EMCEE: KAREN HOLMES WARD
Karen Holmes Ward is the Director of Public Affairs and Community Services as well as host and executive producer of CityLine, WCVB’s award-winning weekly magazine program which addresses the accomplishments, concerns and issues facing people of color living in Boston and its suburbs. Many notables including Oscar winners Regina King, Lupita Nyong’o, Forest Whitaker, Octavia Spencer, Denzel Washington, Louis Gossett Jr., Barry Jenkins and Spike Lee among others have been interviewed by Karen for CityLine. CityLine has been a recipient of the Associated Press Massachusetts/Rhode Island ‘Best’ Public Affairs Program and numerous Emmy nominations.
Karen also oversees WCVB’s public service and community outreach efforts including the station’s work on Five Fixer Upper, renewing and refurbishing common spaces for area nonprofits and Extreme Makeover: My Hometown, raising awareness about the need for affordable housing in the Greater Boston area. She was instrumental to launching Commonwealth 5, WCVB’s first-of-its-kind web-based initiative that promoted philanthropy by matching viewer-donors with non-profits via the Internet. The program’s success was recognized with a National Emmy Award nomination. Karen served as Executive Producer for Return to Glory, a one-hour prime-time documentary hosted by Emmy Award-winning actor Andre Braugher about the famed Massachusetts 54th Regiment. Return to Glory was syndicated nationally and seen in over 80% of the country. Karen was part of the team honored with a National Association of Broadcasters 'Service to Community in Television' Award for WCVB’s community service efforts during and following the Boston Marathon attack.
Karen has enjoyed a forty-year career in broadcasting including early stints as a writer at WEEI News Radio, News Director at WILD-Radio where she hosted a daily one-hour talk show, and a reporter at WGBH-TV.
A graduate of Boston University’s School of Public Communications (now COM), Karen has received honorary doctorates in humane letters and communications from Boston University, Cambridge College and Merrimack College. She was inducted into the 2018 Massachusetts Broadcasters Hall of Fame, an honor bestowed upon individuals for their outstanding achievements and unparalleled contributions to the broadcasting industry in Massachusetts. She has received numerous awards for her work in the community including the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences ‘Silver Circle’ Award for Lifetime Achievement, Boston Jaycees Ten Outstanding Young Leaders Award; National Association of Black Journalists Region I Journalist of the Year; Big Sister of Greater Boston Achievement Award; Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts President’s Award; Women of Courage and Conviction Award from the Greater Boston Section National Council of Negro Women, Inc., and MassVote’s ‘Champion of Democracy,’ among others. Karen has been a mentor to dozens of nonprofit groups over the years, serving on boards and assisting them in learning how to use the power of television to advance their causes.