Roy Eaton received the Frank W. Mayborn Award for Community Leadership from TPA President Laurie Ezzell-Brown at the annual TPA convention in Denton.
The Frank W. Mayborn Award for Community Leadership was presented to Roy Eaton, president of the Wise County Messenger, at the closing event of the Texas Press Association convention and trade show in Denton. TPA President Laurie Ezzell Brown made the presentation.
The award includes a $3,000 journalism scholarship to help a student at school of the recipient’s choice. Eaton said he was putting Texas Center for Community Journalism Director Dr. Tommy Thomason in charge of awarding the scholarship to a TCU student.
Eaton began his journalism career as a part-time reporter for a Fort Worth radio station in 1956 following his freshman year at TCU. While still a student, he was named news director of the station in 1958.
He became news director of the NBC radio affiliate in Dallas-Fort Worth in 1968 and later became director of television news coverage and news anchorman for the Dallas-Fort Worth NBC television affiliate.
In 1973, he returned to his hometown of Decatur and purchased the newspaper he has now published for more than 45 years, the Wise County Messenger. The newspaper has won more than 150 state and national awards for excellence in news coverage, advertising and design. The Messenger won the National Newspaper Association’s general excellence award for twice-weekly newspapers in 2005.
Eaton is a past president of the Texas Press Association and the Texas Newspaper Foundation and the Fort Worth Professional Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. He is also a past president of the National Newspaper Association.
A past director of the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas, Eaton has received the Harold Hudson Memorial Award from the West Texas Press Association and the Sam C. Holloway Award from the North and East Texas Press Association.
In addition to his news career, Eaton recently retired after serving more than 40 years as a livestock show and parade announcer for the Southwestern Exposition and Livestock Show in Fort Worth.
He was named Decatur’s “Citizen of the Year” in 1980 for his work in developing a county-wide emergency medical service system. Response to an editorial he wrote resulted in a campus of a community college for Decatur and he was instrumental in the building of a new $5 million Civic Center for his city. He has served as president of the Decatur Chamber of Commerce, board chairman of the Wise Regional Health System, chief of the Decatur Volunteer Fire Department and chairman of the Decatur Airport Advisory Committee.
Eaton is a former director of the North Central Texas Council of Governments and served as secretary of the Dallas/Fort Worth long-range water planning authority.
He was a founder and longtime supporter of the Northwest ISD Education Foundation, and that group honored him with the 2017 Legacy Award.
He was presented the 2005 Ethics Award by the Schieffer School of Journalism at Texas Christian University. The award was presented “in recognition of a career dedicated to achieving and demanding the highest ethical standards in the profession of journalism.”
HISTORY OF THE AWARD
Sue Mayborn, publisher of the Temple Daily Telegram and Killeen Daily Herald, established the award in 2004 to honor the leadership and service demonstrated by her late husband, Frank W. Mayborn, for his community service and involvement throughout his career as a newspaper executive.
Mayborn was first and foremost a newspaperman and a communications executive who pioneered in the radio and television industries. However, he engaged in another pursuit on par with his profession, that of community leadership and service.
The Frank W. Mayborn Award for Community Leadership honors newspaper professionals who have a firm commitment to community service, and who are devoting the same zeal to that cause as Mayborn did during his long career.