Governors’ Award

The Governors’ Award recognizes unique achievements by an individual or organization that have made a significant impact on the television industry and the community. 

Kent Dana






In 2018 the Governors’ Award went to Kent Dana.

At five years-old, Kent Dana won the “Mr. Little Arizona” pageant at the Orpheum Theatre in downtown Phoenix.  The year was 1947. It was the first of many appearances for Kent in front of an audience of Arizonans over the next 60 years.

After studying at Brigham Young University and Arizona State University, Kent worked at KOOL Radio and TV in 1972. He wrote and delivered news spots on Saturdays and Sundays while managing a gas station.   He eventually landed a full-time position as an anchor for KOOL-TV and then moved to Channel 12 in 1979 where he would be the mainstay evening anchor the next 26 years. During that time, Kent covered national political conventions, the Evan Mecham impeachment, wildfires, the Oklahoma City bombing and the O.J. Simpson trial. He was honored with four Emmy awards and considers his greatest accomplishment his work with Wednesday’s Child. Kent began the weekly series in 1983, profiling children available for adoption and raising awareness about Arizona’s foster system.  

In 2005, Kent moved to KPHO Channel 5 as the station’s evening anchor for five years. Throughout his career over three decades, Kent’s easy-going personality and good humor could disarm any interviewee and make coworkers feel they had a confidant and friend by their side.

Kent is the second of three generations of broadcasters in Arizona.  During the 1930’s to 1950’s, Kent’s father Joe Dana was a radio announcer for KOY radio and host of a western variety show on Channel 5. Kent’s son, Joe Dana, is an investigative reporter for 12 News. Kent and his wife, Janet are enjoying retirement years in Phoenix with Kent’s six children and thirteen grandchildren.


2017 Arizona PBS Educational Outreach, an organization dedicated to providing the most innovative educational content and technologies to enrich the lives of children, students, educators, caregivers and parents through quality outreach programs and services that educate, inform and inspire.

2016 Cox Communications for the Build a Bike program &  Arizona Public Meda for their “Passing On” campaign. This was a program about death and dying that was coupled with workshops and events.

2015 KSL’s Read Today program & Hooked, by Cronkite School at ASU.

2014 ASU’s Jim Dove and Univision Arizona’s “Es El Momento”

2013 Paul’s Car Wash /CBS5 & Christopher Productions

2012 House of Broadcasting Inc. This radio and television museum is dedicated to preserving the rich history of Arizona broadcasting and honoring the memories of the broadcast pioneers in Arizona.

2005-2006 KPHO-TV(Phoenix, AZ) for CBS 5 Fulton Homes Power of 5. It all started January of 2005 when CBS 5 promoted and hosted a phone bank to raise money for the victims of the devastating tsunami in Asia. The outpouring of the community was phenomenal. That sparked an idea to establish an ongoing effort to empower the community to make a difference. Fulton Homes jumped onboard and in conjunction with the Volunteer Center, the valley saw the birth of

CBS 5 Fulton Homes Power of 5. Quarterly phone banks televised on CBS 5 urge callers to volunteer 5 hours a month to a worthy cause, donate $5 a week to a local charity and take 5 minutes a day to talk to kids about important social concerns. This is more than a campaign, it is a community coming together to build a better future.

2004-2005 KPNX-TV (Phoenix, AZ) for Buddy Check 12. Back in 1993 Channel 12 began a campaign to increase public awareness of breast health and breast cancer prevention. The idea was to create a system to remind people to perform a monthly breast self-exam. On the 12th of each month, voicemail or e-mail reminders are sent out to the program’s participants, prompting them to do their exam. Additionally, each locally produced newscast carries a story ranging from messages of hope from breast cancer survivors to the latest medical breakthroughs. Now, over 12 years later, more than 45,000 people call themselves Buddy Check 12 members.

2003-2004 KTVW-TV (Phoenix, AZ) for “A su lado” phone bank where Univision saw a need and created a monthly 5 1/2 hour phone bank with experts in topics such as Domestic Violence prevention, anti-smoking campaigns, continuing higher education, high school drop out prevention, immigration issues, child drowning prevention campaigns, etc. Julie Bank, Maricopa Animal Care and Control in conjunction with KNXV fights to keep the animals and the life-saving programs in the public’s eye.

2002-2003 Jim Paxon, the lead information officer behind the Rodeo-Chediski fire, for his work informing the public during the fire, and Chris Schueler of Christopher Productions, for their project “One Friday Night” dealing with the issue of underage drinking in New Mexico.

2001-2002 KTVW-TV (Phoenix, AZ) The story of Filemon Martinez not only impacted the local community but transcended national borders and embraced the people of Mexico and the government agencies from both sides of the border. This story drew crowds together and established new records in bone marrow registry in Arizona among the Hispanic community.

2000-2001 KRQE-TV (Albuquerque, NM) for The Wildfire Public Service Campaign. Deputy Fire Chief Bob Khan (Phoenix Fire Department, Phoenix, AZ) for his exceptional working relationship with both the broadcast and print media, for providing the media with open access to the department and for creating the Certified Fire Journalists Academy.

1999-2000 Jan Jacobson, JB Communications, Phoenix Chapter Trustee & Past President for outstanding service to the television industry and the community.

1998-1999 KPNX-TV (Phoenix, AZ) for 12 News Project Kid Safe car seat inspections, 12 News Documentary: “Unplanned Portrait”, 12 News documentary: “Charley’s Gift”, Wednesday’s Child, Silent Witness, 12 Who Care Volunteer Recognition and “One Bed, One Life.”

1997-1998 KSAZ-TV (Phoenix, AZ) for Watch Your Kids Around Water campaign, KSL-TV (Salt Lake City, UT) for TV Wise campaign, KVIA-TV (El Paso, TX) for Race Relations public service campaign.

1996-1997 KAET (Tempe, AZ) for Arizona Presidential Forum, KTVX (Salt Lake City) for its community service 4 Utah Kids campaign, KUTV (Salt Lake City) for its Schools 2 Careers community service partnership with businesses and education.

1995-1996 KSAZ (Phoenix) for its community service Volunteer 10 program and KSL (Salt Lake City) for its public service announcement campaigns on Think Ability and Family Now.

1994-1995 KAET (Tempe, AZ) for Election Coverage ’94.

1992-1993 KUED (Salt Lake City) for election coverage.

1990-1991 KGGM (Albuquerque, NM) for the partnership with education program TV 101.

1989-1990 KPNX (Phoenix, AZ) and KTSP (Phoenix, AZ) for community service.

1988-1989 KPNX (Phoenix, AZ) for closed-captioning of local newscasts, KAET (Tempe, AZ) for live gavel-to-gavel coverage of the Mecham Impeachment Hearing & Trial, and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir (Salt Lake City) for 30 years of TV programming.

1987-1988 KTVK, KPHO, KAET, KTSP, KPNX, and KTVW (Phoenix, AZ) for the broadcasting pool for the Papal coverage.

1986-1987 KTSP (Phoenix, AZ), KTVX (Salt Lake City, UT), and KGGM (Albuquerque, NM) for community service.

1985-1986 KTSP (Phoenix, AZ) Bill Close.

1984-1985 KPHO (Phoenix, AZ) for the children’s entertainment program Wallace and Ladmo.

1981-1982 KYUS (Miles City, MT) for community service.

1980-1981 KPNX (Phoenix, AZ) for microwave auto tracking.

1979-1980 KSL and Bonneville Media (Salt Lake City, UT) for Teletext.