NABJ Announces ESPN’s Michael Wilbon as Honorary 2020 Convention Chair
WASHINGTON (April 13, 2020) – National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) President Dorothy Tucker has announced that Michael Wilbon, one of the nation’s most respected sports journalists, will serve as the NABJ honorary chair for the 2020 joint convention with the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ).
The convention is currently scheduled to be held this July in Washington, D.C. Organizers are continuing to monitor coronavirus developments.
Wilbon is the co-host of the popular ESPN show “Pardon the Interruption” (PTI). He also serves as a columnist for the network and an NBA studio analyst and contributor on ABC and ESPN. Wilbon appears frequently on SportsCenter and weekly on ESPN Radio 1000 in Chicago.
“I’m thrilled that the NABJ-NAHJ convention is scheduled to come to the nation’s capital this summer, and I’m honored to be an honorary chair of the event,” said Wilbon, the 2009 recipient of NABJ’s Lifetime Achievement Award, who resides in Bethesda, Maryland with his wife (Sheryl) and son (Matthew). “I look forward to seeing you all in the heat and humidity of D.C. in July!”
According to President Tucker, Wilbon will bring inspiration and a wealth of knowledge to this year’s convention. He and Tucker are both native Chicagoans and graduates of Northwestern University.
“We are honored to have Michael join the NABJ-NAHJ Convention team. He graciously agreed months ago to take time out of his busy schedule to join us and I am confident that his presence and industry knowledge will be of great impact and value to our attendees,” said Tucker. “Now more than ever, our members are looking for motivation and encouragement, and Michael’s long and productive career coupled with his positive spirit is just what we need. As we assess the impact COVID-19 will have in the summer, we are working hard to prepare to host a diverse group of journalists, media professionals, news executives, students, educators, entertainers, and civic and community leaders in July.”
Tucker noted that if developments related to COVID-19 require an alternative convention solution, such as a virtual convention, Wilbon will continue to serve as an honorary chair.
His industry-wide presence includes his work as a member of the faculty of Northwestern’s prestigious Medill School of Journalism and 31 years as an award-winning sports reporter and columnist with The Washington Post. Wilbon and his former Washington Post colleague, Tony Kornheiser, have co-hosted PTI since the show’s debut in October of 2001.
While at the Post, Wilbon edited two books with NBA legend and Basketball Hall of Famer Charles Barkley, “I May Be Wrong But I Doubt It” and “Who’s Afraid of a Large Black Man,” both of which made The New York Times bestseller list. Wilbon also previously appeared as a panelist on WRC-TV-4’s “Redskins Report” and “Full Court Press” with legendary Washington, D.C. broadcaster George Michael for more than a decade.
Wilbon’s impact is documented by the numerous awards and honors he has received over the course of his career. PTI earned Sports Emmy awards in 2009, 2016 and 2018 in the “Daily Studio” category and the show continues to increase its viewership, reach and impact each year.
In 2020, Wilbon was named the Curt Gowdy Media Award recipient for print journalism by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and he was named to the National Sports Media Association (NSMA) Hall of Fame. Additional Hall of Fame honors include a 2011 induction into the D.C. Sports Hall of Fame for his coverage and commentary on sports in and around the nation’s capital; a 2015 Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame induction; and a 2017 Northwestern University Athletic Hall of Fame induction.
In October of 2017, Wilbon received, along with Kornheiser, the National Press Club’s most prestigious prize, the Fourth Estate Award, which recognizes journalists who have made significant contributions to the field. The following spring, he received the fourth annual Sam Lacy-Wendell Smith award presented by the Shirley Povich Center for Sports Journalism, which is presented to a journalist who has made significant contributions to racial and gender equality in sports.
In 2007, he and Kornheiser received The Post’s prestigious Eugene Meyer Award, which recognizes employees who exemplify the principles embodied by the newspaper’s former owner/publisher. In 2001 he was recognized by Sigma Delta Chi, the Society of Professional Journalists, as the top sports columnist in America.