SABEW honors biz news, Michiganers land MAB awards, and more recognition for pubcasters

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Pubcasters honored with SABEW Best in Business awards.

NPR’s coverage of the “Health Care Website Launch” was named best radio/TV segment or interview, citing reporter Elise Hu and editors Uri Berliner and Neal Carruth. NPR’s Planet Money won in the innovation category for its episode “Planet Money Makes a T-Shirt.” WAMU 88.5 News’s Patrick Madden, Julie Patel and Meymo Lyons won for best radio/TV or investigative report for “Deals for Developers.” “Lots of ground covered, great interviews with lots of players and lots of tough questions asked,” said SABEW. “This is local accountability journalism at its best.”

ProPublica received three awards in the digital arena. ProPublica’s Jesse Eisinger won for digital commentary for “The Trade,” which addressed the banking and financial industries; T. Christian Miller and Jeff Gerth were cited in the digital explanatory division for “Overdose,” a series investigating the dangers of acetaminophen; and A.C. Thompson and Jonathan Jones won for the digital feature “Assisted Living.”

The digital investigative prize went to Chris Hamby of The Center for Public Integrity for “Breathless and Burdened: Dying from Black Lung, Buried by Law and Medicine.” (“Breathless and Burdened” also won the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting presented by the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government for CPI’s Hamby, Ronnie Greene, Jim Morris and Chris Zubak-Skees plus Matthew Mosk, Brian Ross and Rhonda Schwartz of ABC News; it was presented March 5 in Boston.)

The 19th annual BiB awards will be presented March 29 at the SABEW conference in Phoenix.


Pubcasters capture a bevy of awards for broadcast excellence.

In Public Radio Group 1, stations with budgets of less than $2 million, WICA-FM (IPR [Interlochen Public Radio] News Radio in Traverse City), won five awards, including station of the year. The others were for hard news/currents events stories for Dangerous Currents, mini-documentary/series for 50th Series, musical programming for “Remembering Dave Brubeck” and news special/public affairs program for Asian Carp Dinner.

WGVU-FM, a dual licensee of Grand Valley State University in Kalamazoo, won four Group 1 awards: feature/use of medium for Listen to Your Body, marketing materials and promos for “This Is WGVU-FM,” membership appeal for “The Year-End Gift Movie Trailer” and special interest/cultural programming for And a Happy New Year. And WEMU, the Eastern Michigan University station in Ypsilanti, won best newscast for “EMU Football Player Death/Halftime Report.”

Michigan Public Radio, the University of Michigan network based in Ann Arbor, won five awards in Group 2, pubradio stations with budgets over $2 million. Along with being named station of the year, MPR won in the community-involvement category for “State of Opportunity,” feature/use of medium for “Kalamazoo Group Honors WWII Veterans,” marketing materials and promos for “The Things That Matter,” mini-documentary/series for Detroit Deals with Bankruptcy and news special/public affairs program for Unequal by Law.

WDET-FM in Detroit received four Group 2 awards: best newscast, hard news and current events story for “Detroit Qualifies for Bankruptcy,” membership appeal for “Frosted Public Radio,” and musical programming for Rob Reinhart’s Essential Music.

Detroit Public TV won seven awards in the pubTV division, including community involvement for A Salute to Veterans, cultural programming for Detroit Art City: The Detroit Institute of Arts Story; independent producer for Great Lakes, Great Tastes 2013; membership appeal for “History of Detroit Television Membership”; mini-documentary/series for Waukesha Diversion; special interest programming for Great Lakes Now: Update; and sports, outdoor or recreation for First in Michigan Robotics.

WGVU-TV won awards in the cultural and performing arts division for “Hope College Christmas Vespers,” marketing materials and promos for “Downton Abbey Premiere Spots” and news special/documentary for a West Michigan Week segment.

And WKAR-TV, the Michigan State University station in East Lansing, was named station of the year and won for best news/public affairs special for Episode 4245 of Off the Record.

The MAB also named Central Michigan University’s MHTV, an affiliate of PBS’s WCMU in Mount Pleasant, college TV station of the year. Oakland University’s WXOU-FM was named college radio station of the year.

The winners received their awards at a ceremony March 12 in Lansing.


APTS honors station leaders for contributions to pubcasting.

Brugger, Driggs and Butler (left to right) (Photo: APTS)

Brugger, Driggs and Butler (left to right) (Photo: APTS)

Dorothy Pacella, executive director of the Friends of Thirteen Inc., was presented with a 2014 National Advocacy Award from the Association of Public Television Stations for her work in furthering pubTV’s legislative goals and marshaling grassroots support for public broadcasting. “Every year, Dorothy recruits and leads a team of local advocates who meet with the New York congressional delegation, effectively telling the story of public broadcasting’s mission and dedication to education,” said Pat Butler, APTS president.

Another National Advocacy Award was given to Gail Sande, a member of the Board of Trustees of KNPB Public Broadcasting in Reno, Nev., and chair of its Resource and Governance Committee. “Gail is a tireless advocate for public broadcasting, helping to advance bipartisan support of public broadcasting in Congress,” said Butler.

Edmund Driggs, former chair of WTVI PBS in Charlotte, N.C., and a current member of the Charlotte City Council, received the David J. Brugger Lay Leadership Award for his outstanding work as an advocate for public television in his community and on the national scene. “As chair of the APTS Spectrum Opportunities Task Force, Ed spent countless hours mastering the details of the FCC’s forthcoming spectrum auctions, talking with technologists, financiers and regulators about the implications of the auctions and the proper valuation of spectrum, and helping us prepare a spectrum handbook for our member stations that has proven immensely useful in informing their decisions about whether and how to participate in the auction process,” said Butler.

The awards were presented at the APTS Public Media Summit Feb. 23-25 in Washington, D.C.


ETV Endowment received the Erin Hardwick Award for Nonprofit Excellence.

The ETV Endowment of South Carolina Inc., based in Spartanburg, is a nonprofit that raises funds to support the programming of South Carolina ETV and ETV Radio, South Carolina’s statewide public media network.

“We are incredibly proud of our donors, trustees and staff who are committed to fulfilling the Endowment’s mission of supporting ETV and ETV Radio’s exceptional programming,” said Coby Hennecy, executive director of the ETV Endowment. “Since our founding in 1977, we have been focused on our mission and have worked diligently to be good stewards of our donors’ contributions. This award honors the hard work of aligning our governance and management practices with the principles we passionately support, and it is truly gratifying.”

SCANPO presented the award Feb. 11 in Charleston, S.C.

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