Development execs honored at PMDMC, WLIW documentary wins in N.Y., and other awards in public media

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An award-winning episode of WLIW's Treasures of New York revisited the city's landmark preservation movement. Above: Kent Barwick, then president of the Municipal Arts Society, speaks during a rally to protect New York City's 1965 Landmarks Law. (Photo: Steven Tucker).

A president of New York City’s Municipal Arts Society speaks during a rally to protect the city’s 1965 Landmarks Law. An award-winning episode of WLIW’s Treasures of New York revisited the preservation movement. (Photo: Steven Tucker).

Public Media Development and Marketing Conference

Awards at PMDMC recognized achievements in fundraising and development.

June Peoples, membership director at North Country Public Radio in Canton, N.Y., was named the Public Radio Association of Development Officers development professional of the year at this year’s PMDMC in Washington, D.C. Peoples was cited for pioneering a new approach to on-air fundraising called “Wrap Drive,” which reduced on-air fundraising from 12 days to two days and six hours, and increasing NCPR’s revenue goals and members. Peoples joined NCPR as membership director in 2004.

The PRADO award honors a station-based fundraising professional who has demonstrated excellence at his or her station.

WUFT in Gainesville, Fla. received Greater Public’s Benchmarks award. The award recognizes stations that achieve “remarkable gains,” and WUFT fit the bill by increasing fundraising by 48 percent and cutting its dependence on fund drives nearly in half. WUFT has been on the air since 1958 and is owned by the University of Florida.

Dan Metziga of Oregon Public Broadcasting was named PBS's C. Scott Elliott Development Professional of the Year. (Photo: PBS)

Dan Metziga of Oregon Public Broadcasting was named PBS’s C. Scott Elliott Development Professional of the Year. (Photo: PBS)

Dan Metziga, senior v.p. of development and marketing at Oregon Public Broadcasting, was presented with PBS’s C. Scott Elliott Development Professional of the Year Award. The accolade recognizes the contributions of a development professional who strives to advance public broadcasting in a passionate and ethical manner.

In Metziga’s 17 years at OPB, the network has achieved record membership, corporate and major-giving revenue and has 127,000 households as members, an all-time high. In a statement, PBS lauded Metziga as a “forward-thinker and system leader” who has led his team with “honesty, integrity, and the generosity of mentoring and guiding others.”

National Education Association

The NEA named two public broadcasting leaders its 2015 Friends of Education.

The NEA presented its highest honor to public broadcasting leaders whose institutions have made “a lasting educational difference in the lives of millions of children.” Paula Kerger, president and c.e.o. of PBS, and Pat Harrison, president and c.e.o. of CPB, received the 2015 Friend of Education award. Kerger accepted the award at a ceremony in Orlando, Fla., in front of more than 7,000 educators.

“Our country will succeed or fail based on our ability to educate and engage the next generation,” Kerger said. “At PBS, we strive to put education at the heart of all that we do, and to build partnerships with others who are equally focused on education. . . . We’ve worked hard to make sure that our content does more than entertain; it also inspires and teaches.”

With Kerger at the helm, PBS has developed PBS LearningMedia, which gives educators digital learning tools for their classrooms. At CPB, Harrison helped create “American Graduate: Let’s Make It Happen,” a nationwide initiative to help communities keep young people on track to graduate.

“Paula and Pat have been at the helm of an industry that helps not just educators, but also the students they teach,” said Lily Eskelsen Garcia, NEA president. “Their reach and impact across this nation in teaching and learning make them genuine partners of public education. The honorees understand the importance of education to our country’s future.”

New York State Broadcasters Association

NYSBA presented numerous awards to public broadcasters at its annual conference.

WFUV in New York won twice in the large market radio category for outstanding local newscast and outstanding sportscast. In the same category, WNYC in New York won outstanding feature story for a piece about a teen dad trying to avoid making his father’s mistakes, and outstanding commentary for “Eric Garner: Real Voices of Protest.”

In the small market television category, Mountain Lake PBS in Plattsburgh took home outstanding documentary program for On Home Ground, which took an intimate look at lives of veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, and outstanding locally produced TV show for Focused: Creative Youth in the Empire State, which followed ambitious art students. WPBS in Watertown won outstanding public affairs program or series for “Public Eye: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.”

WAMC in Albany dominated in the medium market radio category, winning five of the twelve awards: in the public affairs program or series category for The Capitol Connection, spot news for “Maloney declares victory; Hayworth does not concede,” feature story for “Preserving the story of the American jukebox,” local sporting event for “UMASS basketball player joins growing list of openly gay athletes” and outstanding commentary for “Say it ain’t so, Jeter.”

In the medium market television category, WXXI in Rochester won outstanding individual program or series designed for children for Homework Hotline, and WMHT in Albany won outstanding locally produced TV show for “Age Wise: End of Life.”

WRVO won in the small market radio category. The Oswego-based station received the award for outstanding public affairs program or series for its 2014 election night coverage, outstanding spot news for its coverage of a local tornado and outstanding feature story for “Art and science flow together in the Lava Project.”

In the large market television category, WLIW in New York won in the feature news story category for “The Stargate Theatre Company,” documentary program for “Treasures of New York: The Landmarks Preservation Movement” and outstanding locally produced TV show for MetroFocus.

Award winners were honored at NYSBA’s 53rd Executive Conference at the Conrad Hotel in New York City.