Press Club to award Jonathan Alter with ‘Sacred Cat’

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The Milwaukee Press Club will honor nationally renowned author, reporter, columnist and television news analyst Jonathan Alter as the 2014 Sacred Cat Award winner at its annual Gridiron Dinner on Friday, May 16.

The Press Club’s Sacred Cat Award, which dates back more than 40 years, recognizes the exceptional work of journalists who are reporting and writing with a national focus.

In addition to having authored three New York Times bestsellers, Alter devoted 28 years to working at Newsweek, where he served as a senior editor and columnist and wrote more than 50 cover stories. He has also contributed stories to The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Washington Monthly, The Atlantic, The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, The New Republic, and Bloomberg View among other publications.

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For the past 18 years, Alter has served as an analyst and contributing correspondent for NBC News and MSNBC. Currently, he is an executive producer of the political comedy “Alpha House.”

Past Sacred Cat honorees include Cokie Roberts, Walter Cronkite, Malcolm Forbes, Judy Woodruff, Michael Bloomberg, and Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert.

Additionally, the Press Club will honor Michael Pink, artistic director of the Milwaukee Ballet, and Steve Roell, former chief executive officer of Glendale-based Johnson Controls, at the 2014 Gridiron Dinner.

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Both Pink and Roell will be saluted with the Headliner Awards, which highlight individuals who are positively impacting Wisconsin. Past recipients include Barry Alvarez, Jane Pettit, Howard Fuller, Bud Selig, James Lovell, Ben and Steve Marcus and Les Aspin.

Pink, who is an international choreographer and dance instructor, has been with the Milwaukee Ballet for the past 12 years and is the longest-serving artistic director in the organization’s history. Roell retired from his role as CEO of Johnson Controls at the end of 2013 after a six-year run. He also served as chairman of the company and oversaw significant growth with Johnson Controls reaching $42.7 billion in fiscal 2013.

During the Gridiron Dinner, the Press Club will also award the winners of the 2013 Excellence in Wisconsin Journalism competition. During last year’s competition, BizTimes Milwaukee collected six awards.

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The dinner will be held at the InterContinental Hotel in Milwaukee with WISN Channel 12 news anchor Kathy Mykleby and Johnson Controls director of global media relations Fraser Engerman serving as emcees.

For more information about the awards dinner, click here.

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