CLEVELAND — During the 52nd Annual Lower Great Lakes Emmy Awards on Saturday night, News 5 received 22 awards, including Overall Excellence for the second straight year, News Excellence for the fifth straight year, and Community Service.
News 5 also received an Emmy for Daytime Newscast for coverage of the Cleveland Police Department mourning the deaths of two of its officers.
During the ceremony, which was held virtually, two longtime pillars of the WEWS newsroom—Rich Geyser and Tom Livingston—were inducted into the Silver Circle, which recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to television for 25 years or more.
Geyser spent all of his 42 year television career at News 5, starting as a film editor and working his way into a news photographer position. He was the last photographer in Cleveland to shoot film and, as detailed in his Silver Circle bio, had quite the career at WEWS.
When Rich started in 1978, television was still relatively new. You learned on the job. Changes came fast and everyone worked together to try new things and be innovative, like doing live shots from all over Ohio via chopper relay.
Because TV news was new, viewership was huge and WEWS was committed to bringing relevant stories to viewers from anywhere they happened. That allowed Rich, along with anchor Ted Henry, to travel the world for stories. They were in Berlin the night the wall fell and attended the war crimes trial of John Demjanjuk in Israel. Other big stories took Rich to a Mayan Village for a week, to Poland with an Auschwitz survivor, with the Indians to Venezuela and in a C-140 with a local Coast Guard Unit to Bahrain and embedded with the Air Force in Saudi Arabia during the Gulf War.
He’s covered hurricanes, Presidential inaugurations, Super Bowls and was at Oracle Arena, the night the Cavs won the NBA championship. He also spent decades on the streets of Northeast Ohio bringing stories to life through his camera lens. Rich became part of one story he covered when the FBI took down the Cleveland mob in the 80s. He was attacked by mob boss John Calandra after Calandra was convicted in federal court. That story went viral, meaning in those days, it was front page news in major newspapers across the country.
Livingston has been a member of the WEWS newsroom since 1980, getting his start interning as a videotape editor, and within months becoming a full-time news photojournalist. During his impressive career, Livingston has been awarded for his photography work by the Associated Press, National Headliner and NATAS. His Silver Circle bio outlines a versatile career here with News 5.
Livingston’s career also includes an Emmy nomination as an anchor. He and Cleveland television legend Leon Bibb co-anchored the quarterly 30-minute Video Vault archive show in 2012.
Along with reporter John Kosich, Livingston shot the renowned Charles Ramsey “Dead Giveaway” live 2013 interview when three kidnapped Cleveland women were found.
When the station moved to the Multimedia Journalist platform in 2009, Livingston reported on a myriad of stories on camera including the execution of Cleveland mass murderer Frank Spisak. He did a weekly Video Vault web segment digging through the station’s rich archives posting video gems from the history of Cedar Point amusement park, the Cuyahoga River fire and Cleveland’s Mayor Ralph Perk accidentally sparking his hair afire from a blowtorch.
You can find a full list of all the winners here.
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