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Former ABC15 news director named Gaylord Visiting Professor

Joe Hengemuehler
January 11, 2013

Joe Hengemuehler, former news director at KNXV-TV, Phoenix’s ABC affiliate, will be the 2013 Edith Kinney Gaylord Visiting Professor in Journalism Ethics at Arizona State University.

Hengemuehler, a 25-year veteran of the broadcast industry, will teach journalism ethics and diversity courses at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication during the spring semester.

Hengemuehler spent 10 years working for the Scripps-owned KNXV-TV, including six years as the station’s news director. During his tenure, ABC15 News consistently received the Rocky Mountain Emmy Award for Overall News Excellence from the Rocky Mountain Southwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. The station also earned a George Foster Peabody Award for its undercover investigation into lax security at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

As ABC15’s news director, Hengemuehler was one of the architects of the Scripps model called “Newsroom of the Future,” in which journalists produce content for multiple platforms. He also conceptualized one of the station’s most successful online initiatives, a weekly franchise called “Hear Me Out” that allows viewers to sound off on controversial issues.

“I’ve had the pleasure of working with Joe both in the newsroom and as an educator,” said Mark Lodato, assistant dean and news director at the Cronkite School. “We’re very fortunate to have such an experienced and enthusiastic journalist who can bring a fresh perspective to the important cornerstones of ethics and diversity.”

Hengemuehler is the seventh Gaylord Visiting Professor at the Cronkite School. He follows Sandra Mims Rowe, former editor of The (Portland) Oregonian; Caesar Andrews, former executive editor of the Detroit Free Press; Sharon Rosenhause, former managing editor of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel; N. Christian Anderson III, former publisher of the Orange County Register; Ellen Soeteber, former editor of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch; and James Crutchfield, former publisher of the Akron Beacon Journal.

The professorship is made possible by generous grants from Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation of Oklahoma City.

“The Gaylord Visiting Professorship helps instill in aspiring journalists the values and ethical principles that are essential to the future of journalism,” said Robert J. Ross, president and CEO of the foundation. “Joe Hengemuehler’s rich background as a newsroom leader and innovator makes him an excellent choice for Cronkite’s next Gaylord Visiting Professor.”  

Prior to coming to ABC15, Hengemuehler served as news director at KOCO-TV, Oklahoma City; senior executive producer at WUSA-TV, Washington, D.C.; executive producer at KPNX-TV, Phoenix; and morning news producer and 10 p.m. producer at KTSP-TV (now KSAZ-TV), Phoenix.

A native of Sioux City, Iowa, Hengemuehler studied broadcast journalism at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. 

“To serve ASU and the Cronkite School in this capacity is a high honor,” Hengemuehler said. “To have the opportunity to engage students in discourse on critical journalistic principles such as ethics and diversity makes it all the more rewarding.”

Edith Kinney Gaylord created Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation in 1982 to foster high ethical standards in the industry.

Gaylord, the daughter of Daily Oklahoman publisher E.K. Gaylord, launched her journalism career at her father’s newspaper in 1937 after graduating from college. In 1942, she joined The Associated Press in New York. The following year, she went to the AP’s Washington bureau, where she covered the Roosevelt administration and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt during World War II.