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Pittsburgh stations place in Associated Press broadcast awards

Tuesday, April 29, 2003

By Rob Owen, Post-Gazette TV Editor

The Associated Press announced the winners in its broadcast competition for radio and television stations on Saturday. Pittsburgh winners, judged by the North Carolina AP Broadcasters Association, are listed below:

TELEVISION

ENTERPRISE/INDIVIDUAL REPORTING

1st Place -- WPXI-TV, Pittsburgh
"Bar Beatings"
Reporter: Andy Gastmeyer
Photographers: Scott Dobson and Tony Phelan
Description: A Target 11 investigation reveals violent behavior by bouncers at a local nightclub.
Judges' comments: Good enterprising. Finding two victims of bar beatings made the story. Amazing video of bouncers beating unknown man -- shocking, immediately draws people in.

2nd Place -- WTAE-TV, Pittsburgh
"No Questions Asked"
Reporter: Jim Parsons
Editor: Michael Lazorko
Description: Team 4 shows how lax gun laws in nearby Ohio allow people to purchase guns with no background checks.
Judges' comments: Powerful expose. Good undercover footage to illustrate the problem.

Honorable Mention -- WPGH-TV, Pittsburgh
"Vanishing Paramedics"
Reporter: Ari Hait
Description: Emergency medical service in Pennsylvania is better than ever. But paramedic companies in the Pittsburgh area are on the critical list. This report explores how they got there and what needs to be done to restore them to health.
Judges' comments: Great viewer benefit. Good exploration of problem. Clear information for the viewer to understand.

SPOT NEWS

1st Place -- WTAE-TV, Pittsburgh
"Miners' Rescue"
Reporters: WTAE News Staff
Description: WTAE followed the rescue of the Quecreek miners from start to finish, including a late-night, six-hour show as the rescue was taking place.
Judges' comments: Great use of emotional sound. Excellent, comprehensive coverage.

2nd Place -- WTAE-TV, Pittsburgh
"Tank Truck Explosion"
Reporter: Marcie Cipriani
Photographers: Terry Connell and Gary O'Data
Description: A truck accident turned explosive when the overturned tanker began leaking its contents.
Judges' comments: Good use of video. Coverage was well-produced. The reporter on the story had great energy and got the latest info on scene to viewer first.

3rd Place -- WPGH-TV, Pittsburgh
"Homewood Standoff"
Reporters: Katie Sesny and Kym Gable
Photographers: Chris Kumichi and Kirk Manson
Description: A man threatens police and holds them at bay.
Judges' comments: Great video. Great sound. The stories complemented each other.

REGULARLY SCHEDULED NEWSCAST

1st Place -- WTAE-TV, Pittsburgh
"5 p.m. Newscast -- December 10, 2002"Producer: Richard Cook
Description: The 5-6 p.m. newscast.
Judges' comments: Good set-up to the top story. Nice pacing and storytelling.

2nd Place -- WPGH-TV, Pittsburgh
"Ten O'Clock News -- December 10, 2002"
Anchors: Jay Harris and Sheila Hyland
Weather anchor: Matt Morano
Sports anchor: Alby Oxenreiter
Producer: Bridget McNie
Sports producer: Brad Inman
Description: The Fox 53 Ten O'Clock News is designed for people who will watch just one local newscast a day. The major emphasis is on local news, weather and sports.
Judges' comments: Solid storytelling.

PUBLIC AFFAIRS

1st Place -- KDKA-TV, Pittsburgh
"No Place Like Home"
Reporter: Susan Barnett
Executive producer: Anne Linaberger
Description: This half-hour documentary detailed results of KDKA's eight-month investigation, in partnership with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, into the quality of nursing home care in Pennsylvania.
Judges' comments: The emotional sound draws viewers in. This report was truly a public service -- excellent, high energy, very thorough.

3rd Place -- WTAE-TV, Pittsburgh
"Time Won't Wait"
Reporter: Marilyn Brooks
Editor: Michael Lazorko
Description: WTAE has made a commitment to help viewers get "Healthy for Life."
Judges' comments: (None)

FEATURE

3rd Place -- WPGH-TV, Pittsburgh
"Honor Guard"
Reporter: Cyndy McGrath
Photographer: Kirk Manson
Description: An elite group of veterans serves as an honor guard at funerals of veterans who have passed away.
Judges' comments: Good, enlightening story. Photography, editing and reporting emphasizes the pride these men take in performing the task.

SPORTSCAST

1st Place -- Fox Sports Net, Pittsburgh
"Pittsburgh Sports Tonight"
Producer: John Foster
Description: Pittsburgh Sports Tonight is a 30-minute Pittsburgh sports news show that airs nightly at 10.
Judges' comments: Excellent production value. Network quality.

SPORTS PLAY-BY-PLAY

1st Place -- WTAE-TV, Pittsburgh
"Steelers Primetime"
Reporters: Andrew Stockey and Sally Wiggin
Editor: Michael Lazorko
Description: When ABC carries a Steelers game, WTAE puts on a "Steelers Primetime" special.
Judges' comments: High energy. Show had good sense of immediacy. Live from the stadium adds to the show. Well-produced and edited. Talent very knowledgeable.

SPORTS FEATURE

1st Place -- KDKA-TV, Pittsburgh
"Steelers Fans"
Reporter: Dave Crawley
Photographer: Dave Forstate
Description: A reporter and photographer turn a typical Steelers tailgating party into something special.
Judges' comments: Well-written. Good use of video to match track.

