2012 Gold & Silver Circle Press Release

For Immediate Release

Contact: Jill D. Jones Phone: 617-283-6314

NATAS Honors New England

Broadcasting Superstars

 Broadcast Legend Chet Curtis

Selected for Gold Circle Induction

And Five Other Outstanding Broadcasters Selected for Silver Circle Induction at

The Gold and Silver Circle Awards Gala on November 28, 2012

The Gold and Silver Circle Awards is Sponsored by Subaru of New England

The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) Boston/New England Chapter is delighted to announce that broadcast legend Chet Curtis (NECN; Newton, MA) has been selected to receive induction to the prestigious Gold Circle honoring his more than 50 years of broadcast excellence and community commitment.  With more than 25 years of distinguished service to broadcasting and the community, Candy Altman (Hearst Television; New York, NY), Kim Block (WGME-TV; Portland, ME), Joe Merone (VPT; Colchester, VT), Tony Petrarca (WPRI-TV; Providence, RI), and Diane Smith (Hartford, CT) have been chosen to be the 2012 Silver Circle inductees. 

These New England television pioneers will be honored for their lasting contributions to the industry at a gala celebration on Wednesday, November 28th atSeaport Boston Hotel-Lighthouse Ballroom, One Seaport Lane, Boston, MA with a reception and dinner at 6PM and the Awards Ceremony at 7:30PM. 

Gold and Silver Circle members are honored for making an enduring contribution to the vitality of the television industry.  The Gold and Silver Circle honors television professionals who have performed distinguished service within the industry for more than 50 and 25 years respectively. 

The Gold and Silver Circle Awards will once again be sponsored by Subaru of New England.  The Boston/New England Chapter of NATAS is very grateful to Ernie Boch, Jr., who has generously supported both the Gold & Silver Circle Awards and the Emmy Awards for many years.



Chet Curtis hosts New England Cable News’ (NECN) FYI block of news and business programming, Sunday nights on NECN.

Before joining NECN in the spring of 2001, Curtis was as an anchor and reporter with WCVB-TV since its launch in 1972.  For the majority of his time with WCVB, Curtis co-anchored the station’s principal weekday newscasts, and was the original host of the station’s award winning Chronicle program.  Before coming to New England, Chet Curtis worked as an anchor and reporter at the CBS flagship station in New York City, and prior to that at the CBS affiliate in Washington, D.C., also as an anchor and reporter.

He has three daughters, and currently resides in Quincy, Massachusetts.  Curtis is an avid pilot and sailor.



Candy Altman was named Vice President/News for Hearst Television in May 2001 and prior to that was Group News Executive for HATV beginning in June 2000.  As both VP and Group News Executive, she has worked with the news departments of Hearst Television’s 26 television stations producing news, helping guide them in areas of news coverage, ethics, policy and hiring. Under Altman’s direction in coordinating political coverage for the station group, Hearst Television received the prestigious Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Political Coverage for 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2010 and won the George Foster Peabody Award in 2009 for Political Coverage.

From 1993-2000, she served as Vice President/News Director at Hearst’s WCVB-TV/Boston, overseeing a 100-person news staff and guiding the planning and direction of the station’s overall news coverage.  Altman began working at WCVB in 1983 as the Executive Producer of NewsCenter 5 Tonight, the station’s 11PM newscast.  In 1986, she became Executive Producer of NewsCenter 5 at Six, and in January 1990, she became the station’s Executive Producer of News.  For the 1992 election campaign period, Altman was also the WCVB Political Unit Director.

As News Director at NewsCenter 5, the station won numerous accolades, including two nationally coveted Edward R. Murrow Awards for Overall Excellence from the Radio and Television News Directors Association (RTNDA) and a Peabody Award.  Other awards include numerous regional awards from the Radio and Television News Directors Association and News Station of the Year from the Associated Press.

