Gray Television and its Stations Honored by Service to America, National Headliner, and Several Other Prestigious Awards
Friday, June 16th, 2023
Gray Television, Inc. (“Gray”) (NYSE: GTN) received the 2023 Celebration of Service to America Award for TV Ownership Group at a formal ceremony in Washington, DC, yesterday. The award recognized the outstanding work of Gray’s InvestigateTV unit and its series, “The Sixth,” which exposed a critical shortage of public defenders across the country. Each year, the National Association of Broadcasters Leadership Foundation presents the Celebration of Service to America Awards to honor excellence in community service by local radio and television stations.
In addition, the Foundation selected Gray’s KTTC in Rochester, Minnesota, as its Small Market Television Winner for the station’s nearly 70-year long “Fifth District Eagles Cancer Telethon,” which has raised over $22 million since its inception to support cancer research by the three leading medical institutions all located in the state of Minnesota.
The Foundation also recognized Gray’s KWCH in Wichita, Kansas, as a Finalist for its Medium Market Television Award for the station’s program “Wildfire Relief Efforts,” which raised needed funding from more than 2,000 donors for the Kansas Livestock Foundation’s Wildfire Relief Fund, and Gray’s WTVY in Dothan, Alabama, as a Finalist for its Small Market Television Award for that station’s program “Miracle on Foster Food Drive,” which, during its 10th anniversary in late 2022, generated more than 200,000 pounds of food and critical dollars for the Wiregrass Area Food Bank.
“At Gray, serving our communities with impactful content is woven into our culture,” said Gray Chairman and CEO Hilton H. Howell Jr. “We are proud of the investigative journalism and public service projects honored by the Celebration of Service to America Awards and the exceptional efforts taking place in all our stations to improve the lives of the viewers we serve, every day.”
Recently, WVUE in New Orleans, Louisiana was honored with the prestigious National Headliner Award for two separate investigations. The National Headliner Awards, founded in 1934 by the Press Club of Atlantic City, is one of the oldest and largest annual contests recognizing journalistic merit in the communications industry. In the broadcast or cable “Public Service” category, WVUE received both First Place and the “Best in Show” award for the investigative series “Drained.” According to the judges’ comments, “WVUE’s crack investigative unit commands our attention annually, but this year’s probe by Lee Zurik into a quirky Louisiana statute that allowed the city of New Orleans and other agencies to ignore court-ordered settlements for eternity was not only shocking in its depth of cruelty, but in its results: Shamed by the Fox affiliate, governing agencies released tens of millions of dollars to deserving victims of malfeasance. Louisiana in general and New Orleans in particular is fortunate to have Zurik and WVUE on guard for public interest.”
In addition, WVUE received a National Headliner Award for Investigative Reporting for its series “Outside the Office.” The judges’ comments also praised the results-oriented investigative efforts. “Just astonishing: The mayor of New Orleans and her bodyguard disappear into a city-owned apartment for hours at a time; no work gets logged and the mayor attacks the station’s reporter as disrespectful when the story comes out. But the station’s intrepid use of public surveillance tapes tell the story with devastating authority.”
In addition to these honors, Gray’s stations have received other recognitions and awards received for extraordinary efforts and achievements by Gray’s dedicated local teams. A few examples include:
Gray’s television stations took home 55 awards during the recent Wisconsin Broadcasters Association Awards gala. WSAW in Wausau won Station of the Year for the sixth year in a row, News Operation of the Year, plus 26 additional awards, including seven first-place awards. Sister station WZAW claimed one award. Madison’s WMTV won the honor of News Operation of the Year for the fourth year in a row, plus 21 other awards. WBAY in Green Bay won seven awards during the event.
The Michigan Association of Broadcasters awarded 36 best or merit awards to Gray’s television stations. WLUC in Marquette won TV Station of the Year for Market 4, plus 23 other honors. Lansing’s WILX won nine best or merit honors and was named a finalist for Station of the Year for Market 3, and WNEM in Flint-Saginaw took home four best awards.
At the Colorado Broadcasters Association Awards gala, KKCO in Grand Junction won 15 first place awards, plus Small Market Station of the Year for the fourth year in a row.
The Indiana Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists awarded seven Best of Journalism Awards to both South Bend’s WNDU and Fort Wayne’s WPTA. WFIE in Evansville took home three awards.
The Syracuse Press Club presented six awards to WWNY in Watertown for reporting, investigative work, and overall news broadcast.