SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — The Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District honored retired FOX40 reporter Lonnie Wong with its Media Excellence Award on Wednesday night.

The award was given to Lonnie during Metro Fire’s annual awards gala.

“Lonnie Wong’s been just a phenomenal reporter. The guy has almost half a century in journalism,” Parker Wilbourn, with Metro Fire, said. “We really just want to acknowledge the hard work and dedication that he’s had over the course of the last four decades.”

Lonnie has also previously been honored by the Emmy Awards for lifetime achievement in TV news.

Lonnie’s prolific career in journalism began nearly 50 years ago, when he started out as a reporter for the student-run radio station at UC Davis, KDVS.

He went on to cover politics at the State Capitol for several Bay Area radio stations – right around the time Ronald Reagan was finishing up his second term as California’s governor.

Lonnie also worked as a freelance reporter for networks and local television stations in Los Angeles and San Diego before finding his way back to Sacramento.

In 1980, Lonnie started at KTXL, known as TV-40 back then.

“I was used to covering big stories for the networks. So when I came to FOX40, all of a sudden I was covering grocery store openings or the birth of a tiger cub at the zoo,” he said.

Over the years, Lonnie has hosted and produced several talk shows at KTXL. He’s covered natural disasters like wildfires, droughts, floods and earthquakes.

“I think the highest compliment that an elected official could pay to a journalist is that he was always thorough and fair. That’s Lonnie Wong’s reputation, and it’s been deserved,” Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg said when Lonnie retired.