolis native and University of Minnesota graduate has served as a director on the boards of several community media organizations including SPNN, FilmNorth and PollenMidwest. Daniel has been an adjunct instructor at St. Cloud State University and lectured and presented in countless classrooms and community settings. He has been recognized as a MN State Arts Board Fellow, a City Pages Artist of the Year, and was awarded a Bush Leadership Fellowship for his work in community media.
Brad grew up on a farm near Early, Iowa, and is one of the many native Siouxlanders who work at “Siouxland’s News Channel”.
Brad has won several awards at KTIV, including “Best Sportscast” in 2004, 2012 and 2013 from the Iowa Broadcast News Association and 1st place for “Sports Reporting” in 2007 from the IBNA for his series on the Crestland Cadets football team. He won best sports “Play by Play” from the IBNA in 2004, 2009 and 2010.
In 2018 Brad was honored by the Siouxland Officials Association for his dedication to high school and youth athletics. He has also received several nominations from the Upper Midwest Emmy Chapter.
Brad graduated from Crestland High School in Early, Iowa, in 1984. While attending Iowa State University, he got his first initiation into the broadcasting field, working as a news and sports reporter at KASI radio.
Brad’s wife Sally is an Art Teacher in Sioux City, and they are the parents of a Joseph, Mary and Reggie. In his spare time, Brad likes to play baseball and basketball.
In March 2021, Brad was driving to work and extreme head pain had him stop at a clinic. He was then rushed to the hospital. His doctors discovered a rare brain tumor that had grown in less than 6 weeks.
Brad underwent surgery right way and is currently on a journey to get well and recover. He has a long road ahead of him but longs to be back on the sports anchor desk and cover the Siouxland teams that he knows so very well.
Brad has set a high standard covering Siouxland athletes. He has gone great distances and traveled many miles to capture the action while maintaining the dedication and commitment Siouxland viewers have seen from him over the last 30 years.
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