February PRSA Luncheon


Program Title

Media Panel: State Of The Newsroom

Program Summary

Join the GFW PRSA Chapter on Wednesday, February 11, for an exciting media-centric panel of journalists and media members from print, online, and TV on the current state of the newsroom, including Bud Kennedy, columnist at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Robert “Bob” Francis, editor of the Fort Worth Business Press, Deborah Ferguson, anchor at KXAS-TV / NBC5, and Lori Conrad, director of communications at KTVT-TV / CBS11. 

Moderating the panel will be Charlie Hodges, GFW PRSA member and former news reporter at NewsRadio 1080 KRLD and the Texas State Network.

How can PR professionals better pitch in the evolving landscape? How are stories now being prioritized? How can seasoned professionals stay up-to-date with the ever-changing world of the newsroom? What are the challenges facing today’s news organizations, and how does this affect PR practitioners who work with editors, reporters, news directors and producers? Our esteemed media panel will be eager and ready to answer these questions and more.

Date: Wednesday, February 11

Time: 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Location: Colonial Country Club (3735 Country Club Circle, Fort Worth, TX 76109)

Complimentary valet parking provided!


  • GFW PRSA Members – $25
  • National PRSA Members – $30
  • Non-members – $35
  • Students – $20

1/29/15 UPDATE: This event is currently at registration capacity and cannot accommodate further registrants or walk-up attendees. Due to the overwhelming positive response to this program, GFWPRSA will make every effort to host a similar/follow-up program later this year.

Registration is now closed.

To account for additional costs associated with walk-ups and other meeting services, the Greater Fort Worth Chapter of PRSA uses the following reservation policy: Online reservations are due no later than 5 p.m. the Friday prior to the luncheon, and cancellations must be made by 5 p.m. the day before the luncheon. No-shows will be billed or a representative may attend in that person’s place at no additional charge. Walk-ups are accepted for an additional $5 if space is available.


Bud Kennedy

Bud Kennedy

Fort Worth-native Bud Kennedy has served as a columnist for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram for nearly 34 years, and is one of the publication’s most-read writers. Since 1981, he’s written more than 1,500 weekly dining columns and more than 3,000 news, political and human-interest articles.  Kennedy is also known as one of Fort Worth’s kings of social media, with nearly 20,000 followers on two Twitter accounts (@BudKennedy and @EatsBeat) and 13,000 “likes” on two Facebook accounts. He keeps his followers engaged by posting 8-10 general interest items each day, as well as restaurant news blurbs from his Eats Beat column.  He began his career in journalism at the Fort Worth Press in 1972. He then served as a sports reporter and designer at the Austin American-Statesman, the Dallas Times Herald, and The Dallas Morning News, before returning to Fort Worth in 1981. Kennedy is a graduate of TCU and holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism.

Deborah Ferguson

Deborah Ferguson

Deborah Ferguson co-anchors NBC 5 Today weekday mornings from 4:30 a.m. to 7 a.m. She joined the station in 1991 after starting her journalism career as a reporter/anchor for WBAP Radio in Fort Worth.

She’s earned professional recognition throughout her career including a regional Edward R. Murrow Award and a Gracie Award for Outstanding Anchor – News presented by American Women in Radio and Television. Other honors come from American Women in Communications, Association for Women Journalists, the American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, the Texas Medical Association, the Dallas Press Club, and the Lone Star EMMY Chapter.

Ferguson’s time out of the newsroom is frequently spent at community and charitable events especially those focused on empowering girls through education.   She recently joined the advisory council for the Young Women’s Leadership Academy, the first all-girls school in the Fort Worth ISD. She’s often in area schools stressing the importance of education and encouraging future journalists.  She graduated from TCU with a degree in broadcast journalism, which set her on the path to achieve her lifelong dream of becoming a reporter. While in college, she interned at NBC 5 and joined the staff just a few years later. Ferguson is married to WBAP sports anchor Steve Lamb.

Robert “Bob” Francis

Robert Bob Francis

Robert “Bob” Francis has been the editor of the Fort Worth Business Press since 2008, and has been honored with three Katie Awards from the Dallas Press Club. He also is editor of Research Texas and the Energy Report, and has served as a freelance writer for numerous publications, including American Way, Brand Week and Manufacturing Automation. Francis has also previously served as a reporter and editor for technology magazines including Computerworld, InfoWorld and InformationWeek. He began covering the energy business in 1985 for Fairchild Publications. A TCU graduate, Francis directed a documentary about body piercing called “Navel Academy,” which premiered at the Fort Worth Film Festival (now the Lone Star Film Festival) in 2000.

Lori Conrad

Lori Conrad

With more than 20 years of PR, marketing, and public affairs experience in the Dallas-Fort Worth market, Lori Conrad serves as the market communications director for CBS Local Media in Dallas / Fort Worth. She is responsible for all public relations and select community affairs duties for two (2) CBS-owned-and-operated television stations: KTVT-TV / CBS 11 and KTXA-TV / TXA 21, six (6) CBS RADIO stations: NewsRadio 1080 KRLD, 105.3 THE FAN, 98.7 KLUV, 100.3 Jack FM 103.7 KVIL, and La GRANDE 107.5 FM, one (1) state radio network, and the stations’ online assets, including CBSDFW.com. In 2010, Conrad received an EMMY for co-writing and co-producing a half-hour television special about a local equine therapy program. Conrad is a graduate of the University of North Texas, where she received a bachelor’s degree in journalism – advertising. 

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