Public radio’s increasingly prominent role in news reporting and innovation is on full display in the 2017 Edward R. Murrow Awards, sponsored by the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA). Of the 45 radio awards, 31 (69%) were associated with NPR and/or NPR member stations.
LARGE MARKET RADIO WINNERS
In the Large Market Radio category NPR News stations won 10 (63%) of 16 individual awards. KUT (Austin) won three Murrow Awards, WNYC (New York) won two and WBUR (Boston), KCUR (Kansas City), KERA (Dallas), WBEZ (Chicago), KCRW (LA), KQED (San Francisco) WBUR (Boston) each won one Murrow.
Commercial station WTOP (Washington, DC) won the award for Overall Excellence in the Large Market category.
SMALL MARKET RADIO WINNERS
New Hampshire Public Radio won three Murrow Awards, including Overall Excellence, in the Smaller Radio Markets category. Public radio stations won 13 (87%) of the 15 individual awards in the category.
Vermont Public Radio and WVTF (Roanoke) each won two Murrow Awards. Stations that won one Murrow Award were North Country Public Radio, WITF (Harrisburg, PA), KMUW (Wichita), KNAU (Flagstaff, AZ), WSHU (Fairfield, CT), WFIU (Bloomington, IN) and KBIA (Columbia, MO).
NETWORK RADIO WINNERS
In the Network Radio category, public radio organizations won 8 (57%) of the 14 of the Murrow Awards. NPR won three Murrow Awards including Excellence In Innovation.
Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting and PRX and This American Life’s podcast Serial each won two and American Public Radio won one.
CBS Radio News and ABC Radio News won most of the commercial network awards. CBS was honored for Overall Excellence and was highly praised for its Breaking News coverage of shooting at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando.
The complete list of winners is available here. the awards will be presented October 9th at Gotham Hall in New York City.
WHO WAS EDWARD R. MURROW?
It is hard to sum up in a few words. It could be said that Murrow defined integrity in reporting, perfected on-the-spot news coverage, brought investigative reporting to radio and TV and set standards that remain today. Here is a YouTube video about some of Murrow’s best work:
BJ LEIDERMAN RELEASES FIRST ALBUM (WITHOUT JINGLES)
If you are a public radio listener, you’ve heard BJ Leiderman’s work. His name might not be familiar but his musical compositions certainly are. Leiderman is the creator of the theme music that welcomes you to Morning Edition, Weekend Edition, Wait…Wait Don’t Tell Me, Marketplace and many, many more programs. Now he has released his first album BJ.
Last week Leiderman’s hometown newspaper, the Asheville News Observer, had a wonderful profile of him [link]. I recommend it to anyone who has ever hummed along with the Morning Edition theme song.
Leiderman has toiled for many years in the “jingle jungle” – a notoriously fickle business. He talked about his long-time relationship with NPR to the News Observer:
“I got paid good NPR money. Any money is good from them. They’ve treated me very well through the years, and I quickly found out how valuable an on-air radio credit is, especially with a quirky name. I still get, ‘Are you the REAL BJ Leiderman?’ Like there’s a lot of us.”
I had the opportunity to work with him in the early 2000s when I was consulting The Stanley Foundation’s weekly news show Common Ground. It was impressive to see and hear his composing technique in progress. He asks clients detailed questions about the aura of the program and vibe the show’s producers want to convey. Though the Common Ground theme music is not on his best-of list, I thought it was terrific.
While doing the research for this story, I found a YouTube video that Leiderman uses as his demo tape. It is hilarious and captures his wit and not-too-serious manner:
Leiderman’s new album, BJ, features The Randall Bramblett Band and Béla Fleck. You can learn more about it and get a copy here.
ONE-OF-A-KIND TALK SHOW GIG IS NOW OPEN
One of my favorite commercial radio talk hosts, Randi Rhodes, is looking for a production wizard and board operator for her South Florida-based audio and video company.
The Randi Rhodes Show [link] is now available via video and audio streaming, broadcast radio and podcasts.
The job consists of mixing the program as it happens live and multi-versioning the content for distribution on YouTube, Facebook, Periscope and other platforms. Randi is looking for someone with experience using YouTube, Facebook, Periscope, and Final Cut Pro/Adobe Audition. For more information contact Randi’s manager Howard Vine at: firstname.lastname@example.org.