Media News

OPC to administer reporting award named after Bloomberg’s Urban

December 4, 2023

Posted by Chris Roush

Rob Urban

The Rob Urban Award for Reporting in Central and Eastern Europe is being created to honor the former Bloomberg News journalist.

The award will be administered by the Overseas Press Club Foundation starting next year. The award will provide an annual scholarship, fellowship or reporting grant to an OPC Foundation fellow from a North American college or university to work in Central and Eastern Europe.

For each year there’s a suitable winner, the foundation will pay to place that person in the bureau of a major news organization for two months or so, helping launch his or her career.

Urban’s reporting from there helped Bloomberg win its first-ever OPC award for a series on global prime bank guarantee fraud tied to the collapse of a Czech bank. Urban was known for taking on some of the most challenging assignments, from descending a mine in Siberia to traveling deep into Kazakhstan to witness a post-Soviet rocket launch. He loved to tell stories of his adventures from Bucharest to Sofia, Budapest to Kyiv, even after he relocated to New York and went on to run global real estate and finance coverage in the decades that followed.

“We started a family in Eastern Europe and both of our children, Sasha and Katya, speak Russian and have made many trips to the region,” wrote Laura Zelenko, his former wife and a senior executive editor at Bloomberg News. “And our roots are from there: Rob’s grandfather emigrated from Hungary and mine from Poland — so we always joked that we chose Prague as our base to split the difference.”

Urban died suddenly on Sept. 20.

Our goal is to raise $60,000 for this award, which would ensure it will be given in perpetuity. Any donation is tax-deductible as the foundation is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit charitable organization.

Should you wish to contribute to the creation of this award, please visit the foundation’s website at and click on DONATE. Be sure to write in the PayPal special instructions section that the donation is for the Rob Urban award.

You can also send a check to the OPC Foundation at 40 West 45th Street, NY, NY 10036 and mark on the check the purpose of the donation. If you have any questions, you can email or check with Zelenko at

Subscribe to TBN

Receive updates about new stories in the industry daily or weekly.

Subscribe to TBN

Receive updates about new stories in the industry.