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Local News Stars Shine in Inaugural B+C Awards

23/09/2020

This story first appeared on TVTs sister publication B C.

Welcome to the first annual B C Awards. We created this program to enable TV programmers, including local stations and groups, to submit examples of their great work during this difficult time for recognition in the pages of Broadcasting Cable and to be shared with their peers. We received dozens of entries in a wide range of categories, further delineated by major markets (generally the top 25 DMAs) and small to mid-size markets. While we were impressed with the quality and quantity of entries we received and judged, this is just the first iteration of what we hope will grow bigger and better in 2021 and in years to follow. We hope you will enjoy this sampling of fine work being produced by stations and other programmers across the country and that you will visit the B C Awards site (broadcastingcableawards.com) to learn more about this awards program and to enter for next year.

Profiles in this special section were written by Jerry Barmash.

Anchor (Major Market): Lesli Foster, WUSA Washington

Lesli Foster is one of the few women of color to anchor solo on a major-market evening newscast, and is the only one doing that in D.C.

Those facts are not lost amidst the racial divide facing the country.

This is just another in the many honors for the WUSA Washington anchor, who has been celebrated throughout her tenure in the market. But even more important, Foster worked hard to earn the trust of people watching her nightly newscasts. In 2021, Foster will mark two decades at WUSA.

Our judges said Foster is a relatable anchor who offers a reassuring delivery to her viewers.

While known for her entrancing warmth through the camera, she isn't afraid to use candor as needed. She brings compassion to every story for families.

Throughout the pandemic, Foster has been a calming presence for worried and weary viewers. She has worked to make a difference for residents in DMA No. 7.

Anchor (Small to Midsized Market): Kate Welshofer, WGRZ Buffalo

Viewers in Buffalo know the talents of Kate Welshofer. The WGRZ anchor brings great writing, energy and empathy to the daily Most Buffalo 4 p.m. newscast.

In the COVID-19 era, Welshofer has used Most Buffalo as a broadcast for people to find the latest on the fluid health crisis, while using a makeshift studio from her home.

As part of her winning submission, Welshofer showed how she handled the coronavirus while maintaining an upbeat personality. Her versatility shone in these difficult months, with an ability to report the more serious aspect of the virus. She uses those skills to inform and uplift.

Judges said Welshofer takes on light and serious subjects with the same aplomb, showing an ability to connect with Most Buffalo viewers.

The anchor and her team created the broadcast a year ago as a breath of fresh air for newscasts. She also effectively takes to social media, interacting with fans each afternoon as part of the show's content.

Breaking News Coverage (Major Market): George Floyd Protests, KARE Minneapolis

The images were powerful. KARE Minneapolis brought viewers into the nightly protests and violence in the days after George Floyd's killing. KARE 11 was there to guide viewers through one of the most important stories of the year and one in its backyard.

Our judges said the KARE 11 news team did a standout job covering a huge national story. It added depth with Minnesota Public Radio resources for reporting and analysis. Perhaps the most dramatic part of the KARE coverage was the live video of fires blazing in the city.

As unrest reached a fourth night in Minneapolis, KARE 11 went wall-to-wall for breaking news with multiple reporters and photographers taking viewers to the protests, riots, vandalism and fires.

The anchor team of Julie Nelson and Randy Shaver led the coverage and showed the same raw emotions by calling out leaders to end their silence.

The winning submission also let citizens participate by providing photos and videos of their community in crisis.

Digital Multiplatform or Website (Small to Midsized Market): KLTV Tyler (Texas)

Our judges were impressed with the volume and liveliness of coverage for a market outside of the biggest population centers. KLTV Tyler's East Texas Now has a livestream available 18 hours a day in DMA No. 114, originating from the newsroom. Viewers can count on comprehensive content supplementing breaking news or any other newsworthy coverage.

East Texas Now brings immediacy to whatever stories it is showcasing, with reporters in the field and incorporating interviews from eastern Texas and beyond.

The stream is archived on the website. KLTV also provides content on multiple apps, including the new East Texas Now app, complete with a live chat feature to add even more interactivity for its subscribers.

The livestream is up and running Monday to Friday from 4:30 a.m. to 10:35 p.m., with two hosts who also produce and work the multiple cameras for the best online experience.

Digital Multiplatform or Website (Major Market): Localish, ABC Owned Television Stations

For its unique way of telling today's most pressing stories, Localish is recognized. Our judges said the programming uses locally sourced reports from the stable of ABC Owned Television Stations and effectively taps a larger audience for the bigger stories.

The winning submission explored the George Floyd protests with the Localish segment More in Common that focuses on national themes. In this case, it's the civil unrest plaguing the country.

More in Common also brings together Americans from different backgrounds for their perspectives. It premiered on the network's digital platforms and Facebook Watch, before expanding to a 30-minute weekly broadcast.

The ABC-owned stations say Localish is all about bringing out the goo
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