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  • 24 Oct 2021 9:18 PM | Scott Eslinger (Administrator)

    The Press Club of Southeast Texas held its 30th Annual Excellence in the Media & Newsmaker of the Year event virtually on Saturday night, October 24, 2021, from the offices of The Examiner in downtown Beaumont.

    Hundreds of winners were collectively honored with 252 awards announced throughout the evening.

    A total of 529 entries were received for this year's contest which featured 107 individual categories.

    Ninety-four first-place trophies were awarded along with 73 second place, 63 third place and 32 honorable mention certificates.

    A complete winner's list is available HERE.

  • 15 Nov 2020 2:38 PM | Scott Eslinger (Administrator)

    The Press Club of Southeast Texas held its 29th Annual Excellence in the Media & Newsmaker of the Year event virtually on Saturday night, November 14, 2020 in the living room of club president Kristi Dodd in Beaumont.

    MORE | Read more and see all the winners

    Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic only five club members physically attended the event but many more watched via webinar and on the club's Facebook page. The virtual event celebrated this year's Newsmaker of the Year and the hard work of hundreds of communication professionals from Southeast Texas.

  • 12 Mar 2018 2:00 PM | Scott Eslinger (Administrator)
    Entries are now being accepted for the the Twenty-seventh Annual Excellence in the Media Awards competition. 

    The contest is open to members and potential members of the Press Club—full-time and part-time journalists and public relations professionals in Chambers, Hardin, Jasper, Jefferson, Liberty, Newton, Orange, Polk and Tyler counties.

    DEADLINE for ALL entries is Saturday,  March  31, 2018 at 11:59 p.m.

    Work published, aired or released between January 1, 2017, and December 31, 2017, is eligible for entry.

    Download the 2018 Excellence in the Media Awards Contest call to entry. (PDF)

    Winners of the contest along with the 2018 Newsmaker of the Year will be announced Friday evening, June 8, 2018 during the 27th Annual Excellence in the Media & Newsmaker of the Year Awards Banquet at the MCM Elegante’ Hotel in Beaumont.

    All proceeds benefit the Lamar University Press Club Memorial Scholarship.

  • 08 Jan 2018 1:01 PM | Debbie Bridgeman

    Bridgeman Leads Press Club of Southeast Texas in 2018 and 2019

    Debbie Bridgeman of Beaumont has been elected the 2018-2019 president of the Press Club of Southeast Texas. Bridgeman has served since 2016 as community relations specialist for the Beaumont Independent School District.

    Other Press Club officers are Marilyn Tennissen, freelance writer/photographer, vice president for finance and membership; Farrah Severs-Young, Total Home Health, secretary; Mike Tobias, Beaumont Enterprise, vice president for programs and special events; Sharon Brooks, The Examiner, vice president for public relations; and Brian Sattler, Lamar University, vice president for development.

    Elected to two-year terms on the board of directors were Andy Coughlan, Lamar University; Scott Eslinger, KBMT-12News; Harold Mann, iHeart Media; Kristie Young, SNC Lavalin at ExxonMobil; and Greg Kerr, KFDM/KBTV.

    Guiseppe Barranco of Beaumont Enterprise, Jim Love of iHeart Media, and Tom Taschinger of Beaumont Enterprise were named to unexpired one-year terms on the board. As immediate past president, Kevin Steele of KBMT-12News serves as an ex-officio board member. Completing board terms are David Ball, Port Arthur News; Natalie Tindall, Lamar University; and I.C. Murrell, Port Arthur News.

    Bridgeman earned a bachelor of science in communications from the University of Texas at Austin in 1991. From February 2006 to December 2015, she served as the communications director for Better Business Bureau serving Southeast Texas.

    From 2003 to 2005, Bridgeman served as the promotions/special events director and “Morning Blend” co-host at KOLE-News Radio FOX, known on the air as “Debbie Wylde”. From 2001 to 2003, Bridgeman was director of programming for Clear Channel Radio (now iHeart Media) in Beaumont. Concurrently, she served as program director for KKMY-Mix 104.5 and on-air mid-day personality for KIOC-Big Dog 106.

    Before moving to Beaumont in 2001, Bridgeman held various positions at radio stations in Austin, Nacogdoches, Paducah, Ky., Columbia, Mo., and Huntington, W.V. She and her husband, Jason, have one son, Chase, who turns 13 in April.

