Seventy different companies from newspapers, TV stations, radio stations and digital news sites competed for the awards celebrating creative and business advancements in the digital realm.
Graham Media Group received nine awards, the highest number out of all the competing companies. The faculty at the Medill School/Northwestern University judged the categories.
ClickOnDetroit, WDIV-Local 4's website and a Graham Media Group property, once again took home top honors at the Local Media Association's Digital Innovation Awards ceremony.
"Our main goal is to create a website users want to engage with. From news to entertainment and everything in between, we're constantly trying to provide what our ClickOnDetroit community is looking for," said Local 4 Vice President and General Manager Marla Drutz.
Best Local Website (1st place): ClickOnDetroit.com
This award recognizes the best all-around local media websites. Judges considered all aspects including: design, content (local and relevant), use of photos and videos, user interaction/load speed, presentation of advertising, mobile adaptability and more.
Judges' comments"ClickOnDetroit.com is a superior local website that builds audience through news coverage as well as creative initiatives such as the 4Frenzy voting platform. Their entry provides evidence that the site has grown its audience substantially."
Best Contest and/or Promotion (1st place): 4Frenzy
The goal of this award is for a contest or promotion that stands out above the rest in regards to creativity of the promotion, digital engagement for the station and results for the sponsor.
Judges' comments: "The strategy behind 4Frenzy is smart on a variety of levels. Positioning yourselves with TV, digital, social media and real-world shows the power of leveraging different channels to build your brand. A really great message behind the campaign."
Best Use of Data (2nd place): AllAboutAnnArbor.com
(Judges' comments) "WDIV discovered a new market opportunity in Ann Arbor by analyzing audience metrics."
Best Redesign/Relaunch (2nd & 3rd place respectively): 4Frenzy relaunch
(Judges' comments) "This relaunch was successful in expanding the scope of the site, building audience and generating revenue. The design is good and matches the sports theme."
(Judges' comments) "The 4Frenzy site is an interesting way to cover high school sports, since it puts a lot of focus on the friends and families who drive that coverage to vote for things."
Best New Digital Initiative (3rd place): GroundSource text message campaign during America's Thanksgiving Parade
(Judges' comments) "A good way to retain broadcast audiences while growing digital audiences at the same time."
"All of these winning projects were built on cross-department collaboration," said Dustin Block, digital executive producer for WDIV. "Our news, sales, creative services, and digital teams get together regularly to meet user and client needs, and to reach our business goals."
In addition, the Local Media Association honored WSLS 10 in Roanoke with a first place in the Best Digital News Project category for its coverage of Friday high school football on wsls.com. KSAT 12 in San Antonio earned a 3rd place award for ksat.com in the Best Digital News Project category, while WJXT News4Jax.com was awarded the Best Native Content Campaign for their work with the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville.
Graham Media Stations WDIV, WKMG, WJXT and WSLS are honored with six prestigious regional Edward R. Murrow awards.
WDIV Detroit is honored to receive three coveted regional Edward R. Murrow awards for Breaking News, Excellence in Writing and Excellence in Sound. ClickOrlando.com, WKMG's website, received its first regional Edward R. Murrow Award for best large market TV website. WJXT Jacksonville has been honored with a regional Edward R. Murrow Award for Breaking News coverage of Hurricane Irma. And WSLS is honored with the regional award for Hard News. The awards recognize the best electronic journalism produced by radio, television and online news organizations around the world.
“It is especially gratifying to see the hard work and dedication of our local newsrooms recognized with such a prestigious award,” said President & CEO of Graham Media Group Emily L. Barr.
Station awards with links:
WDIV Breaking News Coverage: Severe Weather Alert: Record Wind Damage
Local 4’s coverage of the damaging winds across metro Detroit spanned across multiple newscasts and the station’s digital platforms. In-depth reports, continually advancing the story and keeping the community informed made this breaking news coverage a true team effort.
