John Ferrugia is Denver's most honored investigative reporter.
He earned a National Edward R. Murrow Award in 2011 for his continuing investigation into deaths at the Pueblo Colorado State Mental Institute. His reports prompted sweeping changes in policies and procedures at the facility and prompted a grand jury investigation that held the hospital staff responsible for the suffocation of a patient.
John's 2008 Peabody Award-winning investigation into the deaths of several children in Denver led to a statewide review of child welfare programs and restructuring of Denver's Department of Human Services to better protect children at risk. A statewide training academy was instituted and the Colorado legislature passed an initiative forming the new child welfare ombudsman's office. This is just one of many stories investigated by John that has forced change in public policy, government or public safety.
In 2003, he and his team brought 7NEWS national recognition for investigative reporting as well as another Peabody Award and a duPont-Columbia Award with a year-long investigation into sexual assaults of female cadets at the U.S. Air Force Academy. His reports prompted Congressional hearings; a complete change in leadership at one of the world's most prestigious military institutions; and new initiatives for protecting and caring for sexual assault victims in the military. There is now a sex assault officer on every U.S. military base in the world.
John has been honored with television journalism's most prestigious awards including the DuPont-Columbia Award, three George Foster Peabody Awards, a national Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) Award, and has been inducted into the National Academy of TV Arts and Science- Heartland Chapter "Silver Circle" for his career contribution to broadcasting.
In 2012 John was awarded the Missouri Honor Medal for Distinguished Service in Journalism by the University of Missouri School of Journalism. The Medal, given since 1930 for career contributions to journalism, has been awarded to the likes of Walter Cronkite, Tom Brokaw, Charlayne Hunter-Gault, Christiane Amanpour and John Chancellor.
John Ferrugia joined 7NEWS in 1992, continuing an award-winning career in television journalism that has taken him from the Great Wall in China, to war torn Beirut, to Vatican City. He has covered stories involving prime ministers, the pope, and the president, often on Air Force One.
"I feel I have an obligation to use my talents in some way to improve the community I work and live in," John said. "As one of the 'CALL7 Investigators', I can accomplish that."
In 1980, John was a Washington correspondent for CBS News covering the presidential inauguration of Ronald Reagan and later, in 1981, the assassination attempt on the president. The year 1982 brought assignments in Europe, and covering the war in Beirut.
In the fall of 1982, John was named a White House correspondent. For the next three years he traveled the world with President Reagan, often on Air Force One. He covered the 40th anniversary of the D-Day invasion on the beaches of Normandy and the economic summits in London and Williamsburg. He also walked the Great Wall of China with Reagan, filed reports from South and Central America, and from the Demilitarized Zone in South Korea. He covered the 1984 Presidential campaign, filing reports from dozens of states, and interviewing President Reagan live, on stage, after his victory speech in Los Angeles in 1984.
John was later the principal anchor for the CBS News prime time magazine, "West 57th," reporting from around the world. He covered important national and international issues, including effects of the Soviet war in Afghanistan, the Mafia trials in Sicily, and U.S. politics. His investigative reports included medical fraud, inner city gangs, grey market drugs, and cutting edge cancer research.
He came to Denver in 1989 to anchor the news and report at KCNC where he was honored with an Emmy award for his investigation of the funding of violent skinhead groups in Colorado. Three years later he joined 7NEWS where he developed his signature report: "The Ferrugia File".
While his principle job is investigative reporter, John has been involved in reporting major stories for the past two decades, including the Columbine killings and subsequent investigation; reporting from the courtroom of the Oklahoma City bombing trials; reporting from the floor of both Democratic and Republican National Conventions; and producing and reporting a series on Homeland Security after the 2001 terrorists attacks.
In 1993, John was the only North American TV reporter aboard the papal aircraft covering the trip of Pope John Paul II to Mexico, Jamaica, and to Denver for World Youth Day. Prior to the trip, John secured an exclusive interview with the Pontiff in the courtyard of his summer residence at Castel Gandolfo in central Italy.
John has been a contributing correspondent to ABC’s "20/20" and "Good Morning America"; has contributed often to several CNN broadcasts; and has appeared on "Oprah" detailing the results of the Air Force Sex Assault Scandal.
In addition to three Peabody awards, the DuPont-Columbia, and IRE Awards, John’s investigative reporting has been honored with the National Headliner Award, the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) Award, and a regional Edward R. Murrow award for the documentary "Room 206: The Platte Canyon Shooting". He also received a National Emmy nomination for his work as a contributing correspondent to ABC News' "20/20", and has received two additional National Emmy nominations for award winning Regional Investigations.
John has also received awards from the Colorado Broadcaster's Association, the Missouri Broadcaster's Association and numerous Associated Press Awards. He has garnered more than a dozen Emmy Awards for his investigative reports on Homeland Security; government fraud and waste; corporate fraud; funding for hate groups; and for his first person reports of humanitarian aid, flying over Afghanistan following the U.S. invasion in 2001.
In 2008 he was honored with three Emmys for writing, documentary programming, and specialty reporting for "Room 206: The Platte Canyon Shooting".
In 2009 he was again awarded an Emmy for exposing flagrant spending of public money by officials in a rural Colorado county.
In 2010 John received two Emmy Awards for his stories exposing human services agency mistakes in two separate child deaths.
In 2011 John was awarded two more Emmys: The first for his investigation of patient deaths at the Pueblo state mental hospital and the second for the investigation of gubernatorial candidate and former congressman Scott McInnis for plagiarizing the work of a now Colorado Supreme Court justice. Following John's reports, McInnis lost the Republican primary to a virtual unknown Tea Party candidate.
He received an Emmy in 2013 for an investigation of school district spending and another Emmy in 2014 for his investigation of extravagant spending and hidden costs for the new Colorado state courts building and Supreme Court judges.
John has been awarded the prestigious McGraw-Hill Award for Editorial Excellence five times.
In addition to his work as an investigative reporter, he also co-anchors the Friday 7NEWS broadcasts.
John enjoys baseball, cooking, and is an avid wine enthusiast. John and his wife Mona have two sons.
1992 KMGH 7NEWS
1985 CBS News
1982 CBS News
White House Correspondent
1980 CBS News
Washington Correspondent/Foreign Correspondent
Kansas City, Mo.
University of Missouri
School of Journalism
"I am fortunate to investigate stories that make a difference in people's lives."
E-mail John at John@TheDenverChannel.com.