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Bates Award to longtime staffer Wirt

Bates Award to longtime staffer Wirt

Joe Wirt 2The California Press Foundation on Dec. 3 presented the Jack Bates Award for Distinguished Service to the California Press to Joe Wirt, director of affiliate relations at CNPA Services, Inc.

Presenter Tom Newton, former executive director of Cal Press and of CNPA, noted Wirt’s longtime connections to California newspapers, campus media and other organizations as reasons for the award, which honors an individual for effective leadership in addressing newspaper challenges and assisting journalism education.

Previous honorees have included media-law attorneys, lobbyists, educators and news company executives. Newton and Jim Ewert, CNPA’s former general counsel, were the inaugural recipients of the award, named for Jack Bates, the late CNPA and Cal Press executive director.

Wirt has been with CNPA Services, Inc., an association-management company, since October 1999. He previously was an editor at The Sacramento Bee, The Bakersfield Californian and Alameda Newspaper Group. Wirt is a Fresno State alum and was editor in chief of The Daily Collegian in 1986.

Other awards presented during Cal Press’ 144th Annual Winter Meeting were: 

  • Justus F. Craemer Newspaper Executive of the Year Award to Craig Harrington, The Intermountain News, Burney; 
  • Philip N. McCombs Achievement Award to Michael Giangreco, a former publisher in the Bay Area, Auburn, Napa and Sonoma; 
  • Mark Twain Award for Journalism Excellence in California to the late John Carroll, former executive editor of the Los Angeles Times;
  • Allen P. McCombs, Champion Newspapers, Chino; and Charles Hastings Deuel, Chico Record (now Chico Enterprise-Record); inducted into the California Newspaper Hall of Fame