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Local stations fare well in state competition

Tuesday, May 18, 1999

By Rob Owen, Post-Gazette TV Editor

Pittsburgh TV stations put their Philadelphia counterparts to shame at the Pennsylvania Associated Press Broadcasters Association awards ceremony Saturday. Among major market stations, Pittsburgh TV outlets took all the awards in the regularly scheduled newscast and individual/enterprise reporting categories.

WPGH and WTAE tied with five awards each. WPXI brought home four, and KDKA snagged one for best regularly scheduled newscast at 11 p.m. with anchors Patrice King Brown and Stacy Smith, producer Rich Cook, director Marla Phillips and assignment editor Dicky Nassar.

WTAE's 11 p.m. news came in second with substitute anchors Michelle Wright and Baron James, producer Mindie Currie and director Bob Watt. WPXI's 5 p.m. news placed third with producer Brandon Falkner.

WPXI's Becky Thompson took home first place in enterprise/individual reporting for her report on a pay phone scam photographed by Tim Holonan. WTAE's Jim Parsons came in second with a report on child molester John Shallenberger, produced by Anne Linaberger and edited by Nina Keefer. Alan Jennings won a third-place award for an interview with a former Secret Service officer, photographed by Paul Feiling.

In spot news, WTAE placed first with Shawn Yancy's report on an airplane crash at Allegheny County Airport. Photographers included Kevin Kane and Art Carr; Connie Stewart, Liz Scharf, Denise Bolger and Mindy Currie were the producers. WPGH's Jay Harris came in second with his report on a house explosion.

In the feature category, WPXI photographer Tony Ruffolo came in third with a photo story on what it's like to be American as seen through the eyes of an immigrant cobbler.

WPGH's "Sports Extra" with Alby Oxenreiter won second place in the sportscast category. Sean McCann was the producer.

Among sports features, WTAE's Pat Parris won first place for a report on Josh Gibson, "The Unknown King of Home Runs," photographed by Rich Huzicko, produced by Kevin Smith and edited by Mike Lazorko and Perry Contini. Andrew Stockey won third place in the same category for WTAE for his report on Steelers linebacker Levon Kirkland, photographed by Terry Connel, produced by Kevin Smith and edited by Mike Lazorko and Perry Contini.

WPGH photographer/producer Brian Krills won second place in news photography for a story on an undercover police officer who rode with the Amish in a buggy after several had been pelted.

WPGH also won in the sports photography category. Photographer/producer Mike Neely took first place for a report on an auto race and third place for a report on paintball.

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