    Bridgeman has been active in the Press Club of Southeast Texas since 2004, elected as president in 2009. Currently, she serves on the communications division for the Greater Beaumont Chamber of Commerce, campus educational improvement committee (CEIC) at Odom Academy, and small group leader at Praise Church.

    Throughout its 49-year history, the Press Club of Southeast Texas has united print and broadcast media with public relations professionals toward the common goal of excellence in communication. In addition to serving as a forum for issues, events, and ideas, the Press Club supports scholarships, community education and freedom of information.

    Membership in the organization is open to journalists and public relations professionals in Jefferson, Hardin, Orange, Liberty, Chambers, Jasper, Tyler, Polk and Newton counties.

    The Press Club Memorial scholarship is awarded annually to outstanding Lamar University communication students, supported primarily by proceeds from the club’s annual Newsmaker of the Year/Excellence in the Media banquet. The 2018 event is scheduled for June 8 at the MCM Elegante Hotel and Conference Center. For additional information, visit the Press Club website,

  • 29 Sep 2017 12:00 PM | Deleted user

    The Press Club of Southeast Texas and the Lamar University department of Communication will host a mixer for area media professionals and students, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Oct. 12. Admission is free

    “We hope to get a good turnout from members of the local media,” Andy Coughlan, Press Club board member, said. “This is a great opportunity for students to meet professionals in their fields of study, and a chance for professionals to share their knowledge with the next generation.

    “They may find their next employees or co-workers there.”

    The event will feature refreshments and a chance to see the work on display in the gallery.

    “Events like this are vital,” Natalie Tindall, Communication department chair, said. “Without extracurricular activities and events that connect students and faculty to industry, we wouldn’t be able to help out students achieve professional success in Southeast Texas and beyond.“

    A brief gallery talk will be held at 7 p.m.

    “Building relationships between Lamar’s students and the Press Club is vital to help students develop their skills,” Coughlan said. “We need to keep up with the next generation of media professionals.”

    For more information, visit the Press Club or LU Communication Department Facebook pages.

  • 29 Sep 2017 11:58 AM | Deleted user

    The Press Club of Southeast Texas recently contributed an additional $15,000 to the Lamar University Foundation endowment that provides for the Press Club Memorial Scholarship at Lamar University.

    The endowment, established in 2002, has grown to become the largest endowment for communication majors at LU. Scholarships are awarded each year to outstanding Lamar University communication students in the College of Fine Arts and Communication. 

    The Press Club, incorporated in 1969, first established the scholarship in 1980 in memory of Jennie Love, a broadcast newswoman and active member who was serving as Press Club secretary at the time of her death. In the years since, the scholarship was renamed the Press Club Memorial Scholarship and the list of those honored by the award expanded to include other deceased members — all veteran area journalists and active Press Club members.

    Today, the Press Club Memorial Scholarship honors deceased members including James Shannon, Bill Leger, Gordon Baxter, Harold Beeson, Joe Broughton, Lela Davis, Richard Dixon, Sharon Englade, Amelia Feathers, Jennie Love, Bill Maddox, Bill Maultsby, Earl Newlin, Ralph Ramos, Martha Reed, Jim Turner, Bob Wolcott, and Jim Wright.

    Among its many activities to foster excellence, the Press Club hosts an annual Excellence in the Media contest, the Newsmaker of the Year Award, and monthly programs on newsworthy topics. The Press Club’s monthly luncheon program meetings are generally held on the third Thursday of each month.

     “We are glad to be able to help support the studies of future communication professionals as they earn their degrees at Lamar University,” said Kevin Steele, president of the Press Club and a news anchor at KBMT Channel 12 in Beaumont. “The communication department selects outstanding students for the award each year.”

    The Press Club of Southeast Texas draws its membership from Jefferson, Orange, Hardin, Liberty, Chambers, Jasper, Tyler, Polk and Newton counties. Press Club members are professionals in media, public relations, academia, public affairs, corporate communication and public information. LU communication students are eligible for membership in the Press Club and can participate in the annual Excellence in the Media competition.  

    “We are happy to include student participation in the competition,” Steele said. “The success of many LU students in the annual competition shows not only their individual talents, but also the caliber of education they’re receiving at Lamar.”  