WJXT Breaking News Coverage
News4Jax coverage of Hurricane Irma tracked the storm and stayed on all platforms until the life threatening danger passed. Coverage of the devastating flooding continued as viewers started to assess the damage and pick up the pieces.
WKMG Best Website
ClickOrlando.com features stories and digital content covering breaking news, politics, features, sports, space and entertainment in the greater Orlando area.
10News Reporter Angela Hatcher and Video Journalists Lee Friesland and Jeff Perzan told the dramatic story of a woman, desperate to escape from an abusive relationship. During an attempt to leave, she was stabbed and dragged through a wooded area. What the abuser didn’t know was that a deputy sheriff was on his way. WSLS captured the story via the deputy’s body camera. This was the first in a series of stories told by 10News.
WDIV Excellence in Writing: Failure in Flint, Kim Adams Cancer Fight, and Elliot Carter
Two of the stories were from News Anchor Devin Scillian. One for the open to Local 4’s “Failure in Flint” special, the other was the report on Kim Adams’ battle with breast cancer. The third was Reporter Nick Monacelli’s story on Elliot Carter, the toddler with a rare condition that prevents him from eating food.
WDIV Excellence in Sound: What’s Old is New Again
Video Journalist Alex Atwell tells the story of Carl Nielbock, the man responsible for restoring parts of Detroit’s Fisher Building. Alex is known for his fabulous eye, but this time his ear won him the award.
Now these entries go head-to-head with the other regional winners for the National Murrow Award.
The RTDNA has been honoring outstanding achievements in electronic journalism with the Edward R. Murrow Awards since 1971. Murrow's pursuit of excellence in journalism embodies the spirit of the awards that carry his name.
The Associated Press honored Graham Media Stations with several first place awards for WMKG, KRPC and WSLS.
For the second year in a row, WKMG News 6 (CBS Orlando) won more AP awards than any other TV station in Central Florida, including the coveted Station of the Year award.
WMKG News 6 won first place in the following categories:
Station of the year
Best morning newscast
Best evening newscast
Non-breaking news newscast
Feature light news for Getting Results award
Series/Franchise Reporting for Getting Results awards
Nadeen Yanes for breaking news -- individual
Erik Sandoval for breaking news -- long format
James Sparvero for multimedia journalist
The station also took second place for the following:
ClickOrlando.com -- Best news website
Continuing coverage for Driving Change initiative
"I am very pleased to see our team being recognized for their hard work and dedication to investigative journalism, compelling storytelling and commitment to highlighting people of Central Florida who are getting results for our community," WKMG News 6 news director Allison McGinley said.
KPRC 2 (NBC Houston) was honored with the Associated Press award of best digital news website in the state of Texas for Click2Houston.com.
It's the second time in the last four years that Click2Houston has won the Best Digital category in Texas. The judges comments about Click2Houston included, "Excellent digital presence on all social media platforms. Easy to navigate website. Nice interactive elements within stories."
WSLS 10 News (NBC Roanoke, VA) is a winner of three first-place awards in the 2017 Virginia’s Associated Press Broadcasters contest. WSLS 10 News took home first place awards for outstanding sports operation, best website and community service.
Graham Media Group president and chief executive officer Emily Barr has received the Broadcasters Foundation of America's 2018 Golden Mike Award.
Barr was presented with the award at a gala event on March 5 in New York City.
"It is an honor to receive this award from the Broadcasters Foundation of America, and I am grateful to the board for their commitment to our colleagues in need," Barr said earlier when the award was initially announced by the foundation in November. "This year, the Broadcasters Foundation rose to the challenge of helping so many of our colleagues who were impacted by hurricanes, floods and wildfires. With the generous support of broadcasters across the country, the foundation can continue to make a difference in the lives of those who find themselves in devastating circumstances."
Barr has sat at the helm of the broadcast TV division of Graham Holdings since 2012. Graham's seven stations are known as news leaders in Top-70 markets, including Houston, Detroit, San Antonio, Orlando, Jacksonville and Roanoke.
