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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Friday, Aug. 22, 2014

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In Movies & TV Commentary

Each year TV and radio outlets compete for the Murrow Awards, named after the investigative journalist. (PHOTO: shutterstock.com )

Murrow Awards recognize best work at area TV and radio stations


Edward R. Murrow is remembered as one of the best investigative reporters our world has ever seen.

It is really too bad that not many people know the work he did, and only a few in the younger generation know who Murrow even was. But to those in broadcasting, Murrow's name is attached to some of the most coveted awards in the industry – think what "Lombardi" means to those who compete in the NFL.

On Tuesday, the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) released the list of the 2014 regional winners in the annual Murrow Awards. Across the nation, some of the best broadcast outlets are celebrating being among the top in the business. The regional winners are entered into the national competition that will be unveiled later this year.

Close to home, WISN-TV earned the general excellence award for the efforts across all departments at the station.

"General excellence, or 'overall excellence' as it is called, is an amazing honor," said Jan Wade, the president and general manager at WISN.

"We have earned that before, as well … but it is a tremendous honor to have the hard work of our staff be singled out and recognized. We are thrilled."

Included in the award was the station's coverage of some of the top stories in 2013, like the shooting that took place at Children's Hospital and the multiple-vehicle crash and highway blockage this past winter. The hospital shooting coverage was awarded a separate Murrow award in the "Breaking News" category.

"The Children's Hospital shooting was a scary situation for so many people in the community. It also opened up bigger safety questions," Chris Gegg, the news director at WISN, said in a statement.

"Our news team kept viewers informed of the rapidly changing situation, but also went beyond the headlines and asked tough questions. I'm proud of their ongoing commitment to excellence. It's a privilege to lead this group of journalists."

The station's investigative work of the DNR's questionable killing of a baby deer, the cost of housing state sex offenders, and disabled parking abuse around city buildings contributed to the general excellence award.

"The Murrow Awards honor journalism at its finest," said Mike Cavender, the executive director of RTDNA. "Local newsrooms serve their communities 365 days a year, and we're proud to recognize the great work they do."

WITI-TV won more Murrow Awards than any other TV station in our market.

"I am very proud of all of our winners. We work hard every day to serve the viewers — they matter so much to us," said John LaPorte, the vice president of news at WITI."

"It is a great honor to be recognized by our peers. I am especially proud of our photojournalist staff and our investigative reporting team."

The Fox affiliate's photojournalist Andrew Konkle won an award for his use of sound in video. Watch the video here and you can see how his work enhances the storytelling.

WITI won awards in investigation and best news series.

"To have those efforts recognized by the RTDNA is a great honor," La Porte said. "I am very blessed to work with such a great news team."

WTMJ-AM earned a pair of awards for the radio reporting work done during the Carroll University lockdown and a feature report on the "Young Historians of WWII."

WTMJ-TV won the large market regional award for best website, and UW-Milwaukee's Panthervison earned a Murrow for its ongoing coverage on school shooting safety.

Here is the list of the best work in the region, according to the RTDNA.

FILLING IN: If you were watching WITI-TV over the weekend, then you may have seen a familiar face – Craig Koplien. The meteorologist who was formerly part of the weather team at WTMJ-TV, had been providing forecasts for OnMilwaukee.com and working on other projects.

Currently, he's working freelance fill-in at Ch. 6. When I chatted with him this week, he said he had a blast doing it his first weekend and he'll be back this weekend.

THINK YOU KNOW IT ALL?: The crew at Quizmaster have a few trivia contests where you can prove your TV knowledge against your friends and people you don't already know.

As Fox is prepared to bring "24" back for another run on air, Quizmaster is offering "The 24 Quiz" on Tuesday at the Three Lions Pub at 4515 N. Oakland Ave.

The event is scheduled to begin around 7 p.m., cost is $5 per person and part of the funds go to the charity of the winner's choice. The quiz should last less than 24 hours … Find out more here.

Quizmaster will be bringing the next "Star Wars" themed quiz to Jack's American Pub at 1323 E. Brady St., at 7 p.m. on May 4. The event is timed well for "May the Fourth Be With You."


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