Oakley honored with Distinguished Service Award - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Oakley honored with Distinguished Service Award

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A long-time leader in local print and broadcast media was honored Thursday night for his commitment to journalism.

Thomas A. Oakley received the Distinguished Service Award from the Illinois Press Association in Springfield. 

The IPA said Oakley has been a driving force in the newspaper and broadcasting industry for more than six decades.

Oakley joined the family business in 1943 as a newspaper carrier and worked summers while in high school and college. He joined the company full time in 1954 after graduating from Duke University.

Oakley was named production manager at the Herald-Whig in 1958 before moving up to business manager four years later. He was also secretary of Quincy Newspapers, Inc. and director of Quincy Broadcasting Co. and Quincy Cablevision, Inc.

In 1966, Oakley was named vice president of Quincy Broadcasting, Inc.

He was later named general manager and executive vice president of Quincy Newspapers, Inc. and president of Quincy Broadcasting Co.

Oakley was named the publisher for the Herald-Whig and president and CEO of QNI in 1969.

He remained in that position until 2008.

During his career, Oakley served with numerous industry groups like the National Association of Broadcasters, the Television Bureau of Advertising, the American Newspaper Publishers Association and the Inland Press Association.

He's been honored with several community, state and national honors and industry awards, including the Chuck Sherman Television Leadership Award from the National Association of Broadcasters and the Ward L. Quaal Pioneer Award from the Broadcasters Foundation of America.

Oakley also was inducted into the Quincy Area Chamber of Commerce Business Hall of Fame.

Oakley has also been instrumental in promoting economic development and transportation infrastructure initiatives.

He worked for more than 60 years to get better transportation infrastructure in west-central Illinois and northeast Missouri.

He was the co-founder of the Joint Industrial Development Commission of Adams County in 1960, now the Great River Economic Development Foundation; supported the formation of the Tri-State Development Summit, a group comprised of representatives from 37 counties in Illinois, Missouri and Iowa that advocates for a wide variety of issues; and has been heavily involved in the United Way of Adams County and the Quincy Area Chamber of Commerce.

He's also served on several area boards, including the Quincy University Board of Trustees for 14 years.

The name QNI was changed to Quincy Media, Inc. in 2015. The company now owns and operates television stations in 14 markets and two newspapers, including KWWL and the Herald-Whig.

To review the initial report, you can click here. 

Travis Sloan of WGEM contributed to this story.

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