Father James Korda wins 2023 Gabriel Award for Lifetime Achievement

Retired Youngstown TV/Radio Network President recognized at Catholic Media Conference


June 9, 2023

CONTACT: Justin Huyck, Director of Communications; (330) 744-8451, ext. 320, jhuyck@youngstowndiocese.org

BALTIMORE, MD – The Catholic Diocese of Youngstown is pleased to announce that Rev. James Korda, retired President of the Catholic Telecommunications Network of Youngstown (CTNY), has been awarded the prestigious Gabriel Award for Personal and Lifetime Achievement. The award was given at the 2023 Gabriel Awards during the 2023 Catholic Media Conference in Baltimore on June 8, 2023, in recognition of Father Korda’s pioneering career in radio and television ministry. Father Korda accepted the award during the ceremony, at which a highlight video of his career was played. [The tribute video can be found below, along with the continuation of the press release.]

Father Korda retired in July 2022 as an active priest of the Diocese of Youngstown and as President of CTNY, after three decades of service as a producer, director, host, content creator and media executive. He continues to serve as host of the award-winning radio program Wineskins.

The Gabriel Awards were created in 1965 to “recognize outstanding artistic achievement in a television or radio program or series that entertains and enriches with a true vision of humanity and true vision of life.” The 57th Annual Gabriel Awards recognized achievements in film radio, television and digital media. In selecting Father Korda for the Gabriel Award for Personal Achievement, the award’s judges highlighted Father Korda’s efforts throughout his career to promote human dignity and ecumenical ministries through the media. Examples of Father Korda’s many interviews include those with the leaders of Catholic Charities and women’s centers, ecumenical partners and programs on important cultural issues such as racism, bullying and the COVID-19 pandemic.

During his career, Father Korda built upon Catholic radio and television initiatives in the Diocese of Youngstown that dated back to the 1950s, including the establishment of CTNY in the 1980s and the Ecumenical Television Channel (ETC) in 1983. Father Korda joined CTNY as a producer in 1985. Throughout his 30-year media career, he served as CTNY’s Pastoral Director or President for twenty years, as well as President of the (then) Ecumenical Telecommunications Coalition of Northeast Ohio. Nationally, Father Korda was a producer of national coverage of the 1987 pastoral visit of Pope St. John Paul II to the United States, for CTNA (the then television network for the U.S. Bishops). In his career, he also served in leadership for UNDA, the national Catholic broadcasters association, and was a recipient of its service award. With its varied programs (including Our Sunday Mass and Spotlight on television, and Wineskins on radio, as well as live cathedral events), CTNY and the Diocese of Youngstown have won 46 radio and television awards–including three Gabriel Awards– most of which came during Father Korda’s time in leadership. This year, in addition to Father Korda’s Gabriel Award for Lifetime Achievement, the Diocese of Youngstown received an Award of Distinction for Wineskins from the 2023 Communicator Awards, given by the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts.

In his remarks at the Gabriel Awards ceremony on June 8, Father Korda noted his “great emotion” to stand before his “colleagues and peers, who use the mass media to tell stories.” He continued, “With our stories, we have the privilege of building a better world.” He also thanked the Catholic Media Association, the Diocese of Youngstown and all of his mentors and collaborators. “Through our efforts, and with an ecumenical attitude and spirit, we witnessed to the God who nurtures, calls and unites us all.”

The Most Rev. David J. Bonnar, Bishop of Youngstown, celebrated Father Korda’s award, noting, “Father Korda is a media icon in Youngstown, and respected both nationally and right here at home as a priest and communicator. I am grateful to Father Korda for his pioneering work in proclaiming the Gospel and for his legacy of communicating the compassionate love of God with innovation and joy.”

Justin Huyck, Director of Communications for the Diocese of Youngstown, notes, “Through his career and ministry, Father Korda has bridged generations. Just as he helped CTNY realize its potential in radio and television, building on those before him, I am grateful for the ways he is accompanying our Department of Communications as we transition from CTNY to The Catholic Echo as an integrated multimedia brand, inclusive of broadcast, digital and print.”

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