ATHENS, Ohio (WCMH) — The Chairman and CEO of Nexstar Media Group, NBC4’s parent company, is set to receive the Ohio University Alumni Association’s most prestigious award.

Perry Sook, who earned his bachelor’s degree from the school in 1980, will be honored as Alumnus of the Year on Oct. 6 at the 2023 Alumni Awards, according to a news release from the organization. The award is the “highest honor given to an OHIO graduate.”

“Perry truly exemplifies this award, and I can’t think of a more fitting tribute of his service to his alma mater,” said Nico Karagosian, Vice President of Advancement at Ohio University and CEO of The Ohio University Foundation. “He is a husband and father to an amazing family, the leader of a broadcast powerhouse, and yet he has made time to faithfully share his time and talent with Ohio University for more than two decades. We are all so thankful to know Perry, and his wife Sandy.”

In 1996, Sook began Nexstar with one local station in Scranton, Pennsylvania. The company grew to acquire broadcasting giants Tribune Media and Media General, becoming the largest operator of local broadcast television stations in America. Today, Nexstar reaches nearly 70% of all TV households. In addition, Sook currently serves as Chairman of the Joint Board of Directors of the National Association of Broadcasters.

Beyond Sook’s professional accomplishments, he has also devoted over 20 years to serving on The Ohio University Foundation Board of Trustees. Eight years were spent as the board’s chair before he stepped down in June of this year. Additionally, his volunteer work extends to serving on the campaign committees for both of the university’s Bicentennial and Promise Lives Campaigns.

In an act of extreme generosity, Sook and his wife Sandy made a financial donation to build The Perry and Sandy Sook Academic Center. The building was created to provide student athletes with collaborative study space and opened at OU’s Peden Stadium in 2018.

Fellow Ohio University grad and Nexstar President of Broadcasting, Timothy Busch, nominated Sook.

“You can go through 10 lifetimes and not work with somebody quite like Perry,” Busch said. “I don’t think I would be on the Ohio University Foundation Board if it wasn’t for Perry. I certainly wouldn’t have had the professional career and the success that we have had. His leadership style is unparalleled.”

The Alumni Awards Gala will be held on the Friday ahead of Ohio University’s Oct. 7 Homecoming Football game. The ceremony will take place from 6-8 p.m. in the Memorial Auditorium.

“Each year, our award recipients talk about their Bobcat memories and the power of their OHIO experiences as they accept their awards,” said Associate Vice President of Alumni Relations & Annual Giving and Executive Director of the OUAA Jennifer Bowie, BSC ’94, MC ’99.” We welcome students and faculty to share these inspiring moments with the awardees and their families—and to stick around for a light dessert reception following the ceremony!”

Nominations for the 2024 Alumni Awards are currently being accepted.