Graham Media Group was named 2016 Station Group of the Year by Broadcasting and Cable Magazine, under Barr's leadership.
The gala event, held at the Plaza Hotel in New York City, was hosted by Deborah Norville of "Inside Edition." Presenters included Don Graham, the chairman of Graham Media Group's parent company, Graham Holdings Co.
Organizers said $250,000 was also raised at the event to help broadcasters in need.
Organizers said previous Golden Mike Award recipients include former Post-Newsweek Stations president and CEO Alan Frank, Bob Pittman, Gordon Smith, David Barrett and Jeff Smulyan.
Photo credit: Wendy Moger-Bross
KPRC hosted "Making Houston Stronger: A Town Hall on Rebuilding Our Region," a special live televised event on January 29, 2018.
KPRC 2 Anchors Bill Balleza and Dominique Sachse were joined by Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and Harris County Judge Ed Emmett to discuss lessons learned and the progress that's been made in the months since Houston was plagued by several major flood catastrophes, including Hurricane Harvey.
The special was executive produced by Steve Ljuljdjuraj and aired on KPRC Channel 2. It was also streamed live on Click2Houston.com, the KPRC 2 YouTube Channel and the KPRC 2 Facebook Page.
The special can be viewed here:
The morning on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the sound of power tools filled the air at Jacksonville's Lake Forest Elementary as volunteers teamed up to build a new playground for the students.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary, the civil rights pioneer's namesake, also received a facelift. That included a fresh coat of paint in the cafeteria, in addition to some new landscaping out front.
The efforts were part of the 2018 Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, an annual event that brings together hundreds of people from across the city to spruce up schools and neighborhoods.
Members of the WJXT's News4Jax team got in on the action, too. The Morning Show crew grabbed some brushes and buckets to help paint a mural downtown.
Not to be outdone, the night shift crew helped stuff backpacks with books and school supplies, then gave them away to children in need in Northwest Jacksonville.
"It makes me feel proud," said Walter Williams, who pitched in at Lake Forest. "Not only seeing the playground come to life, but seeing the community come out and everybody putting their helping hand in together."
Williams wasn't alone. He had help from people of all ages, and from all walks of life, who turned out to lend their help with a variety of community projects.
"When they come to school and see this new playground we built, they're going to be really surprised," said Isaac Fagundes, a 12-year-old who pitched in at Lake Forest.
KSAT12's community-wide initiative, called "KSAT COMMUNITY" uses the power of its media properties to promote local initiatives which will help the greatest number of South Texas residents all year long, it was announced by KSAT12 Vice-President/General Manager Phil Lane. "We're thrilled to welcome our new partners and are so thankful for our past partners as well", said Lane, "we intend to continue growing our program to help those most in need."
The very first KSAT COMMUNITY project of 2018 will be a city-wide blood drive, with University Health System and the University Hospital Blood Bank. This huge blood drive always draws hundreds of local residents who answer the call. Because blood has a short shelf life, the need is continually on-going as blood banks must supply blood for everyday surgeries and emergencies, as well as for bigger local emergencies. The 2018 KSAT COMMUNITY Blood Drive will be held for 4 consecutive days, January 22nd -25th, at 3 different locations: Texas Diabetes Institute 701 S. Zarzamora on Tuesday, January 23, 10am-2pm, Southwest Clinic at 2121 SW 36th Street, Wednesday, January 24th from 11am-3pm and UHS at 4502 Medical Drive, Jan 22nd, 23rd ,24th and 25th.
Subsequent KSAT COMMUNITY events include a "Healthy Heart" online test, the "San Antonio Book Festival", a school supply drive, a Shred Day, and many others throughout 2018.
All 3 partners, UHS, Energy Transfer Partners, and San Antonio Area Chevy Dealers will also have the ability to spotlight community initiatives that meet with their company goals, and assist the events they support throughout the community.
