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A Few Words About Awards

And a LOT of others’ words about how they happen

OK, I’ve won quite a few. And I’d be lying if I aw-shucksed it and pretended I wasn’t thrilled every time.

You know why, though? Because awards are always for committee products – and my words here are followed by those of 10 people who, frankly, made me look awful damn good when we worked together and after.

Their fine, fine talents and lasting support are still what come to mind whenever I glance at the shiny metal on my bookshelves and office walls. Part of every single award there belongs to someone else.

Anyway, here are the four awards I treasure most:

Maggie Award

The “Maggie” Considered the Pulitzer Prize of magazine journalism west of the Mississippi, this one is sponsored by the Western Publishing Association, whose members include some of the very best in the business. We won Las Vegas Weekly’s first and only “Best Consumer Tabloid” Maggie when I was editor in 2000-2001, beating out such heavy hitters as the San Francisco Bay Guardian, LA Weekly, Denver’s Westword and Phoenix New Times.


Nevada Award

Nevada Press Association First-Place Awards That same year, this 121-year-old association honored Las Vegas Weekly 15 times – another milestone – including top awards for “Best Overall Large Weekly Newspaper,” “Best Special Section-News,” best sports feature, spot news and investigative/in-depth reporting, and my individual winner for “Best Editorial.” (“Happy Drunks, Mean Drunks”).


Golden Gavel Award

The “Golden Gavel” Awarded each year by the State Bar of Wisconsin, this one spotlights journalism that makes a difference in law and justice. I’ve been recognized twice – once in 1992 for an exposé on federal drug-seizure policies and another in 1997 that helped change the way people of color are represented in Madison, Wisconsin, jury pools ("White Justice").


Allegretti Award

The Allegretti Award An honor that holds special ju-ju for me because it’s the reporter-of-the year award I won by vote of those who worked closest to me in 1998-99: my “non-supervisory” colleagues at Madison’s progressive daily, The Capital Times – which, by the way, became the first major US daily to go web-first in 2008. I also have the honor of being the Allegretti’s only unanimous winner.


But that’s quite enough from me, thank you. Now for the folks who REALLY count.

"As an editor and manager, Chuck has a gift for getting the cattle to Abilene – in style, and with everybody getting a great ride. He's a bell-ringer as a reporter and writer, too, and one of the most versatile pros I've ever known."

Doug Moe, author, "The World of Mike Royko;" former columnist, the Wisconsin State Journal; former editor, Madison Magazine.

"Before Chuck walked into Las Vegas Weekly, it was like ‘Lord of the Flies.’ A fast couple months into it, it was more like ‘Lord of the Rings’ after Viggo kicked ass and took over. He's a crack editor and has a news sense second to none. Also, he's just a lot of fun to be around, has a superior sense of humor and taught me how to karate-chop through my first brick. I'm a better reporter, writer and editor for all of it, and forever grateful."

Molly Brown, executive communications manager, Tableau Software, Seattle, WA; former arts and entertainment editor, Las Vegas Weekly.

“A great journalist, a great guy and a true mensch who makes things happen with a spark all his own – a cross between a wind-up toy and Paul McCartney. I don't know if he can sing, but his work sure does.”

Aaron Nathans, digital-media editor, Princeton University School of Engineering and Applied Science; former business reporter, the Wilmington (Delaware) News Journal; former reporter, the Capital Times, Madison, WI.

“Achieving Black Belt status, managing publications, retooling for the media’s digital age: All are commitments I’ve seen Chuck take on and directly move from novice to mastery. His integrity makes him stronger in his own endeavors and endears him to those he partners with. Artful, committed, honorable and seasoned with the soul of a great writer, Chuck brings his Black Belt mastery to all of his life.”

Tom Christensen, entrepreneur, realtor and lecturer; owner, The Christensen Company, Madison, WI.

“Chuck is the hardest-working, most fun-loving and most talented editor I’ve ever worked with. He knows how to get the job done in an outstanding way, while keeping the work energy positive, creative and productive.”

Paige Sandvik, art director, MSPN; former senior graphic designer, FenderBender magazine, Minneapolis St. Paul, MN.

“Working with Chuck was not only a wonderful two-way experience but one that increased my respect for him both as a journalist and as a person. At ease in gathering his facts and writing brightly and accurately thereafter – which is impressive in itself – he has a way of creating a story with its own significance. His work is to be admired.”

Carolyn G. Goodman, Mayor, Las Vegas, NV; founder, president and trustee emeritus, The Meadows School, Summerlin, NV (and wife of former Mayor Oscar B. Goodman).

"He goes beyond the call of duty as an editor. He is the first into the office and always the last to leave, as well as the consummate professional, meaning he doesn't criticize colleagues in public; he works with writers to improve their stuff; and he never expects anything from his staff that he doesn’t expect of himself. He also is fun to work with, another rarity in journalism."

Joe Schoenmann, News Director, Nevada Public Radio; author, "Vegas Rag Doll;" former columnist/reporter, the Las Vegas Sun; former staff writer and managing editor, Las Vegas Weekly.

“A bonfire of energy, ideas and inspiration. His enthusiasm spreads like a chemical reaction, instantaneously motivating and consuming those around him. What’s more, Chuck enjoys the actual process of creating as much as he does the end product, which makes everything he does top-shelf."

Kate Silver, freelance writer, Chicago, IL; former 702 editor, Las Vegas Life Magazine; former staff writer and Nevada Press Association Journalist of the Year, Las Vegas Weekly.

"When we were both reporters at The Capital Times, I could see immediately that he was the type of reporter editors covet and co-workers envy – tireless and brave. In just a year, he won the paper’s top internal award from his peers for his hard-hitting work about crime. Chuck has shown the same kind of drive in the years since as a manager and editor, and in doing quality journalism in an entirely new era."

Chris Murphy, managing editor, the Capital Times, Madison, WI.

“At FenderBender magazine, Chuck created harmony out of chaos and made sure that we put out an excellent product that we could finally be proud of month after month – prompting a wave of new loyalty among readers and advertisers alike. He drew out a talent-laden, but previously underutilized staff by championing responsibility, ownership and trust, and by inspiring his employees to find and express their best.”

Carin Rosengren, former associate editor, FenderBender magazine, St. Paul, MN.

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