WBFO Receives 3 National First-Place Public Radio Awards

Release Date: July 31, 2007 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- WBFO-FM 88.7, the National Public Radio affiliate operated by the University at Buffalo, won three first place awards for its 2006 news coverage from Public Radio News Directors Inc. (PRNDI) at its awards banquet held July 21 in New Orleans.

In the only national contest recognizing outstanding public radio news reporting at local stations, WBFO received awards in the categories for best newscast, breaking news and commentary.

From more than 1,000 entries, a total of 87 awards were presented to 34 stations. WBFO has won three previous PRNDI awards -- two second place and one first place -- in 1998, 1999 and 2000.

"These peer-designated awards are highly prized among members of the public radio community across the nation," said Carole Smith Petro, associate vice president and general manager. "They are further testament to the outstanding efforts each and every day by the WBFO News Department, and to the value of our citizen commentary series."

In the category of breaking news, WBFO was awarded first place for its first-day coverage of the October 2006 snowstorm. With downed tree limbs blocking roadways, many staff members were unable to drive, forcing two staffers to walk several miles to work. Complicating matters, WBFO's building was undergoing a major renovation, and an emergency generator powered only computers and other broadcast equipment to allow the staff to deliver necessary information to a community paralyzed by the storm. Contributors to the storm coverage were Mark Scott, Eileen Buckley, Joyce Kryszak, Mark Wozniak, Howard Riedel, Bert Gambini and David Benders.

In the category of best newscast, WBFO received a first-place award for its noon newscast on the day of the storm.  The newscast, produced by Scott and anchored by Gambini, included interviews by Kryszak, who also covered a tour of the devastated region by then-Gov. George E. Pataki. Buckley, stranded at home by blocked roadways, interviewed people in her neighborhood and reported live during the newscast.

In the category of best commentary, WBFO was awarded a first place PRNDI for a commentary by Chris Mackowski, an associate professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at St. Bonaventure University, on how his son's friends questioned whether Elvis Presley was real.

The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive public university, the largest and most comprehensive campus in the State University of New York. UB's more than 27,000 students pursue their academic interests through more than 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs. Founded in 1846, the University at Buffalo is a member of the Association of American Universities.

Media Contact Information

John Della Contrada
Vice President for University Communications
521 Capen Hall
Buffalo, NY 14260
Tel: 716-645-4094 (mobile: 716-361-3006)
Twitter: @UBNewsSource