Joltin’ Joe Dionisio


WITH A FATHER WHO ENJOYED four decades in the news biz,  journalism is in Joe Dionisio’s blood. Since age 5, when he first sniffed the ink of the presses at Newsday’s Long Island headquarters, it was his dream to earn low wages in an industry that would one day be crushed by cyber technology.

That dream has been a resounding success.

Although Dionisio’s journalistic efforts have been published in virtually every major newspaper — from the Chicago Tribune to the Los Angeles Times to the

Washington Post — his very first byline was a terribly written letter-to-the-editor that ran in “Spider-Man” comic books when he was 8 years old.

More recently, he served as writer/ editorial researcher for a prominent White House correspondent at a major TV network. Per NDA, the outlet is confidential.

(Joe’s dad, artist Phil Dionisio, illustrated  three Newsday Pulitzer  Prizes, and won the Society of Professional  Journalists’  1997 award for best news graphic in the nation. Not to be outdone on the trophy shelf, Joe’s Little League team once awarded him the coveted “Participation Ribbon.”)

Besides his work as a reporter, Joe had the privilege of editing esteemed  journalists such as Linda Winer of the New York Drama Critics’ Circle, and ex-chair of the Pulitzer Prize panel for drama;  and art critic Justin Davidson, winner of the 2002 Pulitzer Prize.

Few of Dionisio’s achievements would be likely without mentor and longtime pal Stan Fischler, the prolific author of 100+ books. (Yes, Stan’s nickname, “The Hockey Maven,” did inspire the title of

Joltin’ Joe accidentally bumped into Stan in a New York Thruway bathroom years ago, and has been practicing yellow journalism ever since.

Phil Dionisio with son, Joe, in the days when “husky” was an actual clothing size for boys. Writer’s wages have since thinned Joe out.

CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, winner of two Polk Awards




EXCLUDING THE prestigious Pulitzer Prize, there may be no higher media honor than the George Polk Journalism Awards.  For several years, Joe Dionisio helped organize its annual ceremony in Brooklyn, N.Y.

The list of Polk laureates in the 71-year history of the Long Island University event is a who’s who of media  legends: Christiane Amanpour, Ted Koppel, Walter Cronkite, Jimmy Breslin, Diane Sawyer, Spike Lee, Bill Moyers, Edward R. Murrow, Peter Jennings,  Morley Safer, Charles Kuralt, Red Smith, and the  Watergate team of Woodward and Bernstein. 





Paper Clips

Major newspapers — both domestic and international — have published Joe Dionisio’s writing.  (Specific clips upon request). Please note:  Website paywalls and defunct or detoured hotlinks make it a challenge to keep portfolio URLs current.  As time permits, we'll link more of The Media Maven’s journalism bylines. To read stories, click some of the newspaper mastheads below:


A Hockey-Mad Reporter Discovers

Ice in the

Sunshine State

AS A REPORTER at the Palm Beach Post, Joe Dionisio indulged his two childhood passions: hockey and comic books.

He holds the distinction of being the very first hockey columnist in the annals of South Florida newspapers, interviewing NHL notables like  Gordie Howe, Bobby Orr, Mark Messier, Bernie Federko, Reijo Ruotsalainen, Bill Torrey  and Teemu Selanne. He also co-hosted a hockey radio show on Miami’s WQAM.

As a player, Joltin’ Joe played ice and roller hockey in South Florida, won a state championship at the Sunshine State Games, and skated in an NHL alumni game as fill-in for Phil Esposito.

Dionisio — who has worked for four National Hockey League franchises — had ideal timing as a Post hockey writer.

His hiring coincided with three  hockey births: the Florida Panthers,  the short-lived semi-pro Roller Hockey Intl (whose Hammerheads club drafted Joe), and the minor circuit Sunshine Hockey League, whose flagship team, the Blaze, called West Palm Beach home.

He earned the ultimate compliment when his literary mentor Stan Fischler wrote, “Joe Dionisio knows as much about hockey as any journalist in Canada.”

Joe’s puck prose has also appeared in many NHL books;  magazines such as The Hockey News, Hockey Illustrated, Hockey Stars,  New York Islanders Magazine, and Michigan Hockey Weekly; on Madison Square Garden Network’s website; and on ESPN.

John Vanbiesbrouck was the cornerstone of the Florida Panthers’ inaugural 1993 season.  Joe Dionisio of the Palm Beach Post was the first American reporter to break the news that the NHL had expanded into Miami.

Hall of Famer Bernie Federko,

left, with Dionisio

Above: With Boston Bruin Bobby Orr




Below left: Gordie Howe and Joe Dionisio at a minor league game in Florida


Below right: The Sunshine Hockey League’s West Palm Beach Blaze battle the Dayton Beach Sun Devils in the mid ’90s.


“It’s amazing that the amount of news that happens in the world every day

 always just exactly fits the newspaper.”

 Jerry Seinfeld

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