ClickOnDetroit.com is Metro Detroit's No. 1 news website for 2017 according to the comScore data (2017 average). The website beat out all other newspaper and television websites in the DMA.
"2017 was a huge year for ClickOnDetroit. We had a goal to not just be Detroit's top TV website but to be top choice for news and information for our local community and beyond," said Local 4 Vice President and General Manager Marla Drutz. "We did it."
The station took an ambitious and pragmatic approach to create opportunities for growth and to make WDIV more interactive with digital users.
"ClickOnDetroit's success literally starts every day with managing editor Dave Bartkowiak and social media producer Ken Haddad planning for and executing breaking news coverage," said Digital Executive Producer Dustin Block. "They work with the WDIV newsroom to expand coverage and take stories and ideas in new directions to engage and inform our audience. They've turned ClickOnDetroit into an indispensable source for local news in Metro Detroit."
ClickOnDetroit 2017 highlights include:
* Owning huge multi-day stories like the October 2017 power outage and leading the coverage of White Boy Rick, the teen drug dealer paroled after 30 years in prison.
* Increased engagement with "Vote 4 the Best," a local user-voted competition that encompasses 173 categories, involves 2,500 local businesses and generated participation through more than 480,000 votes.
* Big, live events like "The Ford Fireworks" and "America's Thanksgiving Parade" garnered online viewers from more than 100 countries. Online viewership was up significantly for both shows from the prior year.
* Multiplatform engagement stories like "Ignore the Snore" dovetailed off of broadcast segments and connected users who have snoring problems with specialists to help. "Opioid Nation" tackled the issue of the opioid crisis with a help hotline for addicts.
* Increase in original digital programming with daily shows like "Jason Carr Live" and "Midday Live." Specials and interactive features: Defenders investigative journalism shows; "LITD Extra" Live in the D viewer input segments; live weather updates; Help Me Hank consumer specials; missing children webcasts; and "Car Cast" continuous online weather and traffic updates during severe weather.
* Through a commitment to community and engagement via "4 Frenzy," more than 60 schools are involved, generating onsite tailgating events, thousands of votes, newsletter signups, student liaison partnerships with the Local 4 and other points of engagement.
ClickOnDetroit, a Graham Media Group website, with 871,439 unique visitors beat its nearest TV and newspaper competition (Freep.com/853,164), (MLive.com/833,456), (WXYZ.com/643,906), (DetNews.com/522,430) on average during 2017. The site continues to increase its share of unique visitors on mobile platforms, desktop and the ClickOnDetroit app.
Local 4's ClickOnDetroit app is an important part of the station's digital commitment, sending push alerts that notify users when breaking news is happening in their communities.
Graham Media Group is proud to announce that company President and Chief Executive Officer Emily L. Barr will receive the 2018 Golden Mike Award.
Barr will be presented with the award at an annual black-tie gala set for March 5 at the Plaza Hotel in New York City, officials with the Broadcasters Foundation of America said this week.
The event serves as a major fundraiser for the Broadcasters Foundation, the only charity devoted exclusively to helping broadcasters in need.
“It is an honor to receive this award from the Broadcasters Foundation of America, and I am grateful to the board for their commitment to our colleagues in need,” Barr said. “This year, the Broadcasters Foundation rose to the challenge of helping so many of our colleagues who were impacted by hurricanes, floods and wildfires. With the generous support of broadcasters across the country, the foundation can continue to make a difference in the lives of those who find themselves in devastating circumstances.”
Barr has sat at the helm of the broadcast TV division of Graham Holdings since 2012. Graham’s seven stations are known as news leaders in Top-70 markets – including Houston, Detroit, San Antonio, Orlando, Jacksonville and Roanoke.
Graham Media Group was named 2016 Station Group of the Year by Broadcasting and Cable Magazine, under Barr’s leadership.
Before coming to Graham, Barr served as president and general manager of ABC-owned stations in Chicago and Raleigh-Durham. She is also on the boards of the Associated Press and the Television Bureau of Advertising.
