Release Date: June 12, 2007
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- WBFO-FM 88.7, UB's National Public Radio affiliate, won 11 awards -- including top statewide honors -- at the New York State Associated Press Broadcasters Association's annual awards banquet held June 9 in Saratoga Springs.
The station captured five first-place awards to earn the 2006 Steve Flanders Award, named in memory of a New York City radio reporter who died of a heart attack while on his way to a City Hall news conference in 1983. The Flanders award -- the AP's highest radio honor -- is given to the station in New York with the most top finishes in the competition among news stories aired during the calendar year. WBFO was deemed by the judges to "exemplify the best traditions of journalistic initiative and dedication in providing a complete news service to the listening public."
WBFO won more awards than any other radio station in New York State, including New York City. It is the only radio station in Buffalo to have earned the Flanders award.
Members of the WBFO news team are Mark Scott, news director; Eileen Buckley, assistant news director and news producer and reporter; and Joyce Kryszak, cultural affairs reporter and producer.
"This award is the culmination of many years of superb reporting by WBFO's well-experienced and highly committed news team," said Carole Smith Petro, associate vice president and WBFO general manager. "As individuals and as a team, they have consistently achieved the highest standards of radio reporting. The recognition accorded by the Associated Press confirms the high regard in which they are held by the Western New York community."
WBFO won awards in the following categories:
• First place, Best News Special/Documentary, "Intelligent Design vs. Evolution," Joyce Kryszak. Kryszak packaged some of the interviews she had conducted during a conference sponsored by the Center for Inquiry titled "Toward A New Enlightenment" and produced a 50-minute special that explored the issue of intelligent design vs. evolution.
• Special mention, Best News Series, "The Visit of the Dalai Lama," Eileen Buckley, Joyce Kryszak, Gabe DiMaio and Mark Scott. In the weeks leading up to the visit to UB of His Holiness the
14th Dalai Lama, WBFO presented a series of stories on the Dalai Lama and Tibetan Buddhism, which included a primer on the Dalai Lama, in-depth features on Tibetan Buddhism in Western New York and the preparation of peace flags that were draped along campus roadways. WBFO also broadcast the Dalai Lama's address live, attracting a worldwide audience from people who listened to a Web stream.
• First place, Best Spot News Coverage, "Cheektowaga Tornado," Eileen Buckley and Mark Scott. After a funnel cloud was spotted in Cheektowaga late last June, Buckley was dispatched to the area where the tornado was spotted and reported live throughout the afternoon from a shopping plaza that was damaged by the tornado.
• Special mention, Best Spot News Coverage, "October Snowstorm," Mark Scott, Eileen Buckley, Joyce Kryszak, Mark Wozniak, Bert Gambini, Howard Riedel, David Benders and Christopher Jamele. WBFO staff delivered crucial information to the community in the aftermath of the paralyzing surprise October snowstorm, despite working under challenging conditions that included working in a building that was undergoing a major renovation and had little or no heat, and with an emergency generator that powered computers and other broadcast equipment -- but not the lights -- after the power went off.
• First place, Best Enterprise Reporting, "911 on Hold," Joyce Kryszak. In this piece, Kryszak talked with a Buffalo man who was put on hold during a 9-1-1 call while the victim of a shooting lay dying in his arms. She also interviewed local police officials about the problem of delayed response to
9-1-1 calls and what's being done to correct the situation.
• Special mention, Best Enterprise Reporting, "Rosa," Eileen Buckley. In this story, Buckley talked frankly with activist Rosa Gibson about her tireless efforts to eliminate the blight in her East Side Buffalo neighborhood.
• First place, Best Feature, "Camp Inquiry," Joyce Kryszak. Kryszak "camped out" with the children and counselors attending the Center for Inquiry's first-ever "skeptics" camp as they pondered the origins of life, separation of church and state and other controversial topics.
• Special mention, Best Feature, "No Soup for You," Eileen Buckley. Buckley covered the grand opening of a new soup restaurant that was based on the famous "Seinfeld" television show episode, the "Soup Nazi." She interspersed clips from the "Seinfeld episode" with the sound she gathered on-site in a very amusing, fast-moving piece.
• Special mention, Best Sports Coverage, "Sabres Fever," Eileen Buckley. In this series of four reports, Buckley explored Sabres fever in Western New York.
• First place, General Excellence in Use of Medium, "A Whole Lot of Squeezing Going On," Eileen Buckley. In this story, Buckley talked with those attending a gathering of accordionists at a local hotel.