2012 Buffalo Bob Smith Award

This year’s recipient of the Buffalo Bob Smith Award is not a familiar face.  But MaryLynn Ryan is being recognized for her stellar career behind-the-scenes in TV news, the last 17 years with the nation’s first cable news network, CNN.

Ryan is currently bureau chief of the Southeast region for CNN/US and director of CNN’s Weather Unit.  She oversees the network’s editorial coverage in the Atlanta, Miami, New Orleans and Dallas bureaus as well as the weather team.  Ryan is based at CNN’s world headquarters in Atlanta.

Ryan has served as bureau chief of CNN’s Southeast region since 2004.  She has overseen CNN’s coverage of the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster, the Fort Hood and Virginia Tech mass shootings and Hurricane Katrina coverage that has won Peabody and other awards.  Previously, Ryan served as managing editor of CNN/US.  She joined the network as a producer in 1995.

Ryan’s career began in Buffalo.  She worked in all three of the local TV news departments.  Ryan helped launch 5pm newscasts on WKBW, Channel 7 and WIVB, Channel 4.  She began her career in 1983, working as an overnight producer at WGRZ, Channel 2.

From Buffalo, Ryan headed to Cleveland, where she worked as an executive producer at two TV news operations WJW and WKYC.  At WKYC, Ryan was nominated for an Emmy three times as best newscast producer.  She won an Emmy and a Woman in Communication Award for the program Three on 3.

Ryan has covered many of the groundbreaking stories of our time.  In addition to the ones mentioned above, she has worked on coverage of the Columbia space shuttle tragedy, the war in Iraq, the 1996 Olympic Games and the Olympic Park bombing, the Oklahoma City bombing and the OJ Simpson murder trial.

Ryan is a Buffalo native.  She is a graduate of Canisius College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication.

Named after one of Buffalo’s most famous sons, the Buffalo Bob Smith Award is given to broadcasters with local roots who made his or her mark away from the Niagara Frontier, but is still a Buffalonian at heart.

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