“Emily is a consummate broadcaster whose leadership and service to the industry and the communities that the Graham stations serve are commendable,” said Dan Mason, chairman of the Broadcasters Foundation, in a statement online. “We are proud to honor her and recognize her accomplishments.”
Barr is also the first vice chair for television for the National Association of Broadcasters and has been the chairman of the board for the Illinois Broadcasters Association. Barr was inducted into the 2016 Silver Circle of the Chicago/Midwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.
She was awarded the 2014 Vincent T. Wasilewski Broadcaster of the Year by the Illinois Broadcasters Association and received the 2010 Westbury Leadership Award from the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago for her involvement in a citywide media effort to raise funds for the Haitian earthquake relief effort, the BFOA statement said.
The Golden Mike Award dinner attracts a who’s-who of media executives and celebrities. For more than 70 years, the Broadcasters Foundation, a 501(c)-3 charity, has distributed millions of dollars to broadcasters who have lost their careers through a catastrophic event, debilitating disease or other unforeseen tragedy.
KPRC-TV Channel 2 KPRC and Telemundo Houston partnered with the American Red Cross to support the Harvey relief effort. When KPRC opened the phone lines, viewers delivered, calling in donations of all sizes!
Between August 30 and 31, individuals called in pledges of more than a million dollars ($1,067,358) and donated another $269,530 online at Click2houston.com. Corporations stepped up to present checks worth nearly $3.2 million ($3,175,000). That's more than $4.5 million ($4,511,888.00) pledged to help our Houston neighbors in need!
On top of that, a representative from Walmart dropped in to the KRPC 2 studio to present the Red Cross with $10,000,000 to help the Gulf Coast recover.
This relief effort is massive, and viewers can continue to donate by looking for a link on the Click2Houston.com homepage or dropping off change in the special donation boxes at the register of your local Kroger grocery store. Every bit helps and adds up to a lot of help for victims of Hurricane Harvey.
KSAT12 mobilized several forces to help with Hurricane Harvey relief, just as the South Texas coast was trying to recover, and Houston was facing the wrath of the storm.
"Our 'KSAT Community' project was built to respond to just such relief efforts," said KSAT12 VP/General Manager Phil Lane, "We have the ability to quickly mobilize our community partners to deliver help when and where it is most needed."
As the flooding waters were invading Houston, KSAT12 produced a "week of giving" holding several relief efforts which netted huge responses. The first effort launched on the Monday after the Texas coast was blasted with very high winds.
KSAT12 held a Red Cross Donation Line and raised over $80,000 in just a couple of hours. Then, later in the week, the station held a food drive with the San Antonio Food Bank and collected over 200 thousand pounds of food and other necessities to keep shelters stocked with items for evacuees.
KSAT12 also contacted our Graham Media Group sister station, KPRC 2 in Houston, to help with their needs. A blood drive with one of our KSAT Community partners was set up to respond to the need for donations throughout the region.
Graham Media Group, Inc., a Graham Holdings Company (NYSE: GHC) subsidiary, announced today that it will launch a comprehensive initiative examining the opioid crisis in America, focusing on the local communities the station group serves. Graham Media Group’s “Opioid Nation: An American Epidemic” is a multi-platform commitment addressing the epidemic that is unraveling communities and destroying American lives. Each of the seven Graham Media Group (GMG) stations will air investigative reports, produce original programming, facilitate digital engagement, broadcast public service announcements and work with community partners on effective outreach.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of overdose deaths involving opioids has quadrupled with more than 500,000 deaths between 2000 and 2015. Today, 91 Americans die every day as a result of opioid abuse.
GMG stations will investigate the genesis of the crisis, the lives of those faced with addiction, and the historic and current governmental policies that address the ongoing abuse epidemic.
