Keenan Award: Honoring Those Who Serve

Thomas F. Keenan
Thomas M. Keenan

Each year, the Guild recognizes a member who has done the most for the union and its members by bestowing the Thomas M. Keenan NewsGuild of New York Service Award on a longstanding Guild member. 

Any Guild member in good standing can nominate any other member for the award. The winner is chosen by the New York Guild’s Administrative Committee, which consists of the president, secretary-treasurer, local chairperson and the Local’s three vice presidents.

In determining the award winner, the committee must find that a nominee “performed above and beyond in service to the New York Local, and best exemplifies the ideals of a true labor leader in the spirit of Tom Keenan.”

The annual award was established in 1999 to honor Tom Keenan, the longest-serving New York Times unit chair. Keenan was elected to seven terms as Times unit chair, holding that office longer than any other person before joining the Guild’s staff as a Local representative in 1998. He died in December 2000 after a battle with cancer. Since the award was established, there have been 29 recipients.

2021 Keenan Award Nominations

The NewsGuild of New York is pleased to announce nominations are open for the 2021 Keenan Service Award, named in honor of the late Tom Keenan, a stalwart Guild activist.

The Keenan Award recognizes annually the outstanding contributions of a Guild member. Nominations are open until Friday, June 11, 2021, at 12 p.m. EDT.

Keenan served as the Times Guild unit chair for seven terms—longer than anyone else—before joining the Guild’s staff in 1997 as a local representative. He became ill shortly after coming to work for the union. Keenan also served on the Local’s Committee for the second-longest period of any rank-and-file member in our over 80-year history.

The winner is selected by the Guild’s Administrative Committee, comprised of the Local’s president, secretary-treasurer, local chair and the Guild’s three vice presidents.

In determining a winner, the Committee seeks the nominee who “has performed above and beyond the call of duty in service to the New York Local, and best exemplifies the ideals of a true labor leader, in the spirit of Tom Keenan.”

To nominate:

  • Any Guild member in good standing can nominate any other member in good standing for the award. Nominees may also include members who retired from a Guild job during the past year, so long as the nomination is made by a current member in good standing.
  • Please provide a brief paragraph describing why you believe this individual should receive the Keenan Award.
  • Nominations may be submitted online at, via email to, or by written nomination via mail.
    • If submitting a nomination by email, the email must come from a verifiable email address belonging to the member making the nomination.
    • If submitting a written nomination, please ensure that the nomination is signed by the member(s) making the nomination. Send to The NewsGuild of New York, attn: Tim Try, 1500 Broadway, Suite 900, New York, NY 10036.
  • No self-nominations, please.

This year’s prize will be presented at our Summer Membership Meeting in June. More details about the meeting are always announced closer to the date.

2021 Keenan Award Nomination Form