Venable, a writer for the Knoxville News Sentinel and a news columnist since 1985, also has written 12 books featuring his wit and unique look at life and contributed to many other books as well. The Knoxville native began his career with the News Sentinel as an outdoor editor in 1970 after earning his journalism degree from the University of Tennessee and working as a police reporter and feature writer for the Knoxville Journal and Chattanooga Free Press. The winner of more than three dozen national and regional writing awards, Venable has recently become popular on the stand-up comedy stage.
The Tennessee Journalism Hall of Fame's inaugural honorees, inducted in April 2013, were Chris Clark, retired chief news anchor for WTVF-TV NewsChannel 5; Anne Holt, a 30-year veteran and three-time Emmy winner at WKRN-TV News 2; the late Dan Miller, longtime chief news anchor and multiple Emmy Award winner at Nashville's WSMV-TV Channel 4; the late John Seigenthaler, chairman emeritus of The Tennessean and founding editorial director of USA Today; Dean Stone, editor of The Daily Times in Maryville and former president of the Tennessee Associated Press Managing Editors; and William Bryant "Bill" Williams Jr., publisher emeritus of the Paris (Tenn.) Post-Intelligencer.
To be considered by the Hall of Fame's board for induction, individuals must have distinguished themselves through news or business management, leadership in the industry, or in the ordinary practice of journalism. Those whose contributions have been recognized by their peers in other venues also may be considered. Inductees can include reporters, writers, editors, publishers, news directors and other managers, as well as those who have excelled in advertising or public relations and journalism, advertising and PR education.