Front Page Follies Honoree
Every year at the Front Page Follies we choose an honoree who has shown excellence in his or her field of journalism.
This year we're honoring WATE anchor Lori Tucker!
Lori Tucker, WATE-TV news anchor and broadcast journalist, will be the honoree at the 40th annual Front Page Follies on Thursday, June 14, 2018.
The Front Page Foundation will celebrate its 40th show roasting state and local newsmakers at
a new venue, Knoxville’s Bijou Theatre. Proceeds will fund journalism and media education
programs for high school and college students, including scholarships presented in Tucker’s
honor at the University of Tennessee and Pellissippi State Community College.
“In her 25 years as a broadcast journalist in East Tennessee, Lori Tucker has developed a
special relationship with viewers in this area,” said Frank Murphy, Front Page Foundation
president, in announcing the honoree.
“She’s an outstanding news anchor whose hard work as a reporter also has been recognized –
particularly her award-winning stories on health issues and education,” Murphy said. “In
addition to all she does keeping us informed at WATE-TV, Lori’s volunteer leadership benefits
this community in so many ways.”
Tucker anchors the 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. newscasts each weekday on WATE 6 On Your Side. She
was named “Best Television Anchor” in the 2017 Golden Press Card Awards presented by the
East Tennessee Society of Professional Journalists.
The WATE news anchor also received the Russell Cecil Award for her medical reporting and the
Joy Dirksen Baker Award for her work in educating the public about cancer. She was a member
of the Channel 6 evening newscast team that earned the Edward R. Murrow Award for
excellence in broadcast news. The National Alliance for the Mentally Ill in Knoxville presented
her with its Media Award, and Tucker was a Phi Delta Kappa Person of the Year for being a
“friend of education.”
Tucker is a board member of Red Cross of East Tennessee and a past board member of the
Knoxville Opera, Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee, and the American Cancer Society.
She serves as honorary chair of the annual Breakthrough Run for Autism and has co-chaired the
Hope Gala for the American Cancer Society and the “Red, White and Rock” fundraiser for the
Tucker is a graduate of Leadership Knoxville’s 1998 class and a member of the Executive
Women’s Association of Knoxville. She started her career as a reporter at KATV in Little Rock,
Ark., was a weeknight anchor at WOAI in San Antonio, Tex., and became a main anchor at KATV
in Houston, Tex.
Originally from Little Rock, Ark., Tucker attended Arkansas State University and University of
Arkansas at Little Rock. She and her husband Steve live in Knoxville and have two grown
daughters, a son-in- law and one granddaughter.
The Front Page Follies is a musical satire of the year’s news performed by media professionals
and members of the community. Each year at the Follies, the Front Page Foundation honors a
person who has made important contributions to journalism in East Tennessee. The event at
the Bijou Theatre will include a silent auction on Handbid.com.
Tickets to the event will range from $25 for balcony seating to $150 for VIP seating with a
reception before the Follies on the stage of the Bijou. Tickets will be available beginning Feb. 16
on the Bijou Theatre web site, www.knoxbijou.org, and on the Front Page Foundation web site,
Previously sponsored by its founding partner, the East Tennessee Society of Professional
Journalists, the Follies is now presented by a foundation chartered in 2015 and run by a
volunteer board of directors. The Front Page Foundation is a 501 (c) (3) organization that
provides scholarships for students pursuing careers in journalism and electronic media and
supports professional development and education programs serving East Tennessee journalists,
students and the public.
Every person or group of journalists and supporters of journalism below stands on the shoulders of all those who came before. Many have passed away, but we always remember their service to their readers, viewers and listeners in East Tennessee. They are an inspiration to journalists today.
Tom Siler, Knoxville News Sentinel sports editor
Escar Thompson, Associated Press, Knoxville bureau chief
Horace V. Wells Jr., editor & publisher, Clinton Courier-News
Glenn McNeil, executive director, Tennessee Press Association
Charlie Daniel, editorial cartoonist, Knoxville News Sentinel
Carson Brewer, columnist, Knoxville News Sentinel
Alex Haley, author of Roots and other works, resident of East Tennessee until his death
Carl Williams, news anchor, WBIR-TV
Tom Hill, publisher, The Oak Ridger
Kelly Leiter, professor and dean, University of Tennessee
Sammie Lynn Puett, professor and vice president, University of Tennessee
Wilma Dykeman, columnist, Knoxville News Sentinel
Carl Vines, Knoxville bureau chief, United Press International
Ben Byrd, sports editor, Knoxville Journal
Harry Moskos, editor, Knoxville News Sentinel
Heartland Series creators, WBIR-TV
Georgiana Vines, deputy managing editor, Knoxville News Sentinel
Bob Gray, news reporter, WATE-TV
Richard Smyser, editor, The Oak Ridger
Bill Williams, news anchor, WBIR-TV
Jack Kirkland, chief photographer, Knoxville News Sentinel
Bobby Denton, WIVK-FM radio personality and general manager
Ron McMahan, editor, Knoxville Journal
Jim Crook, professor and director, UT School of Journalism, “Father” of the Front Page Follies
Sam Venable, columnist, Knoxville News Sentinel
Jackie Brown, news writer, Knoxville News Sentinel
Tutt Bradford, publisher, Maryville Daily Times
Tom Chester, managing editor, Knoxville News Sentinel
David Haley Lauver, songwriter, speechwriter and humorist, chief writer of the Front Page Follies since its inception
Jack McElroy, editor, Knoxville News Sentinel and Richard Hollow, First Amendment attorney
2009 “The Jones Boys”– John M. Jones Jr., editor of the Greeneville Sun; Gregg K. Jones, co-publisher, the Greeneville Sun and president and CEO of Jones Media Inc.; Alex Jones, currently director of the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard University after a lengthy career in journalism
2010 Gene Patterson, news anchor, WATE-TV
2011 Jack Neely, author, historian and contributor to Metro Pulse
2012 Moxley Carmichael, former journalists and now principals of Moxley Carmichael Public Relations
2013 Bonnie Hufford, instructor, University of Tennessee School of Journalism and Electronic Media
2014 Robin Wilhoit, news anchor, WBIR-TV
2015 John Adams, sports columnist, Knoxville News Sentinel
2016 Jean Ash, news anchor and reporter, WIVK-FM
2017 Alan Williams, news anchor and reporter, WVLT