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Winners announced in 2018 OAPME broadcast contest

May 4, 2019

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Radio and television stations in Columbus, Toledo and Kent were named the best in the state Saturday in the annual Ohio Associated Press Media Editors broadcast competition.

General Excellence awards for 2018 went to WBNS-TV in Columbus, WTVG in Toledo and WKSU-FM in Kent.

The Lancaster Eagle Gazette won the First Amendment Award for outstanding accomplishment in pursuing freedom of information. The newspaper won with its entry, “DNA Collection Series.” That award was open to entries from both newspapers and broadcast stations.

Also Saturday, two journalists were inducted into the Ohio APME Hall of Fame for exceptional distinction and honor in the field of journalism: Tom McKee of WCPO-TV in Cincinnati and John Erickson of the Dayton Daily News.

Clare Roth, a reporter at WOSU-FM in Columbus was named Ohio APME’s Broadcast Rising Star. That award recognizes journalists with five years or less in journalism.

Twenty- four broadcasters submitted 327 entries in the contest, which featured news, sports and weather reporting as well as features, documentaries and photography from 2018.

Entries were judged by broadcasters from Michigan Radio, Ann Arbor, Michigan and WGHN-FM, Grand Haven, Michigan, Radio; WLUC-TV, Negaunee, Michigan, WLNS-TV, Lansing, Michigan, and KDKA-TV, Pittsburgh Television I and Television II.

The Associated Press is a not-for-profit news cooperative representing 1,300 newspapers and 5,000 broadcast stations in the United States.

Here is the list of winners:

2018 First Amendment Award: Lancaster Eagle Gazette; “DNA Collection Series.”

Television I, Stations licensed in Cleveland, Cincinnati or Columbus

General Excellence: 1, WBNS-TV, Columbus; 2, WSYX/WTTE-TV, Columbus.

Best Producer: 1, Stephen Kappas, WSYX/WTTE-TV, Columbus; 2, Jason Scott, WXIX-TV, Cincinnati.

Best Anchor: 1, Rob Powers, WEWS-TV, Cleveland; 2, Stacia Naquin, WSYX/WTTE-TV, Columbus.

Best Feature Reporting: 1, Bryant Somerville and Nicki Thacker, WBNS-TV, Columbus, “Catching a Childhood Dream”; 2, Scott Light and Brooks Hooley, WBNS-TV, Columbus, “How an OSU Buckeye Saved a US President.”

Best Broadcast Writing: 1, Mike McCarthy, WSYX/WTTE-TV, Columbus; 2, Bhaskar Nair, WSYX/WTTE-TV, Columbus.

Best Photographer: 1, Ali Ghanbari, WJW-TV, Cleveland; 2, Marcus Nichols, WBNS-TV, Columbus.

Best Reporter: 1, Duane Pohlman, WKRC-TV, Cincinnati; 2, Tom Sussi, WCMH-TV, Columbus.

Best Sportscast: 1, Jerod Smalley and Audrey Hasson, WCMH-TV, Columbus, “End of the Urban Era - Covering the Buckeyes in 2018”; 2, Paul Spohn and Shawn Dunagan, WBNS-TV, Columbus, “First and 10.”

Best Sports Feature: 1, Dave Holmes, WBNS-TV, Columbus, “One Stroke Victory”; 2, Maria Durant and Jay Novotny, WSYX/WTTE-TV, Columbus, “Where Are They Now? - Bobby Carpenter.”

Best Use of Photography: 1, Breanna Molloy and Kevin Necessary, WCPO-TV, Cincinnati, “Observatory”; 2, Marcus Nichols, WBNS-TV, Columbus, “Greenlawn Honors Veterans.”

Best Documentary or Series: 1, Breanna Molloy and Kevin Necessary, WCPO-TV, Cincinnati, “Living in the Shadows: The Documentary”; 2, Stephanie O’Grady, WBNS-TV, Columbus, “The Bullying Gap.”

Best Coverage of a Scheduled Event: 1, WVIZ-TV, Cleveland, “Glenville Shootout: 50 Years Later”; 2, Angela An and Joe Brackman, WBNS-TV, Columbus, “Hannaversary.”

Best Spot News Coverage: 1, WCMH-TV, Columbus, “Hell from the Sky, Storms Damage Town”; 2, WBNS-TV, Columbus, “North 20th Street Explosion.”

