The Blue Ridge Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America has honored Roanoke Star Editor and WFIR Anchor-Reporter Gene Marrano with its annual “Adam & Alison Award for Media Excellence.”
The award was presented at the annual PRSA awards gala at the Hotel Roanoke and is named in memory of Adam Ward and Alison Parker, the WDBJ7 reporters killed during a live telecast in 2015. It was the second year for the award, the first being presented to long-time WDBJ7 Reporter Joe Dashiell in the fall of 2016.
“In August 2015 we were rocked by the senseless killings of our friends and colleagues, Adam Ward and Alison Parker,” Chuck Lionberger, Community Relations Specialist for Roanoke County Public Schools noted in a release. “Many of us worked closely with these two. We pitched them our organization’s stories; we woke up at ungodly hours to sit with them while they brought our stories to life; we appreciated the coverage. They were true professionals, both on and off camera.”
Marrano is a familiar name in Roanoke media, with a long history in radio, print and cable TV journalism in the Roanoke Valley. Gene has a background in commercial radio going back more than 20 years. He was an editor and reporter for Main Street Newspapers, including the Vinton Messenger and Cave Spring Connection, beginning in 2000. In 2007 Marrano teamed with Stuart Revercomb and Lawson Koeppel to help establish The Roanoke Star Sentinel newspaper (now The Roanoke Star). He has also has had bylines in The Roanoke Times, City Magazine, The Roanoker Magazine, the Roanoke Valley Sports Journal and Delta Sky Magazine.
Marrano prides himself in his journalism that has covered every aspect of life from homeless people to presidential candidates. His features range from human interest to arts and culture, business and sports. He previously hosted a popular cable TV television program on Cox Cable, “The Interview,” with guests from all walks of life. Marrano currently anchors late-morning and mid-afternoon newscasts and prepares reports that run throughout the day for WFIR News 960 AM/FM 107.3.
He has won several awards for local news coverage over the years, including two selections to the Virginia School Boards Association “Media Honor Roll”.
In his spare time, Gene likes to tackle distance running, has appeared on stage in several plays and is also likes to paint. The father of four and now a grandfather, he spent many years in various aspects of sales and manufacturing before turning his career full-time to journalism.
“I’m very honored to be the recipient of the Adam & Alison Award,” Gene noted during an interview in late-January.
Another feather in the cap for one of Roanoke’s top journalist.