The Florida AP Board honors individuals who stand out for commitment to excellence, character and leadership. Recipients have contributed 25 years of service to broadcast journalism, reflecting the diverse talents, skills and roles within a newsroom. This includes, but is not limited to: Anchors, Reporters, Producers, Photographers, Editors, News Directors and Technical Directors.
Meet the 2018 recipients of the LEGACY AWARD
RONALD EBBEN | WFSU-FM | Morning Edition Host
Ronald J. Ebben has more than 60 years of experience in broadcast news. He currently serves as the Morning Edition host for WFSU news in Tallahassee.
Ronald's first assignment in 1960 was the Kennedy Nixon election in Peoria, Illinois. In his first News Director position in Fort Worth, Texas, he carried President John F. Kennedy's speech in downtown Fort Worth before JFK was assassinated in Dallas.
From 1968 to 1990 Ronald served as News Director for Tampa Bay stations and hosted the "Live with the Governor" statewide call-in show with Gov. Bob Martinez. In 1990, he became News Director of a statewide network with 26 affiliates. From 1991 to 2000 Ronald served as News Director at WTNT and Program Director for WNLS. He has since worked with WFSU News for 18 years.
TOM WILLS | WJXT-TV | News Anchor
Tom Wills has dedicated 42 years to Jacksonville viewers with WJXT-TV. Tom began his broadcasting career in 1964 at WAMU AM and FM on the American University campus.
He joined WTOP radio and television in 1969 as a reporter and radio news anchor. He covered Washington stories including the Martin Luther King assassination riots, Bobby Kennedy's funeral, the Supreme Court hearing on the Pentagon Papers case, the Watergate break-in, and the resignation of President Nixon.
Tom joined WJXT-TV in 1975 as the 11 p.m. anchor. In 1980 he took over the 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. shows, becoming the second main anchor in the station's history. He covered the 1977 plane crash involving members of the Lynyrd Skynyrd band, and the 1987 missile attack on the Mayport based USS Stark. Through the decades he has been at the helm during countless breaking news events, elections and hurricanes. Tom has received two Florida Emmys and shared in two Columbia Dupont awards for documentary reporting. In 2017, he was named the Anchor of the Year in the Florida Associated Press Broadcasters Awards.