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Meet Rick Jackson, new host of Academic Challenge

Posted at 9:27 PM, Apr 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-26 21:27:44-04

Academic Challenge welcomes its newest host, Rick Jackson!

The broadcast news veteran is the Senior Host and a producer of WVIZ's Ideas and NewsDepth news programs, and the Friday host of WCPN's The Sound of Ideas. He has also previously hosted the nationally syndicated public affairs series Village America, which aired on many PBS stations, including WVIZ in Cleveland in 2002.

Jackson has spent 22 years in commercial TV at stations in Memphis, Charlotte and Philadelphia. He was even an anchor and reporter in Cleveland for WKYC in the 80's and for WOIO from 1999-2002.

Between local and network television broadcasting and radio, Jackson has 39 years of experience under his belt. Of those 39 years, he has been seen or heard on the air in some parts of Ohio for 33 years.

Before returning to Northeast Ohio, Jackson was in New York City where he anchored CBS News Up to the Minute, a four-hour, live, international news program that was seen in 48 states and more than 50 foreign countries. During his time there, Jackson conducted more than 3,000 interviews.

In his years in the broadcast industry, Jackson has interviewed Presidents Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton and Bush II, and covered stories ranging from the crash of TWA Flight 800 in New York, to national political conventions in New Orleans (1988), Chicago (1996) and Cleveland (2016).

Jackson has received nearly two dozen regional Emmy Awards nominations. His most recent Emmy Award win was for hosting WVIZ's NewsDepth. He has also won multiple Communicator, Society of Professional Journalists and Associated Press awards for reporting and anchoring. He received Best Anchor honors in 2011 and 2012 from AP and from the SPJ in 2016. He was inducted into the Ohio Broadcasting Hall of Fame in 2001.

Jackson was born in Pittsburgh and graduated from West Virginia's Bethany College. He and his wife have been married for more than 35 years and his son produces documentary films while living in New York City.