Pruitt named DiGamma Kappa honoree for distinguished achievement in broadcasting

Athens, Ga. – John Pruitt, WSB-TV anchor in Atlanta, has been selected to receive the DiGamma Kappa Distinguished Achievement in Broadcasting Award.

Pruitt, who anchors Atlanta’s Channel 2 Action News at 5, 6 and 11 p.m. Monday through Friday, will receive his award at the Georgia Association of Broadcasters annual dinner Tuesday, Feb. 21, at 7 p.m. at the University of Georgia’s Georgia Center for Continuing Education.

Pruitt began his television news career as a reporter and cameraman, covering major civil rights stories around the South. From 1965-67 he served as an infantry lieutenant in the U.S. Army in Seoul, South Korea, and Fort Gordon, Georgia. Upon his return to WSB in 1967, Pruitt resumed his reporting career, eventually rising to the position of weekend anchor. He became anchor of the 6 and 11 p.m. news in 1973.  Pruitt joined WXIA-TV as evening news anchor in 1978, but rejoined WSB to anchor the 6 and 11 p.m. news in 1994.

Pruitt has a history degree from Davidson College and an honorary doctorate from Presbyterian College. He has received many awards for his anchoring and reporting winning five Emmys, including Best Male Anchor and Best Documentary; five Sigma Delta Chi Quill Awards; the UPI Award for his coverage of Jimmy Carter’s presidential campaign and coverage of a north Georgia airliner crash; the Georgia Winner Award for Public Service; Father of the Year, Pioneer Broadcaster Award from the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication; and the Silver Circle Award from the National Academy of Radio Arts and Sciences.

Some of the major stories Pruitt has covered include Jimmy Carter’s gubernatorial and presidential campaigns, the civil rights movement, the funeral of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the first flight of Lockheed’s C5 Galaxy, the 1968 kidnapping of heiress Barbara Jane Mackle, the 1983 bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut, the 1989 San Francisco Bay-area earthquake, the presidential inaugurations of Presidents Carter and Clinton, 11 Democratic and Republican conventions, and the aftermath of the September 11 attack on the World Trade Center.

Pruitt is an active volunteer with many groups, including Literacy Action, the Nature Conservancy of Georgia and the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation. He and his wife, Andrea, have been married for more than 30 years and have two daughters, Kristina and Lisa, and three grandchildren. 

DiGamma Kappa is the nation’s oldest student broadcast society and was founded at the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication in 1946. DGK presents its Distinguished Achievement Award each year in conjunction with the Georgia Association of Broadcasters’ Winter Institute. Among the broadcasters who have received the award are Ted Turner, Bob Costas, Charles Kuralt, Ted Koppel and Barbara Walters.

The Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication offers seven undergraduate majors: advertising, broadcast news, magazines, newspapers, public relations, publication management and telecommunication arts. The college also offers two graduate degrees and is home to the Knight Chair in Health and Medical Journalism and the Peabody Awards, one of the premier programs in broadcasting. Visit www.grady.uga.edu