Prior to joining WCVB, from 1981 to 1983, Altman was Executive News Producer at WPRI-TV in Providence, RI, where she was eventually promoted to Assistant News Director.  From 1979 to 1981, she held a variety of positions in the area of news production at WPLG-TV in Miami, including producer of the nightly and weekend newscasts, and series producer. Altman began her career as a reporter at KOMU-TV in Columbia, MO, where she later became an associate news producer.

Altman served as Vice President of the Associated Press Broadcast Advisory Board, was a member of the National Advisory Board of the Poynter Institute, and is a past President of the ABC News Affiliate Advisory Board.  She has served on the boards of several local charities including The Massachusetts 9/11 Fund and The Kids Clothes Club.  She is a Trustee of the A Plus Scholarship Fund at WCVB.

She graduated from the State University of New York (SUNY) at Cortland in 1977 and received a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri School of Journalism in 1978. Altman and her husband Joe Bergantino, Co-Director of the New England Center for Investigative Reporting and former Investigative Reporter for WBZ-TV, reside in the Boston suburb of Brookline.  They have a daughter, Cara Bergantino.


Kim Block has been at the “WGME News 13” 6PM anchor desk in Portland, Maine for 31 years.  In addition, she anchors the Noon News, and co-anchors “Live at Five.”

Kim grew up in the Washington, D.C. area and went to Indiana University, where she received a B.A. in Broadcast Journalism and Spanish.

Kim specializes in medical/health reporting and is the proud recipient of two New England Emmy awards for her series “The China Journey” and “Miracle in Maine.”  Kim has also received an Edward R. Murrow award and numerous Associated Press and Maine Association of Broadcaster awards.  Kim was the first woman inducted into the Maine Broadcasting Hall of Fame in 2002, and is the recipient of the University of New England Deborah Morton Award and the YWCA’s “Women of Achievement” award.  She was also recognized as the Cromwell Center’s “Person of the Year” in 2012 for her years of community service in Maine.

Along the way, Kim has told the stories of Maine – a place that captured her heart instantly.  “I can’t think of a better place to have begun a career – and to continue with one,” says Kim. “Maine has been both professionally challenging and personally rewarding – it is a gem of a state with many significant news stories and a lifestyle that can’t be beat.”

Kim is dedicated to community service, having worked with numerous organizations over the years, including the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital, Muscular Dystrophy Association, Cancer Community Center, Maine Cancer Foundation, and Girl Scouts of Maine. Kim also served as honorary chair of the American Heart Association’s “Go Red for Women” campaign in Maine.

In her spare time, you’ll find her on a yoga mat, playing music, reading, sailing, boating and writing. Her greatest joy comes from her family – her husband, Bob, and children, Miles, 18 and Molly, 14.


Joe Merone began his professional career at Vermont Public Television (formally Vermont ETV) in January 1980 after graduating from The State University of New York at Oswego in 1979 with a degree in Communications and Broadcasting.  

Dedicated to public broadcasting, Joe has done just about everything at VPT in production and management – production technician, staff director, producer, and executive producer.  He’s produced magazine-style programs, sports, news and public affairs, and documentaries for both VPT and national distribution, as well as those important staples of public television – pledge events and live TV auctions.  

He’s been nominated for multiple Emmy awards, and was a contributing producer on VPT productions that have won Emmy awards in numerous categories. 

In his community, Joe has volunteered in numerous capacities.  An Eagle Scout himself, he’s served his local Boy Scouts of America chapter, he’s been a mentor and advocate to disabled young adults, and has served on area community boards including local public access television.

Joe is an avid skier, sailor, and bike rider who also enjoys travelling with his wife Kerri and tinkering (constantly sometimes) with his 1974 Triumph TR6 convertible – which he restored.  He lives in South Burlington Vermont with his wife and one very spoiled cat. 


Tony joined WPRI-TV in March of 1987 and has over 25 years of experience studying and forecasting New England weather. He is a native Rhode Islander and grew up watching WPRI 12.

