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Jim Host to Be Honored

Contact: Ralph Derickson

Photo of Jim Host

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The Lifetime Achievement award presentation, scheduled during a luncheon at the Radisson Plaza Hotel in Lexington, is part of a two-day James C. Bowling Executive-in-Residence Lecture Series sponsored by the UK School of Journalism and Telecommunications Alumni Association.

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 23, 2003) -- Jim Host of Lexington, founder and chairman of Host Communications Inc., one of the world’s best known sports marketing businesses, will be given a University of Kentucky Public Relations Lifetime Achievement Award Friday, Oct. 31.

The Lifetime Achievement award presentation, scheduled during a luncheon at the Radisson Plaza Hotel in Lexington, is part of a two-day James C. Bowling Executive-in-Residence Lecture Series sponsored by the UK School of Journalism and Telecommunications Alumni Association.

Past recipients of the award include Tom Preston, Preston Global; Dan Lacy, Ashland Inc.; and Jack Guthrie, Guthrie/Mayes and Associates. The lecture series honors Bowling, the late retired assistant chairman of Philip Morris Companies Inc. Bowling attended UK and served on numerous university committees.

The 2003 lecturer for the fourth Bowling Lecture Series is Daniel J. Edelman, founder and chairman of Daniel J. Edelman Inc., in Chicago, Ill. Established in 1952, the Chicago-headquartered firm and its two public relations firms are the largest privately-held independent and sixth largest public relations firms in the world.

Edelman’s lecture, free and open to the public, will be delivered at 6 p.m. at the Hilary J. Boone Center at the corner of Rose Street and Columbia Avenue at UK.

Host, whose career has included work in sports broadcasting and public service, is a UK graduate. He was awarded one of the university’s first baseball scholarships and played briefly in the Chicago White Sox system until an arm injury forced him to retire.
Host began his career as a sportscaster in 1957 and was a play-by-play announcer of UK football and basketball for the Kentucky Central Sports Network and WVLK radio. He was also a broadcaster for the UK campus public radio station WUKY-FM (then WBKY-FM).

Host worked for Procter & Gamble in Cincinnati, Ohio, after college in marketing and sales. He returned to Lexington in 1964 and had his own real estate, building and insurance companies.

In 1967, at age 29, he became the youngest member of Kentucky Gov. Louie B. Nunn’s cabinet as the Commissioner of the Department of Public Information and then Commissioner of the Department of Parks where he worked to initiate the Kentucky Horse Park.

He was the Republican Party’s nominee for the Kentucky lieutenant governor’s office following his service in the Nunn administration.

Host opened Jim Host & Associates in 1972 and in 1974 won the rights to broadcast UK basketball and football games. His company is now internationally known for its sports marketing and other marketing activities. It was named one of the top five sports marketing companies in the world by SportsBusiness Journal in May 2000.

In addition to UK, other universities which contract with Host Communications include Boston College, Florida State, Georgia, Michigan, Mississippi State, Purdue, Tennessee and Texas. The company also has marketing agreements with the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, Southeastern and Southern athletic conferences.

In 2000, Host was also named to the UK Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame, and in 2001 was named Kentuckian of the Year by the Chandler Foundation. He is past chair of the Lexington Chamber of Commerce and past president of the Lexington Rotary Club and the Bluegrass Council of Boy Scouts.


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