LA CROSSE, Wis. (WFRV) – The Wisconsin Broadcasters Association’s Summer Conference took place on Thursday and Local 5’s Tom Zalaski received one of the most prestigious awards.

Zalaski was presented with the Legends Award, cementing his name in the history books. With more than 42 years of anchoring experience and 70,000 newscasts, Zalaski continues to serve northeast Wisconsin.

“When I first came to Wisconsin as a 25-year-old kid, my plan was to work here for one year and I was off to the big time. Well guess what, 47 some odd years later here I am in the big time because here in Green Bay, it is the big time when it comes to family, quality of life, and the people that we get to see, work with, and broadcast to every night,” explained Zalaski.

His community efforts in organizing various events, hosting Newsmaker Sunday, and helping out with the Appleton Christmas and Flag Day parades make “Z” a staple figure in the community.

“Tom Zalaski is Tom Zalaski,” said President/CEO of the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association, Michelle Vetterkind. “Tom is a true, longtime legend in his local community. He is everything this award is meant to be and we’re so honored to recognize Tom today.”

The veteran anchor found out he was going to be honored back toward the end of March and now on Thursday, Zalaski officially became a Local Broadcast Legends honoree.

Click here to sign up for the Local 5 Community Newsletter

“To become a broadcast legend for Wisconsin Broadcasting Association, I kind of look at this after 44 years in the business as a participation trophy,” said Zalaski while chuckling. “People have been inviting me into their homes for 40, 45 years now and that’s my honor and my privilege so I take this day as really a celebration of how [the viewers] have all welcomed me and made my life so wonderful in Green Bay.”

For more information about Tom Zalaski’s Legends Award, click here.