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WBFO 88.7FM Wins Top Award for Second Time in Three Years from NYS Associated Press

By Kelli Bocock-Natale

Release Date: June 10, 2009

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- WBFO-FM 88.7, UB's National Public Radio affiliate, won 10 awards -- including the coveted Stephen Flanders Memorial Award -- at the New York State Associated Press Broadcasters Association's annual awards banquet held June 6 in Saratoga Springs.

The Flanders award -- the AP's highest radio honor -- is given to the station (commercial or public) in New York deemed by the judges to "exemplify the best traditions of journalistic initiative and dedication in providing a complete news service to the listening public." The honor is awarded to the station receiving the greatest number of top finishes in the competition. It is named in memory of a distinguished New York City radio reporter who died of a heart attack while on his way to a City Hall news conference in 1983.

This is the second time in the past three years that WBFO has been named to receive the Flanders award. WBFO won six first place awards and four honorable mentions; it garnered more first place 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.

In addition to the WBFO news team, comprised of Mark Scott, news director; Eileen Buckley, assistant news director, news producer and reporter; and Joyce Kryszak, cultural affairs reporter and producer, two members of WBFO's staff received first-place awards. Kara Sweet, Manager of Electronic Communications, received an award for designing a Web news page, and Alison Zero, talent manager for the Buffalo Music Project, received an award for her feature on a local musical group.

"To have received the Stephen Flanders award for the second time in as little as three years is an incredible honor. This award is the culmination of many years of superb reporting by WBFO's well-experienced and highly committed news team, as well as our talented Web designer and our music talent producer" said Carole Smith Petro, associate vice president and WBFO general manager. "As individuals and as a team, the news staff has consistently achieved the highest standards of radio reporting. We are delighted that two additional WBFO talents were recognized for their unique contributions. All of these awards confirm the high regard in which they are held by the Western New York community."

The 2008 awards that WBFO received are:

• Arts Athens Award for General Excellence in Individual Reporting: Eileen Buckley and Special Mention to Joyce Kryszak

• Best Interview: First Place to Joyce Kryszak for interview with UB artist Steve Kurtz after federal charges against him were dropped

• Best Enterprise Reporting: First Place to Joyce Kryszak for a report on predatory lending and Special Mention to Eileen Buckley for a report on the blood collection competition in Buffalo

• Best Continuing News: Special Mention to Eileen Buckley for her coverage of Buffalo Police Detective Dennis Delano's suspension to his run for the State Senate

• Best Sports Coverage: First Place to Joyce Kryszak for her report on the Winter Classic in Buffalo and Special Mention to Eileen Buckley for a report on Richard Zednik's nearly fatal hockey injury

• Best Use of Medium: First Place to Alison Zero for her story on the local music group, Too Many Sisters

• Best Web Site: First Place to Web designer, Kara Sweet, and the news staff

Celebrating 50 years on air, WBFO 88.7FM, a major public service of the University at Buffalo, is Western New York's most listened to National Public Radio (NPR) station. It reaches an audience of approximately 80,000 people through its main signal in Buffalo and through repeater stations WUBJ 88.1 FM in Jamestown and WOLN 91.3 FM in Olean, and additional audiences through its Web presence. WBFO's news department offers comprehensive coverage of regional news. The station also offers a depth of programming not available elsewhere in the community, including NPR/PRI news and entertainment programs, public and cultural affairs programming and jazz and blues.