“Opioid addiction is ravaging our communities big and small and local broadcasters are uniquely positioned to tell these stories. The diversity of issues affecting our Detroit community differs from those in Houston and Orlando,” said Emily Barr, president and chief executive officer of Graham Media Group. “For instance, Martinsville, Virginia is first in the nation in per-capita opioid prescriptions and WSLS, our nearby Roanoke station, is faced with stories every week about a drug problem that is only getting worse. We can tell that story and engage our community partners who are skilled and ready to offer help and hope.”
GMG stations will air locally produced, televised and streamed specials during the week of September 5. Along with original programming, stations will staff phone banks and Facebook Live sessions designed to connect viewers, users and families with substance abuse counselors. Town hall meetings and monthly in-depth reports will drill down on the specific issues that contribute to this public health crisis.
“We’re pooling resources and exchanging stories amongst our newsrooms to give depth and perspective to the many facets of the problem,” continued Barr.
Car crashes of those who tested positive from prescription drugs have increased 700% over the last 20 years according to a 2017 study by Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. The over prescription of opioids from doctors has steadily risen and fatalities due to heroin continue to tear apart families across all demographics. Graham Media Group joins the National Association of Broadcasters in their dedicated efforts to shed light on the severity of the opioid epidemic.
“It is our responsibility to inform viewers and we hope that ‘Opioid Nation: An American Epidemic’ will not only educate the communities we serve, but help those who are effected find a path forward through this unprecedented crisis,” said Barr.
WDIV-Local 4 has been honored, above all local broadcast stations in the country, with the National Association of Broadcasters Service to America Award. The prestigious award presented by the NAB Education Foundation acclaims WDIV's ongoing commitment to outstanding community service.
The NAB Service to America Award recognizes the efforts of the entire station as a leader in serving the public with significant contributions from every department.
Hallmarks of this station-wide commitment:
* Year-long coverage of the Flint Water Crisis which included an unwavering news focus, a primetime special and travel to Washington, D.C. to cover developments on Capitol Hill. Using the power of local television and the support of a strong and caring community, the station organized the Flint Water Crisis 4 Our Families statewide telethon and raised $1.13 million.
* Help Me Hank: The School Project is a commitment to improve the physical environment of Thurgood Marshall Elementary-Middle School in Detroit. The station's consumer unit, Help Me Hank, partnered with the Detroit Public School Community District to identify a school that was in crucial need of building renovations.
* Arab in America with Sandra Ali is a series of news reports showcasing the personal stories of Arab Americans in Metro Detroit.
* True Blue is a series of stories dedicated to showing life as a police officer and putting a face with the badge. The Local 4 Defenders are trying to bridge the gap between police and the community to stop future violence.
* Support of The Heat and Warmth Fund, Komen's Race for the Cure, Red Cross, JDRF, Bookstock and other community organizations.
* Strong locally produced long and short-form programming that showcases the heart of our community. Highlights include the North American International Auto Show, America's Thanksgiving Parade, Live in the D, The Ford Fireworks, Flashpoint and the Local 4 Film Challenge.
"This award reflects the hard work and contribution of every single member of our WDIV/ClickOn Detroit team. I couldn't be more happy and proud of what we do here at this station," said Vice-President and General Manager Marla Drutz.
In the NABEF's press release announcing the award recipients it was stated, "Through news coverage, philanthropy, and community service, WDIV puts the needs of viewers first."
WKMG-TV News 6 has received a regional Edward R. Murrow Award for its documentary on hope and healing in Orlando six months after the worst mass shooting in U.S. history.
WKMG-TV News 6 received 6 Associated Press awards, more than any other station in Central Florida.
WDIV-TV Local 4 is honored to be recognized as Station of the Year, for the third year in a row.
WDIV-Local 4's website ClickOnDetroit.com continues its winning streak, earning nearly 1 million unique visitors for the month of January 2017, according to comScore.
WJXT-TV4 The Local Station has the most watched local news for the February 2017 Nielsen ratings period in the Jacksonville television market, winning in every major local news time period for the month.
KSAT12 has won the February 2017 sweeps period in all dayparts, including all newscasts and daily variety show, "SA Live".