Outstanding Young Graduate
Kelly Frank ’96
Kelly Frank ’96, currently the director of news and digital content for WBNS-TV in Columbus, Ohio, has exhibited many talents and has achieved many professional milestones during her career to make her an outstanding graduate of Kentucky Wesleyan College.
Prior to WBNS, Kelly Frank ’96 was the executive producer for CNN Newsroom with Ali Velshi. The show reached 80 million homes each day. Phone calls, research, writing, cutting video, creating graphics and editing filled her day. During the show, Kelly was in the control room with her headset on, watching the program and making changes “on the fly.”
Prior to CNN, Kelly started her career in Washington D.C. in a public relations job. The TV bug bit when she worked with her father as a production assistant for his show, “Forever Young.” It was syndicated to Fox Cable Networks and shot on location all over the world. She later began producing segments for that show.
Kelly moved into news as a producer with NBC in August 2000 and spent six years working for various NBC affiliates. After another two years at Fox News, Kelly joined CNN. She was formerly executive producer for WTTG Fox 5 in Washington, D.C.; executive producer for KPNX in Phoenix; executive producer and producer for WTMJ in Milwaukee, and producer for WCMH in Columbus, OH.
CNN won a Peabody Award in 2009, which included a special day of coverage produced by Kelly entitled “From MLK to Today.” Kelly secured her second Peabody for CNN’s coverage of the 2010 Gulf Oil Spill. Other career highlights include producing CNN’s daylong coverage of Lincoln’s Bicentennial. Kelly is a five-time Emmy nominee, producing coverage such as the 2004 National Democratic Presidential Debate. Kelly recently launched the pilot show “What the Week with Pete Dominick” on CNN and is in the process of developing another new show. Executive management of CNN identified Kelly as a CNN top performer, placing her in the top 10% of the company and she was nominated for a first-of-its-kind senior fellowship.
Kelly is a generous and loyal donor to Kentucky Wesleyan College. In addition, she arranged to have CNN’s mid-day anchor, Ali Velshi, as the KWC 2011 commencement speaker. Kelly returned to campus with Velshi and spoke with the Class of 2011 during their Senior Breakfast. It was her first campus visit since her own commencement 15 years ago. Kelly is active in events raising money for AIDS research, something she is passionate about after the death of her uncle to this disease, and she will be running a half-marathon this fall for the Susan G Komen foundation in honor of her sister who is fighting breast cancer.