Best Continuing Coverage: 1, WCPO-TV, Cincinnati, “Pike County Massacre Arrests”; 2, Tara Morgan and Justin DePrekel, WSYX/WTTE-TV, Columbus, “A Survivor’s Tale Amid Safety Campaign.”

Best Enterprise Reporting: 1, Tara Morgan and Justin DePrekel, WSYX/WTTE-TV, Columbus, “Where’s Chang Lim?”; 2, Glenn McEntyre and Marcus Nichols, WBNS-TV, Columbus, “I Failed Her.”

Best Investigative Reporting: 1, Craig Cheatham and Lot Tan, WCPO-TV, Cincinnati, “Forcing the Peace”; 2, Terri Sullivan and Ben Frecker, WSYX/WTTE-TV, Columbus, “Mail Fail.”

Best Newscast: 1, Jennifer Nickels and Jeff Pullin, WBNS-TV, Columbus; 2, WCPO-TV, Cincinnati.

Best Weathercast: 1, Mike Davis and Ashlee Baracy, WBNS-TV, Columbus; 2, Andrew Michael, WSYX/WTTE-TV, Columbus.

Best Digital Project: 1, Kevin Necessary, WCPO-TV, Cincinnati, “Living in the Shadows”; 2, Dan Gialluca and Brad Bader, WBNS-TV, Columbus, “Westerville Strong.”

Best Digital Presence: 1, WCPO-TV, Cincinnati; 2, Andrew Long, WCMH-TV, Columbus.

Television II, Stations licensed outside Cleveland, Cincinnati or Columbus

General Excellence: 1, WTVG, Toledo; 2, WTOL-TV, Toledo.

Best Producer: 1, Emily Gay, WHIO-TV, Dayton; 2, Dakota Cleland, WTVG, Toledo.

Best Anchor (TV Only): 1, Andrew Kinsey, WTOL-TV, Toledo; 2, Bill Hormann, WTVG, Toledo.

Best Feature Reporting: 1, Derek Steyer, WFMJ-TV, Youngtown, “Singing Waiter”; 2, Lissa Guyton and Justin Billau, WTVG, Toledo, “Saving Soles.”

Best Broadcast Writing: 1, McKenzie Kuehnlein, WTVG, Toledo, “Justice for Sierah”; 2, Tyler Paley, WTOL-TV, Toledo.

Best Photographer: 1, Robert Meluch, WFMJ-TV, Youngtown; 2, Todd Gaertner, WTVG, Toledo.

Best Reporter: 1, Michelle Nicks, WFMJ-TV, Youngtown; 2, Bill Hormann, WTVG, Toledo.

Best Sportscast: 1, WTVG, Toledo, “Football Friday”; 2, Dana Balash, WFMJ-TV, Youngtown, “Overtime Report.”

Best Sports Feature: 1, John Juby and Jordan Strack, WTOL-TV, Toledo, “Shot of a Lifetime”; 2, Kristi Kopanis, WTOL-TV, Toledo, “Battling Cancer One Goal at a Time.”

Best Use of Photography: 1, Derek Steyer, WFMJ-TV, Youngtown; 2, Robert Meluch, WFMJ-TV, Youngtown.

Best Documentary or Series: 1, WKEF/WRGT-TV, Miamisburg, “Hunger in the Miami Valley”; 2, Brandon Lewis, WTAP-TV, Parkersburg, “Addiction’s Children.”

Best Coverage of a Scheduled Event: 1, Lissa Guyton and Todd Gaertner, WTVG, Toledo, “Inside Jeep: The World Debut of the Gladiator”; 2, Megan Vanselow, WTAP-TV, Parkersburg, “IEI Fire Anniversary.”

Best Spot News Coverage: 1, WKEF/WRGT-TV, Miamisburg, “Huber Heights Heist”; 2, Michael Bratton, WTVG, Toledo, “Evening Storms Leave Their Mark Across Wood County.”

Best Continuing Coverage: 1, WTVG, Toledo, “Christmas Weed”; 2, Sheila Miller, WFMJ-TV, Youngtown, “GM Lordstown.”

Best Enterprise Reporting: 1, Amanda Fay and Eric Rerucha, WTOL-TV, Toledo, “The New Stranger”; 2, Bill Hormann and Justin Billau, WTVG, Toledo, “Political Spot Check.”

