San Francisco, Charleston Stations Lead Peabody Winners
Mar. 16, 1990
ATHENS, Ga. (AP) _ San Francisco and Charleston, S.C., radio and television stations won Peabody Awards on Thursday for their coverage of two natural disasters - last October's Bay area earthquake and Hurricane Hugo.
CBS Radio News and Cable News Network also were honored for their reporting of the student uprising in China.
The annual awards for distinguished broadcasting were announced by the University of Georgia College of Journalism and Mass Communication. The 27 recipients will be presented the awards, known as ''the Pulitzer Prize of broadcast journalism,'' on April 3 in Atlanta.
KCBS-AM and KGO-TV in San Francisco were named winners for their reporting of the earthquake, which occurred just before the scheduled start of Game 3 of the World Series.
''We think it's exciting to receive an award such as this, which is really so prestigious,'' said KCBS-AM General Manager Frank Oxarart.
''I think we all knew that this was a once-in-a-lifetime story and we all felt that we had provided a tremendous service to the Bay area,'' said Arleen Bolton, assistant director of news and programming at the station.
''We managed to stay on the air when the earthquake hit. We were able to stay on the air and give the Bay area news and information immediately after the quake,'' she said. ''And, of course, everybody on the staff worked to the max and continued for days and days - around the clock, full commitment to the story.''
''We are absolutely thrilled with it,'' said KGO-TV General Manager Jim Topping of the award. ''The staff worked extraordinarily hard, and it was a time of great dedication. And, clearly, the success the station had is a huge reflection of the community's reaction.''
The Peabody judges called the KCBS coverage ''comprehensive, intelligent and useful,'' while KGO's reports were lauded for ''functioning as an information clearinghouse'' for viewers.
WCSC-TV in Charleston covered Hurricane Hugo in a way that provided a ''lifeline for viewers deprived of water, communications and other essential services,'' the judges said.
''We're very honored. The award really goes to the people of the Low Country of South Carolina who withstood all this with us,'' said Don Feldman, vice president of news at WCSC-TV.
''We were homeless like other people in the area. We went through what they went through,'' he said. ''We felt like we were victims of the storm like everybody. So, we were in there with them.''
Other winners included broadcasting pioneer J. Leonard Reinsch of Atlanta, a former president of Cox Broadcasting, and veteran ABC newsman David Brinkley, both for distinguished careers in broadcasting.
Awards for television drama went to CBS for its movie ''Lonesome Dove,'' to ABC for its series ''The Wonder Years,'' ''China Beach'' and ''Small Sacrifices,'' and to the Children's Television Workshop for ''Sesame Street.''
MTV won a Peabody for ''Decade,'' a look at the 1980s from the perspective of pop musicians and news makers.
The winners were selected from 812 entries submitted by radio and television stations and networks around the world. A 15-member national advisory board judged the entries.
The 50-year-old awards are named for George Foster Peabody, a Columbus, Ga., native who became a banker and philanthropist in New York.