By Kevin Kelley
Two longtime local journalists with connections to Fairview Park were honored Thursday night by The Press Club of Cleveland.
Jim McIntyre, a radio newsman for many years at WERE and WWWE (3WE), was given the Chuck Heaton Award. Named after the late sportswriter, the award is given to a journalist who best exemplifies the sensitivity and humility exhibited by Heaton during his 50-year career with The Plain Dealer.
A native of Lakewood who graduated from Kent State University, McIntyre got his first post-college radio job in Marietta, Ohio. In the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, he served as news director at first WWWE, then WERE. He spent a year as assignment director in the news department at Channel 5.
For 17 years, he co-hosted the morning radio show on WDOK with “Trapper Jack” Elliot, driving his legally blind co-host to and from work every day. “Trapper Jack” dubbed him “The Infoman” for his vast knowledge and informative newscasts, and his Twitter handle is infomanjim. Since April, McIntyre has been the morning news anchor at Salem Communications’ WHK-AM 1420 and sister station WFHM-FM 95.5 the Fish, a job he said he obtained by networking through The Press Club. With Tom Kelly, he hosts an hourlong interview program at 11 p.m. weekdays on WHK called “The 11th Hour.”
But at dinner Thursday at the Cleveland Marriott Downtown at Key Center, it was the Fairview Park resident’s service to others that was emphasized during a video that preceded the award presentation. McIntyre’s service with the Rotary Club of Cleveland was underscored by the cheering from a table of lively Rotarians. McIntyre also regularly volunteers at the Louis Stokes Cleveland Veterans Administration Medical Center. He volunteers his time hosting numerous award ceremonies, including the annual program for the Cleveland EMS, which named him its citizen of the year in 2011. He helped organize this year’s Tall Ships Festival and served as emcee for the opening night events. He serves as a Eucharistic minister and lector at St. Angela Merici Catholic Church.
In his brief remarks, McIntyre joked that he came close to doing what last year’s Chuck Heaton Award recipient, Jack Marschall, did, namely, donate a kidney. He also paid tribute to his co-workers and Plain Dealer “Tipoff” columnist Mike McIntyre, his brother.
Jeff Darcy, a Plain Dealer editorial cartoonist who grew up in Fairview Park, was inducted into the Press Club’s Cleveland Journalism Hall of Fame at the same dinner. A graduate of St. Angela Merici Grade School, St. Edward High School and the University of Dayton, Darcy made cartoons for Sun News and The Cleveland Edition, an alternative weekly newspaper, before joining The Plain Dealer in 1993. There, he eventually succeeded longtime cartoonist Ray Osrin.
In April, the board that awards the Pulitzer Prize named Darcy as a finalist for that award, saying his portfolio of work “left no one guessing where he stands on important issues.”
In a 2009 interview with the St. Anthony Messenger, Darcy said his Catholic education and parents left him with a strong social conscience. He also described driving past other hospitals when he had symptoms of a stroke to go to St. John Medical Center in Westlake. “It was in my backyard, my brother-in-law practices there, and the fact that it was a Catholic hospital gave me a sense of security,” Darcy explained. “It’s really comforting to see a cross above your bed.”
Darcy said he’s often asked how he comes up with the ideas for his cartoons. His standard answer? “We have these great writers working for us in Washington by the names of Bill Clinton, George W. Bush. In town you have Mayor (Mike) White and Jimmy Dimora and (Frank) Russo and all these characters.”
But the truth, he said, is that the ideas come from the work of reporters, whom he thanked.
Readers and online commentators have accused him, he said, of being both President Barack Obama’s No. 1 fan and in the pocket of conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh.
“I’m not a liberal. I’m not a conservative,” Darcy said. “I’m the son of Jim and Maryann Darcy.” He said his hall-of-fame family is the reason he’s now in the Cleveland Journalism Hall of Fame.
Also inducted Thursday were Plain Dealer Cleveland Indians beat writer Paul Hoynes, WCPN and WVIZ producer and host Dee Perry, former Plain Dealer reporter, editor and columnist Mary Anne Sharkey and 97-year-old Cleveland Jewish News columnist Violet Spevack. Plaques of Hall of Fame members are on display at Nighttown restaurant in Cleveland Heights.