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2023 Hall of Fame

October 28, 2023 @ 5:00 pm - 8:30 pm MDT


The Denver Press Club is proud to induct four more journalists into our Hall of Fame. Please join us for a banquet in honor of:

April Zesbaugh

Gil Asakawa

Jim Benemann

Mike Nelson  

The event will start with a 5:00 p.m. pre-party at the Denver Press Club before moving to the Slate Hotel just around the corner for the ceremony and dinner at 600 p.m. We are also excited to announce that each inductee has graciously offered an item or their time for an auction at the event:

April Zesbaugh will record a professional answering machine message for your cellphone,

Gil Asakawa will guide you through a delicious meal at on of Denver’s fantastic Asian eateries,

Jim Benemann will invite you to join him at an Colorado Avalanche game,

and Mike Nelson will provide with an autographed full set of rain gear.

Purchase your tables and tickets early as we have a limited number of seats for this event!

April Zesbaugh has delivered morning news since she joined KOA in 1996 and is one of the longest running radio news personalities in Denver. As a mainstay of KOA’s news magazine format, Zesbaugh has worked with three different co- hosts and survived three station-ownership changes, all while experiencing KOA expand beyond AM radio to include HD-Radio, an FM-simulcast, internet-streaming and podcasting. In addition to providing daily breaking news and interviews, she’s broadcast from live remotes at major news event such as 9/11 anniversaries in NYC, national political conventions, presidential inaugurations, and the execution of Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh, three Broncos Super Bowls, and an American Idol finale. She’s held countless face-to-face interviews with celebrities and politicians, including comedians Bob Saget and Kevin Nealon, Olympian Amy Van Dyken, and Colorado governors and congressional leaders.

Gil Asakawa is a journalist, author, and blogger who covers Japan, Japanese American and Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) culture and identity in blogs, articles and social media. His blog is at www.nikkeiview.com. He is a nationally- known speaker, panelist and expert on Japanese American and Asian American history and identity. He’s the author of “Being Japanese American” (Stone Bridge Press), a history of Japanese in America originally published in 2004 and revised in 2014, and co-author of “The Toy Book” (Alfred Knopf, 1991), a history of the toys of the Baby Boom generation. His latest book is “Tabemasho! Let’s Eat!” (Stone Bridge Press), a history of Japanese food in America.

Jim Benemann is a Denver news anchor whose career spanned 44 years to the TV news business and 36 years in local broadcasting. Benemann is one of Denver’s longest running evening TV news anchors. He was the face of the evening news on CBS Colorado since 2002, and anchored alongside Karen Leigh since 2008. Jim is a Chicago native and moved to Colorado to attend Colorado State University, earning a degree in broadcasting in 1978. Over the decades, his award-winning anchoring and reporting has included major assignments on local, national and international stories. Jim’s reporting career has seen him file stories from five continents, including two Olympic Games, covering Capitol Hill in Washington and military veterans returning to the places they served, including the battlefields of France and the jungles of Vietnam.  Jim’s TV news career began in Davenport, Iowa. Prior to returning to CBS4 where he anchored in the early 1990’s, Jim worked at Denver’s KUSA-TV and at KGW-TV in Portland, Oregon.

Mike Nelson and his family moved to Denver and he served as Chief Meteorologist for 9News until the spring of 2004, when he moved to KMGH-TV. Mike continues to serve as Chief Meteorologist for Denver7. Mike has authored three books on weather and climate, The Colorado Weather Almanac (2007) and The Colorado Weather Book (1999) and the recent “World’s Littlest Book on Climate”.  He spends considerable time writing and teaching about the science and the dangers of Global Warming. In his 47 year career, Mike has won 20 Emmy awards for Weather Excellence. He is also a recipient of the Edward R. Murrow Award and a two-time winner of the Colorado Broadcaster of the Year award.



October 28, 2023
5:00 pm - 8:30 pm MDT