Poor Katie, From the Moment her shapely silhouette was conceived more than 20 years ago, the Dallas Press Club’s much-coveted trophy for journalistic excellence has stood at [he center of an often stormy debate among Press Club members. On one side: The PC contingent who would like to see Katie become less AC (anatomically correct). On the other: Those who believe there are better ways to spend the estimated $25,000 it would take to reshape Katie into a new mold.
Winners of the Katie have long viewed the statuesque statuette as the kind of girl you were proud to take home, but a little embarrassed to show off on the living room mantle. “It s been an issue for years because she’s so buxom,” says Press Club president Cheryl Hall, a Dallas Morning News editor. “I personally like her.”
After years of squabbling over Katie, the Press Club’s Foundation recently agreed to allot $5,000 toward a redesign if the Press Club would schedule a fund-raising roast to offset costs. Katie hasn’t had a major makeover since 1974, the year oilman John Jackson, of Katy Petroleum Company, offered to underwrite the redesign as a promotional tool. (Jackson, by the way, was maried to a woman named Katie.) Even then the trophy had its critics, but the Press Club’s board decided that clothing Katie would be counter to freedom of the press.
“I look at the Oscar and he doesn’t have on too many clothes, either,” notes Channel 8 newsman John McCaa, who is among Press Club board members seeking to remake Katie. “But Oscar does not offend me. I think we could redo (Katie) in a similar manner where we would keep its reputation as a nice award, but make those who object to it happy.”
“There’s an underground feeling that it’s not in keeping with the times,” says Hall. That’s for sure. After Hall was awarded the statuette a few years ago, a co-worker took the first step toward making Katie respectable: She outfitted her in a doll dress.