News Release
News Release
News Release
News Release
May 16, 2005
Dennis Wharton

Tribune Company's Dennis J. FitzSimons to Receive NABEF Samaritan Award on June 13

-- FitzSimons Recognized for Commitment to Community Service Across the Nation--

"Through his recent chairmanship of the FCC's Media Security and Reliability Council, his role with the McCormick Tribune Foundation and his leadership in numerous community organizations, Dennis FitzSimons exemplifies what makes a true Samaritan in our industry," said NAB President and CEO Edward O. Fritts.

FitzSimons became chairman of Tribune Company in 2004, one year after becoming chief executive officer. He was named president and chief operating officer in 2001, and elected to the Tribune board of directors in 2000.

FitzSimons is one of five members on the McCormick Tribune Foundation board of directors. Now celebrating its 50th year, the foundation is one of the nation's largest charitable organizations, with combined assets of nearly $1.5 billion. In 2004, it approved the distribution of more than $109 million, providing assistance in four major program areas: communities, early-childhood education, journalism and citizenship. Tribune Company broadcast stations and newspapers across the country partner with the foundation in local fundraising efforts to maximize dollars collected for the benefit of their communities. Foundation grants in partnership with Tribune businesses totaled $43 million last year.

Also in 2004, in-kind giving by Tribune broadcast stations and newspapers - primarily television air time and newspaper ad space - totaled $27 million.

FitzSimons is active with a number of organizations that build stronger communities and help people in need. He serves as a director for both United Way of Metropolitan Chicago and the Big Shoulders Fund, which supports the Catholic schools of inner-city Chicago. In addition, he is vice president of the Off The Street Club, Chicago's oldest boys and girls club serving more than 3,000 children. WGN-TV's annual Bozo Ball, founded by FitzSimons 16 years ago, has been a tremendous success, raising more than $4.5 million for the Off The Street Club and WGN-TV Children's Charities, a fund of the McCormick Tribune Foundation.

FitzSimons' professional commitments include The Associated Press board of directors, which he joined in April. He is a member of The Business Council and The Commercial Club of Chicago, where he serves on the Civic Committee. He also sits on the board of Northwestern University and the Museum of Science and Industry.

FitzSimons began his Tribune career in 1982 as sales director for WGN-TV in Chicago, later serving as the station's vice president and general manager. He was president of Tribune Television from 1992 to 1994, and president of Tribune Broadcasting from 1994 to 2003.

A native of New York, FitzSimons holds a bachelor's degree in political science from Fordham University. He and his wife, Ann, have three children, Matthew, Christine and Jeanne. They live in Winnetka, Ill.

The Service to America Summit is sponsored and produced by the NABEF with major support from Bonneville International Corporation and the National Association of Broadcasters. In recent years, the summit has recognized former President Jimmy Carter and First Lady Rosalyn Carter, First Lady Laura Bush, former First Lady Nancy Reagan, boxing legend Muhammad Ali and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani for their contributions and service to communities nationwide.

Founded in 1964, Bonneville operates 20 radio stations in the Chicago, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., St. Louis, and Salt Lake City markets, as well as KSL-TV in Salt Lake City. Bonneville's motto is "do good, do well, make a difference, and have fun." In addition to competing aggressively in major market broadcasting, Bonneville has a tradition of commitment to community.

The National Association of Broadcasters Education Foundation (NABEF) is a non-profit organization dedicated to serving the public interest in supporting and advocating: education and training programs, strategies to increase diversity, initiatives stressing the importance of the First Amendment, community service, philanthropy, and other timely broadcasting issues.

The National Association of Broadcasters is a full-service trade association that promotes and protects free, over-the-air local radio and television stations' interests in Washington and around the world. NAB is the broadcaster's voice before Congress, federal agencies and the courts. NAB also serves a growing number of associate and international broadcaster members. Information about NAB can be found at