United States of America
PROCEEDINGS AND DEBATES OF THE 111th CONGRESS, SECOND SESSION
WASHINGTON, TUESDAY, JUNE 8, 2010
House of Representatives
COMMENDING GARY DAIGNEAULT OF TWENTYNINE PALMS, CA. ON HIS SELECTION TO THE BROADCASTER HALL OF FAME
HON. JERRY LEWIS OF CALIFORNIA
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
TUESDAY. JUNE 8, 2010
Mr. LEWIS of California. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to join the community of Twentynine Palms and the Morongo Basin of California in congratulating long-time broadcaster Gary Daigneault in being named to the Associated Press Television-Radio Association Hall of Fame.
Gary Daigneault has been on the air for 31 years as a newscaster in the eastern desert area of California known as the Morongo Basin. When he went to work for stations KDHY/KQYN in 1979, the area was made up of small towns with a few thousand people scattered over vast desert vistas. I came to know both the desert communities — and Gary — as the member of Congress for the area. He was a bright and earnest young reporter serving a small but devoted radio audience.
Over the years, the small towns of Yucca Valley, Joshua Tree, Morongo Valley and Twentynine Palms have grown dramatically, with tens of thousands of people now tuning in to listen to Mr. Daigneault, who has been the community’s voice for news with a morning news program for the entire 31 years.
Mr. Daigneault invested in the community and became an owner-broadcaster in 1989 when he and his wife Cindy started up their own station, KCDZ, making local news a priority.
Although the area is still considered a “small market” for news, it is one with a worldwide focus because it is home to the Marine Corps Air-Ground Combat Center, a premier training center that has hosted tens of thousands of Marines each year. Many of those Marines now living around the country would recognize the voice of Mr. Daigneault, who has done an exemplary job of covering the base and its units.
In perhaps his most dramatic accomplishment in covering the Marines, Mr. Daigneault in 1992 was the only “embedded” journalist covering the peace-keeping action in Somalia, which won him one of his many broadcasting awards.
He came home from that mission and was quickly put to the test again when a 7.3 earthquake struck the desert town of Landers, causing widespread damage and disruption to the area. He stayed on the air and was the only source of news for many of the desert residents cut off by the quake — an effort that won him yet another award for broadcasting excellence.
Gary has been recognized by the Associated Press for breaking more than 40 national and major regional news stories over the years. In 2000, KCDZ was declared “station of the year.” He was given the prestigious Mark Twain Award for news writing in small market radio and the Golden Mike award for best small market radio news broadcast.
Gary Daigneault is considered a community leader in Twentynine Palms. He is the president of the Theatre 29 community theater group, president of the Twentynine Palms Chamber of Commerce and the immediate past president of the local Rotary Club. He has also served twice as president of APTRA, and has taught broadcasting classes for the past 21 years.
Mr. Speaker, Gary Daigneault has been the voice of news for an important part of my district for the past three decades, and he and his wife Cindy have been community leaders in the eastern desert area of California. His election to the radio-television news Hall of Fame is much deserved, and I ask you and my colleagues to join me in congratulating him and thanking him for his lifetime of service.