Best Investigative Reporting: 1, Andrew Kinsey, WTOL-TV, Toledo, “Bus Bandit Investigation”; 2, Joe Cromer, WTOL-TV, Toledo, “Roadside Memorials.”

Best Weathercast: 1, Kirstie Zontini, WHIO-TV, Dayton; 2, McCall Vrydaghs, WHIO-TV, Dayton.

Best Newscast: 1, WHIO-TV, Dayton; 2, WTVG, Toledo.

Best Digital Project: 1, Kelly Heidbreder, WTOL-TV, Toledo, “Super Fitness Weight Loss Challenge”; 2, Joe Cromer and Claudia Seibert, WTOL-TV, Toledo, “Holy Toledo.”

Best Digital Presence: 1, WTVG, Toledo; 2, WHIO-TV, Dayton.

Radio, All Markets

General Excellence: 1, WKSU-FM, Kent; 2, WOSU-FM, Columbus.

Best Anchor/News Host: 1, Maryanne Zeleznik, WVXU-FM, Cincinnati; 2, Amanda Rabinowitz, WKSU-FM, Kent.

Best Feature Reporting: 1, Bill Rinehart, WVXU-FM, Cincinnati, “Minions, Mickeys and Rubber Duckies: All Flushed Away, But Not Forgotten, At MSD”; 2, Adora Namigadde, WOSU-FM, Columbus, “Once A Top Rock Climber, Jeremy Petrovich Learns To Ascend Again.”

Best Broadcast Writing: 1, Tana Weingartner, WVXU-FM, Cincinnati, “Four Years After Oil Spill, Oak Glen Nature Preserve Shows Signs of Healing”; 2, Nick Evans, WOSU-FM, Columbus, “Ohio’s 12th District Rematch Pits Ground Game Against Demographics.”

Best Reporter: 1, Ann Thompson, WVXU-FM, Cincinnati; 2, Nick Evans, WOSU-FM, Columbus.

Best Sportscast: 1, Amanda Rabinowitz and Terry Pluto, WKSU-FM, Kent, “Cavs’ Kevin Love Starts A Much-Needed Conversation About Mental Health.”

Best Use of Sound: 1, Kabir Bhatia, WKSU-FM, Kent, “Akron’s Canal Park Holds a Different Type of Tryout”; 2, Tana Weingartner, WVXU-FM, Cincinnati, “Operation Santa Makes Christmas Brighter for Those In Need, And You Can Help.”

Best Documentary or Series: 1, WKSU-FM, Kent, “Navigating the Path to Mental Health”; 2, WCPN-FM, Cleveland, “Opioid Crisis: The Ripple Effect.”

Best Coverage of a Scheduled Event: 1, WKSU-FM, Kent, “Election Night”; 2, WCPN-FM, Cleveland, “Glenville Shootout: 50 Years Later.”

Best Spot News Coverage: 1, WHIO-AM/WHIO-FM, Dayton, “School Violence”; 2, Mark Arehart, WKSU-FM, Kent, “The Last Goodyear Wingfoot Blimp Takes Flight.”

Best Continuing Coverage: 1, Adora Namigadde, WOSU-FM, Columbus, “Saving the Columbus Crew”; 2, Tana Weingartner, WVXU-FM, Cincinnati, “Restoration of Union Terminal.”

Best Enterprise Reporting: 1, Paige Pfleger, WOSU-FM, Columbus, “Columbus Changes Needle Program Amid Community Concern”; 2, Jeff St. Clair, WKSU-FM, Kent, “Industry 4.0 in Cleveland.”

Best Investigative Reporting: 1, Adora Namigadde, WOSU-FM, Columbus, “Rent to Own, Then Left Without a Home”; 2, Nick Evans, WOSU-FM, Columbus, “Opportunity Zones Send Tax Breaks to Areas That Might Not Need Them.”

Best Newscast: 1, WHIO-AM/WHIO-FM, Dayton; 2, Jeff St. Clair, WKSU-FM, Kent.

Best Digital Project: 1, Gabe Rosenberg, WOSU-FM, Columbus, “Kangaroo Crossing Saga.”

Best Digital Presence: 1, WHIO-AM/WHIO-FM, Dayton; 2, WKSU-FM, Kent.