As a child, Tony would track snowstorms and hurricanes on his “weather wall” at home and always dreamed of becoming a meteorologist.  He thanks his parents for their love and support in helping him achieve his dream.

He is a graduate of Toll Gate High School and Lyndon State College in Lyndonville, Vermont, where he earned a B.S. Degree in Meteorology.  Tony is a member of the American Meteorological Society and holds the Society’s highest standards for a television meteorologist with the “A.M.S. Broadcast Seal of Approval” award.  He has been nominated six times for the New England Emmy Award for his work and was voted Most Accurate Meteorologist seven times by Rhode Island Monthly Magazine annual readers’ poll, as well as numerous Civic awards.  He has also won the Associated Press Award for “Best Weathercast” in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006.  One of Tony’s career highlights was spending a winter weekend atop of Mt. Washington, N.H. which later turned into a half hour Emmy nominated weather documentary entitled “On Top Of New England.”  In the past 25 years, Tony has forecasted everything Mother Nature has to offer here in New England including 2 blizzards, multiple Nor’easters, the Historic Floods of 2010, Tropical Storm Irene, the 1995-1996 winter, which brought more than 100 inches of snow, countless severe thunderstorms, and even the occasional tornado threat.

Tony never really left school. In the last 25 years, he has visited more than 600 elementary schools teaching children about weather. With his influence and guidance, many students decided to study weather in college.  Tony’s motto is to give back to the community that he grew up in and he does just that. He has donated countless hours to various charitable organizations including the “Tomorrow Fund,” “Meeting Street School,” “East Bay Coalition For The Homeless,”  “Crossroads Homeless Shelter,” “The Fogarty Center,” “Hasbro Children’s Hospital” and was a member of the Board of Directors for the Multiple Sclerosis Society. Tony is the co-host for the annual Meeting Street Telethon and former host of the Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy Association Telethon. He also serves as a Eucharistic minister at Sacred Heart Church in West Warwick, RI.

Tony is the proud father of two young children.


An Emmy award winning TV journalist, radio talk show host, author and speaker, Diane Smith has been on the air in Connecticut since 1982. 

Diane is the anchor and senior producer for program development at CT-N, the Connecticut version of C-SPAN. She works to promote transparency in government and to increase citizen engagement in their democracy.

The Globe Pequot Press has published six books based on Diane’s “Positively Connecticut” TV series, the longest running local TV series in state history.  Diane’s next book Food Fight, written in collaboration with MSNBC Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski is about solving the American obesity crisis.  Food Fight will be published in May 2013 by Weinstein Books.

Diane was an Emmy winning reporter and anchor on WTNH-TV in New Haven, and co-hosted the Morning Show on WTIC-1080, a CBS owned 50,000 watt AM radio station.  She is a frequent on air contributor to the state PBS network, producing and hosting award winning documentaries and other programming.

Diane is the president of Diane Smith Media, which produces programs and videos primarily for non-profits.

She serves on the board of the World Affairs Council and is a former member of the board of the non-partisan Women’s Campaign School at Yale. Diane was appointed by the CT Secretary of the State to the Civic Health Advisory Board, and she was appointed by the Governor to serve on the Connecticut Commission to Commemorate the Civil War.

Diane has been honored with the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Culture and Tourism for her outstanding lifetime achievements and contributions to the arts and tourism in Connecticut.  The Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame honored Diane in October 2012.

Diane was awarded an honorary doctorate from Charter Oak College.


Again, NATAS/NE is grateful to the event sponsor Subaru of New England.  For tickets to NATAS’ Gold and Silver Circle Awards Gala, email Jill Jones at natasne@aol.com or call 617-283-6314.


NATAS Boston/New England Chapter is dedicated to the advancement of the arts and sciences of television, the fostering of creative leadership in the television industry, and the encouragement of excellence in artistic, educational, cultural and technical progress.


– NATAS’ Gold and Silver Circle