    The Press Club of Southeast Texas seeks to advance the art and science of media in the public interest; to encourage research, discussion, and study of the problems and techniques of the communications professional; to strengthen and maintain the highest standards of service and ethical conduct by all members of the profession; to exchange ideas and experiences and collect and disseminate information that may enhance or improve the professional knowledge, standards, ethics, and standing of the membership; to foster educational excellence among communication students; to provide a public forum for issues and ideas; to support the Public Information Act (Open Records/ Meetings Act) and encourage compliance; and to promote fellowship within the profession.

    To learn more about the Press Club, visit, or Press Club of Southeast Texas on Facebook.

  • 13 Jun 2016 11:15 AM | Scott Eslinger (Administrator)
    The Press Club of Southeast Texas announced the winners in the 2016 Excellence in the Media contest on Friday night, June 10.
    Here's a complete list of winners.
    Printable List (PDF)
  • 14 Feb 2016 5:16 PM | Scott Eslinger (Administrator)
    Join Press Club of Southeast Texas on Thursday, February 18, for our regular monthly meeting.

    Enjoy a great lunch and networking with other Press Club of Southeast Texas members.

    Our topic of discussion will be Religion/State, and how our area has become a sort of ground zero for this debate.

    Our guests are Pastor David Birdsong, pastor of Southside Baptist Church in Port Neches, and Josh Hammers, a member of the Orange County Atheists.

    Birdsong has been one of the supporters of the white cross movement, yet he’s been known to reach out to those who disagree and engage in respectful dialogue.

    The same can be said of Hammers who has also been open to dialogue and has worked to change negative perceptions of atheists.

    He’s been in the thick of things in Orange County, including the issue with the nativity displays in front of city hall and the county courthouse. His organization has also had an adopt-a-highway sign that’s been vandalized numerous times.

    Both men will have 10 minutes to make a presentation, then they will answer questions.

    We'll kick off the meeting with the Greater Beaumont Chamber of Commerce, who will let us know about their media lunch, which will be held the following day.

    Nancy Correa, program director for the Southeast Texas Nonprofit Development Center, will discuss the center, plus talk about the Community Profile of Jefferson County, which will be released on February 23rd.

    Arrive early to place your order and enjoy free chips & salsa!

  • 09 Feb 2016 5:07 PM | Scott Eslinger (Administrator)

    Mark your calendars and save the date to attend the 25th Annual Excellence in the Media & Newsmaker of the Year Awards banquet Friday night, June 3, 2016, at the MCM Elegante' hotel in Beaumont.

    Tickets for the dinner are $36.10 each and will be available for sale online at the Press Club website.

    Table sponsorships are also available!

    Come out for a fun evening and support the Press Club and the club-sponsored communication scholarships at Lamar University.

  • 05 May 2015 9:00 AM | Scott Eslinger (Administrator)

    The 24th Annual Excellence in the Media & Newsmaker of the Year Awards Banquet is June 5, 2015, at the MCM Elegante Hotel.

    The Excellence in Media Awards Ceremony is the time when those who write, report, photograph and broadcast the news are awarded for their talents over the past year. Likewise, members of the public relations field are lauded for their efforts.


    The Press Club of Southeast Texas receives hundreds of entries from individuals and media outlets from across the region, including print, electronic media, magazines/trade press and public relations categories. Those entries are sent to judges throughout the nation, who choose the winners.


    The annual event hosts local dignitaries and also recognizes the top area newsmakers from Southeast Texas. This year’s list of Newsmaker of the Year candidates were whittled down by a vote of the Press Club membership to include:

    – The Beaumont ISD board of managers, appointed by the state education commissioner to clean up the troubled school district.

    – Jennifer Daniels and Shawn Hare, organizers of Beaumont’s first PRIDE parade in support of LGBT rights.

    – Earl Thomas III, former West Orange-Stark football player, current member of the Seattle Seahawks, sponsor of many local charity efforts.

    – Raquel West, the first woman elected to a district court judgeship in Jefferson County, surviving a spirited primary, runoff and general election.

    – Bob Wortham, who gave up a judge’s post to be elected Jefferson County district attorney, dominating a crowded ballot.

    While all of these worthy candidates will be recognized for their work over the past year, only one will be selected as the 2014 Newsmaker of the Year by the Press Club of Southeast Texas.

    Proceeds from the banquet fund The Press Club Memorial Scholarship at Lamar University dedicated to deceased journalists and awarded annually to students in communication, journalism, mass communications, advertising, public relations or related field.

    Thank you in advance for your participation in the Excellence in Media event and support of the Press Club of Southeast Texas. We look forward to seeing you and your guests on June 5th.

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