Mike Roberts

Speaking Fee: $200
Hometown: Orange, OH
Restrictions: none

Michael D. Roberts got his start as a newspaper reporter in 1962 and joined the Plain Dealer in 1963. He received the Ohio Associated Press Award in 1966 for exposing a forged Rembrandt painting. He reported on assignment from Vietnam, the Middle East, and the newspaper’s Washington Bureau. He joined Cleveland Magazine in 1972 and served as editor for 17 years. He works in public relations and regularly writes for several publications. He is also the author of Thirteen Seconds: Confrontation at Kent State (with Joe Eszterhas).

Speaking Topics

Hot Type, Cold Beer and Bad News: Cleveland’s Most Turbulent Decade, the 1960s
The 1960s were the most turbulent era in Cleveland history—and an exciting time to be a newspaper reporter. In his memoir Hot Type, Cold Beer and Bad News, Mike Roberts offers an eyewitness account of that era. As an ambitious young reporter he covered the major events of the day: civil rights violence, corruption and crime, Vietnam, Kent State, and more. It was the last golden age of print newspapers.

Books by Mike Roberts

Mike Olszewski

Speaking Fee: $200
Hometown: Aurora, OH
Restrictions: none

Mike Olszewski is a veteran Cleveland radio and television personality and the curator and archivist for the Ohio Broadcast Archive and Museum. He also teaches media and communications classes at Cleveland State University, Kent State University, the University of Akron, and Notre Dame College.

Speaking Topics

Cleveland TV Tales
Resist the early days of local TV with fun stories featuring pioneering entertainers such as Ghoulardi, Barnaby, Dorthy Fuldheim, and many, many, more.

Books by Mike Olszewski

Neil Zurcher

Speaking Fee: $450
Hometown: Bay Village, OH
Restrictions: none

Neil Zurcher logged more than a million miles on Ohio’s roads over 25 years as a TV travel reporter. He was the original host of the One Tank Trips travel report, which aired on Fox8 Television in Cleveland and has since been imitated in other television markets throughout the United States. He has also written about travel for AAA Ohio Motorist Magazine and The Plain Dealer. Zurcher received the Distinguished Service award from the Society of Professional Journalism and the Silver Circle award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He also received an Emmy, the Award for Excellence in Broadcasting from the Cleveland Association of Broadcasters, and has been inducted into the Cleveland Press Club Hall of Fame. He was also inducted into the Ohio Broadcasters Hall of Fame and received their Living Legacy Award in 2007. He has written five books about Ohio, including Ohio Oddities and Strange Tales from Ohio. He blogs at www.onetanktrips.com.

Speaking Topics

25 years of One Tank Trips
Neil Zurcher has driven all over the state of Ohio. With a million miles traveled, Neil entertains audiences with exciting but true stories from 25 years on the road as host of One Tank Trips.

Ohio Oddities
Ohio is not a bland and ordinary state. There is no shortage of strange, silly, goofy, quirky, and just plain weird places, people and things. After 25 years of covering the state, Neil Zurcher knows where to look. This entertaining talk covers many of the his most remarkable finds.

Strange Tales From Ohio
Ohio has a pretty strange history. Neil Zurcher takes you on a a guided tour of some offbeat tales of Ohio’s most remarkable people places and events, including some quirky trivia.

Books by Neil Zurcher

Carlo Wolff

Speaking Fee: $250
Hometown: South Euclid, OH
Restrictions: none

Carlo Wolff writes for numerous publications including Goldmine, Billboard.com, the Boston Globe, the Chicago Sun Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, Sun Newspapers and Scene. He specializes in music criticism, book reviews, and feature articles about popular culture, travel, and business. He is also Features Editor of LH-Lodging Hospitality magazine. He lives in South Euclid, Ohio.

Speaking Topics

Hit or Miss: Record Reviewing
Learn some techniques and tips for writing record reviews from Carlo Wolff. He has written hundreds of record reviews, touching everything from punk to classical to jazz. He believes in giving artists their due no matter the genre.

Be True to Your School: Book Reviews
Learn about writing book reviews from Carlo Wolff. He has written hundreds of book reviews, covering virtually every topic. He believes in vigorous criticism that illuminates even though it may offend. He has several anecdotes with which to back that faith.

The Decade That Keeps on Rocking: The ’60s
Carlo Wolff is a War Baby and a child of the ’60s who recalls the decade with affection. Revisit the glory days of rock & roll from his book, Cleveland Rock & Roll Memories. He shares his own experiences and provides another dimension to the era with which people are welcome to engage.

Putting Words on Paper: Writing
Carlo Wolff has been a professional writer since 1971 and started laying down words on a blank sheet when he was in high school in those dimly remembered ’50s. In this talk he encourages budding literati in their efforts with tricks of the trade gleaned from decades in the business.

Books by Carlo Wolff

John H. Tidyman

Speaking Fee: $200
Hometown: Lakewood, OH
Restrictions: none

John H. Tidyman is the author of eight books and has written for just about every publication in Northeast Ohio. After graduating from Lakewood High School, he was drafted and fought in the Vietnam War, and returned a 19-year-old buck sergeant. After stints as a waiter, a warehouseman and an air freight agent, he joined the Cleveland Press as a reporter. He has been writing ever since.

Speaking Topics

Good Guys and Bad Guys: The Real Life Stories From Cleveland Police
When writer and author John Tidyman set out to chronicle the street life of Cleveland cops, he wanted cops to trust him and tell the true stories that would otherwise never find the light of day. Mission accomplished — and John provides an intimate look at the men and women in blue. He talks about the difficulties getting cops to let down their guards, and true stories that are tragic, hilarious, fascinating, and frightening. Before you leave, you’ll have a much better understanding and appreciation of police work in a major, metropolitan city.

Gimme Rewrite, Sweetheart
Gimme Rewrite, Sweetheart is the unique collection of stories-behind-the-stories from Cleveland newspapers. Former Press reporter John Tidyman sat down with reporters, photographers and editors from the Cleveland Press and Plain Dealer, and collected the stories from the players in the most competitive business in town. Here’s a fascinating look at the men and women, who, during the days of newspaper competition, were responsible for discovering and reporting to us the news that shaped our lives and communities. Their methods weren’t taught in journalism schools — the ink-stained wretches covered stories by hook-and-crook, dumb luck, remarkable enterprise, and old-fashioned shoe leather. (They wouldn’t have it any other way.) Alas, the that era fades away, but John’s talk is lively, animated, and the most entertaining modern history lesson ever.

Books by John H. Tidyman

Les Roberts

Speaking Fee: $450
Hometown: Stow, OH
Restrictions: none

Les Roberts is the author of 17 mystery novels featuring Cleveland private investigator Milan Jacovich, as well as 11 other books of fiction. The past president of both the Private Eye Writers of America and the American Crime Writer’s League, he came to mystery writing after a 24-year career in Hollywood writing and producing television shows. He has been a professional actor, a singer, a jazz musician, and a teacher. A native of Chicago, he now lives in Northeast Ohio and is a film and literary critic.

Speaking Topics

Getting Away With Murder
A general discussion about writing in general and writing mysteries in particular.

Books by Les Roberts