2nd Place -- WPGH-TV, Pittsburgh
"Lucky Winner"
Reporter: Matt Fine
Photographer: Dan Vojtko
Description: A Pittsburgh-area man qualifies for the Ironman Triathlon. He gets the news from reporter Matt Fine.
Judges' comments: (None)

NEWS PHOTOGRAPHY

1st Place -- KDKA-TV, Pittsburgh
"Dream Street"Photographer: Dave Colabine
Description: A photographer takes a potentially run-of-the-mill story -- the opening of a photography exhibit -- and single-handedly turns it into something truly special, interesting and fascinating to watch.
Judges' comments: Nice storytelling through photography. Very creative approach. Story is enhanced by finding people in the pictures; that personalizes it for the viewer.

3rd Place -- KDKA-TV, Pittsburgh
"Shanksville Memorial"
Photographer: Dave Forstate
Description: Lots of photographers shot lots of footage of the memorial in Shanksville for the Flight 93 heroes. But the way this photographer treats the subject is above par.
Judges' comments: Raw, emotional sound. Great camera angles move the story.

SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY

1st Place -- Fox Sports Net, Pittsburgh
"Mini Hoops Star"
Reporter: Stephanie Gabos
Description: An 8-year-old girl wins a national contest by hitting 25 straight free throws.
Judges' comments: (None)

REGULARLY SCHEDULED WEATHERCAST

1st Place -- WTAE-TV, Pittsburgh
"Weathercast -- December 31, 2002"
Meteorologist: Don Schwenneker
Editor: Michael Lazorko
Description: A normal weather segment for the evening news.
Judges' comments: Professional. Informative. Clear info for viewer to understand.

2nd Place -- WPGH-TV, Pittsburgh
"SkyScan Weather -- December 4, 2002"
Chief meteorologist: Matt Morano
Description: Matt uses a combination of straight-forward commentary and clear graphics to tell the day's weather story.
Judges' comments: Good, concise graphics reinforce info for the viewer.

NEWS OR SPORTS TALK PROGRAM

Honorable Mention -- Fox Sports Net, Pittsburgh
"SportsBeat"
Reporters: Stan Savran and Guy Junker
Producer: Roger Lenhart
Description: SportsBeat is a 60-minute call-in sports talk show in its 12th year. It's a Pittsburgh institution.
Judges' comments: (None)

JOE SNYDER AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING NEWS SERVICE

WTAE-TV, Pittsburgh
Judges' comments: A solid effort in all areas.

RADIO

SANDY STAROBIN AWARD FOR ENTERPRISE/INDIVIDUAL REPORTING

3rd Place -- WDUQ, Pittsburgh
"Pittsburgh's New Front Door"
Reporter: Mark Nootbaar
Description: The new David L. Lawrence Convention Center is drawing rave reviews for the way it opens up Pittsburgh's beautiful attributes, the rivers, to visitors. But in this report, Mark Nootbaar talks about some of the unique aspects of the facility that are just coming to light.
Judges' comments: Thorough reporting.

SPOT NEWS

2nd Place -- KQV, Pittsburgh
"Convention Center Collapse -- February 12, 2002"
Reporters: Bruce Sakalik and Elaine Effort
Description: Reports from the first 11/2 hours following the collapse of a beam being erected at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center construction site.
Judges' comments: Colorful live reports from Bruce Sakalik.

REGULARLY SCHEDULED NEWSCAST

3rd Place -- KQV, Pittsburgh
"Newscast -- June 5, 2002 -- 9:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m."
Reporters: Bob James, Walt Golden, Elaine Effort and Bruce Sakalik
Anchors: P.J. Maloney and David Ballarotto
Editor: Heather Schiefer (Murray)
Description: Breaking news dominated this news hour when a suspicious package was discovered Downtown.
Judges' comments: Reliable, dependable KQV covers Pittsburgh well.

PUBLIC AFFAIRS

2nd Place -- KQV, Pittsburgh
"Pittsburgh Profiles -- June 9, 2002"
Reporter: Elaine Effort
Description: The need for African-American women to participate in a breast cancer study is the primary segment on this edition of Pittsburgh Profiles.
Judges' comments: Thorough, thoughtful coverage of an important issue to Pittsburghers.

FEATURE

2nd Place -- WDUQ, Pittsburgh
"Living Downtown"
Reporter: Katherine Fink
Description: Among all the office and government buildings, nestled among the shops and vacant storefronts, some Pittsburghers make their homes. The number of people living Downtown is small but growing and could increase dramatically under a proposal to revitalize the Fifth and Forbes corridor.
Judges' comments: A great idea that was very well done. A story with feeling, regardless of where a listener lives.

RADIO SOUND

3rd Place -- WDUQ, Pittsburgh
"Kickball: Not Just for Kids"
Reporter: Katherine Fink
Description: Kickball, the game that many of us played as youngsters, is making a comeback, but not necessarily among today's kids. In this report, Katherine Fink takes listeners to the field for the sounds of kickball played by adults.
Judges' comments: Good quality, typical of a public radio station.

SPORTSCAST

1st Place -- KQV, Pittsburgh
"June 5, 2002 -- 7:15 a.m. Sports"Reporter: Eric Hagman
Description: World Cup Soccer, baseball, the Stanley Cup Finals, NBA playoffs ... all part of the day's sports.
Judges' comments: Thorough coverage.

SPORTS FEATURE

3rd Place -- KQV, Pittsburgh
"Sports Year in Review"
Reporter: Eric Hagman
Description: Segments of a week-long series airing in December.
Judges' comments: A huge amount of work went into this. An excellent piece of work.


Rob Owen can be reached at rowen@post-gazette.com or 412-263-2582. Post questions or comments to www.post-gazette.com/tv under TV Forum.

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