The “Minnies” were awards to radio and TV people on Twin Cities stations, presented by the local chapter of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) and the Advertising Club of Minneapolis. I would assume  that the Minnies morphed into the local Emmy Awards.

AFTRA merged with the Screen Actors Guild on March 30, 2012.  On May 31, 2013, the Twin Cities SAG-AFTRA office closed, and operations here are handled out of Chicago.  Records of the Minnies appear to be lost.

Since this site is about music, I will list only the radio awards on this page.

If you have award results for other years, please contact me!  Thanks!


1952

The first we see of them is in 1952.  In anticipation of the awards, Will Jones says,

The new awards system for local radio and TV programs, sponsored by the American Federation of Television and Radio artists, won’t overlook anybody.  When citations are handed out at a luncheon Nov. 13, a winning program will bring awards to its performers, to the station that airs it, and to the ad agency that handles it.  AFTRA is even considering giving something to the sponsor.

The ceremony took place at the Fifth District American Legion clubrooms.  Judges were:

  • Sherman Headley, WCCO-TV
  • Art Lund, Campbell-Mithun Advertising Agency
  • C.T. Hagman, WDGY
  • Lester Rees, Variety Magazine
  • Mrs. C. Russ, St. Louis Park Clubwoman

1954

Results were announced at an Ad Club luncheon at the Nicollet Hotel on April 28, 1954.

Best Sports Program:  Wes Fessler Show, WDGY

Best Play-by-Play Sports Announcer:  Frank Buetel, WTCN

Best Educational Program:  The Classical Tradition, KUOM

Best Public-Service Program:  “St. Paul High School Choirs,” KSTP

Best News Commentator:  Dr. E.W. Ziebarth, WCCO

Best Farm Program:  “University Farm Hour,” KUOM

Best Religious Program:  “Going God’s Way,” KEYD

Best Woman Performer:  Jeanne Arland, WCCO

Best Musical Program:  “Saturday Symphony,” KSTP

Best Disk Jockey:  Bob Bradley, WLOL

Best Children’s Show:  “Old Tales and New,”  KUOM

Best Hillbilly-Western Show:  “Saturday Night Party,”  WCCO

 


1955

The awards took place on April 27, 1955, and the Nicollet Hotel.  Emcee was Claude Kirchner, ringmaster of Chicago’s “Super Circus” TV show.  “Muggsy Spanier’s all-star Dixieland sextette blew up a storm during the meal, according to Will Jones.

Farm Program Personality:  Maynard Speece, WCCO

Hillbilly-Western Personality:  Dave Stone, KSTP

Disk Jockey:  Johnny Morris, KSTP

Sports Announcer:  Red Mottlow, WLOL

Newscaster:  George Grim, KSTP

Production:  “Edition,” Bill Ingram, KSTP, and “Nothing But the Best, Jack Huston, WCCO (tie)

Woman Announcer:  Marguerite Kingbay, WCCO

Man Announcer:  Dean Montgomery, WCCO

Air Personality:  Bob DeHaven, WCCOd


1956

Will Jones provided footnotes in his column:

  • The event was held at the Minnesota Terrace, Nicollet Hotel on February 15, 1956.
  • The 20 judges were all members of the Ad Club.
  • Categories had to have at least three entrants or they were eliminated.
  • Trophies were handed out by Murray Warmath, Minnesota Gophers football coach.
  • In past years winners got plaques – this year they got gold statuettes with a winged woman holding a wreath aloft.
  • Record store owner Don Leary held his own poll for best disk jockey and Don Doty won.  Leary took some heat for his poll, but when Doty won his Minnie, Leary exclaimed from the audience, “This confirms it!”

 

Best Male Announcer:  Gordon Eaton, WCCO

Best Disc Jockey:  Don Doty, WTCN

Best Newscaster:  Cedric Adams, WCCO

Best Sportscaster:  Frank Buetel, WTCN

Best Hillbilly-Western Personality:  Hal Garven, WCCO

Best Farm Show Personality:  Jim Hill, WCCO


1957

The 1957 Minnies were announced on the Business page of the paper, under “Advertising Memo.”  Writer Herb Paul described the awards as “local cousins of Hollywood’s Oscars.”  The event was held on March 13, and the Emcee was Halsey Hall.

Man Announcer:  Steve Cannon, WLOL

Woman Performer:  Meg Kingbay, WCCO

Disk Jockey:  Steve Cannon, WLOL

Newscaster:  Cedric Adams, WCCO

Sportscaster:  Dick Enroth, WCCO

Farm Show Personality:  Maynard Speece, WCCO

Singer:  Burt Hanson, WCCO

WCCO received 10 out of the 15 awards handed out, but KSTP did not participate in the event.


1958

The 1958 Minnies were awarded on June 11 at the Leamington Hotel.  Awards were presented by Governor Freeman.

Best Male Announcer:  Don Doty, WPBC

Best Woman Performer:  Meg Kingbay, WPBC

Best Disk Jockey:  Dan Daniel, WDGY

Best Newscaster:  Bob Ryan, KSTP

Best Sportscaster:  Dick Enroth, WCCO

Best Singer:  Tony Grise, WCCO

Best Farm Show Personality:  Jim Hill, WCCO


1961

The award ceremony was held at a luncheon at the Leamington Hotel on October 25, 1961.  Awards were presented by Art Gilmore, national president of AFTRA.

Best Male Announcer:  Howard Viken, WCCO

Best Woman Performer:  Jan Werner, WTCN

Best Disk Jockey:  Don Doty, KSTP

Best Newscaster:  Bob Ryan, KSTP

Best Sportscaster, Ray Christensen, WLOL

Best New Artist:  Gerrie Tierney, WMIN

Best Farm Show Personality:  Jim Hill, WCCO