BETHANY, W.Va. – A longtime newspaper professional with leadership roles at The Blade and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette will deliver the 2019 John Keresty Lecture.

Kurt G. Franck is the president, general manager, and executive editor of The Blade in Toledo, Ohio. He also is vice president of operations for Block Communications Inc., a role in which he oversees the business side of The Blade and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Kurt FranckThe lecture is the signature event of the 58th annual Communications and Media Arts Week. It will be at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 26, in the Renner Art Gallery.

The week’s theme is “The Language of Leadership: Create, Collaborate, and Connect.”

Franck joined The Blade as managing editor in 2000. In that role, he helped direct the newspaper’s award-winning “Coingate” coverage and its 2004 Pulitzer Prize-winning Tiger Force series, which detailed the atrocities committed by the elite U.S. Army platoon during the Vietnam War.

Coingate refers to an Ohio investment scandal that resulted in the federal imprisonment of Republican fundraiser Tom Noe. Noe was convicted on charges of theft, money laundering, forgery, and corrupt activity in his management of Ohio’s $50 million rare-coin fund investment with the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation.

Before joining The Blade, Franck was deputy managing editor and executive news editor at the South Florida Sun Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale. He also has worked for United Press International bureaus in Columbus, Atlanta, Birmingham, Orlando, and Miami.

He has served as a juror for the Pulitzer Prize in the investigative reporting and local news categories. He also is a member of the Associated Press Managing Editors board of directors and the American Society of News Editors.

Franck has a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications from Bethany and was inducted into the college’s Communications and Media Arts Wall of Fame.

He is a 2019 recipient of the Bethany Alumni Association’s Achievement Award for contributions to his profession.

The Keresty Lecture series was established in 2009 to honor the memory of John Gregory Keresty, a 1963 graduate of Bethany College and a business executive who loved the printed word. A bequest from his estate and additional gifts fund the lectures, which examine current topics, trends, and issues pertaining to the changing face of journalism.

In addition to the Keresty Lecture, Communications Week will include talks by Department Chair Pat Sutherland and Assistant Professor David DeIuliis.

At 2 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 24, Sutherland will speak on “Connecting with Sports Writing Tips for Beginners” in Room 104 of Bethany House.

At 9 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 25, DeIuliis will speak on “Creating Reality through Language” in Room 105 of Steinman Hall.

The week’s events will conclude with the Communications and Media Arts Wall of Fame inductions. The ceremony is set for 4 to 5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 27, in the department’s lobby in Bethany House.


Bethany College, founded in 1840, is the oldest private college in West Virginia. The Bethany experience focuses on academic excellence in the area of liberal arts and prepares students for a lifetime of work and a life of significance.