FORT WAYNE, Ind. – WPTA’s ABC21 is the recipient of three Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards, the Radio Television Digital News Association announced on Thursday.
It is the fourth consecutive year that ABC21 has received at least one Murrow honor. This year, ABC21 entries were winners for Excellence in Innovation, Sports Reporting and Podcast.
In each of those categories, ABC21 is now under consideration for the National Edward R. Murrow Award.
Fort Wayne television stations are part of Region 7, which comprises broadcasters based in Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Ohio.
Stations in the nation’s 50 largest television markets (as defined by the Nielsen Corp.) compete in one division; others, including ABC21, in a second division. One award is given per category in each division.
The ABC21 entry honored for Excellence in Innovation was the multi-platform project “Matt’s Weather School.” The digital, social media and broadcast components featured Chief Meteorologist Matt Leach as “professor” and host of bite-sized weather lessons built for children and a 30-minute television program. Lessons focused on specific weather phenomena, with an emphasis on local meteorological events. Leach, Special Projects Executive Producer Daniel Beals and Christopher Brown produced the 30-minute program that anchored the project.
In the category of Sports Reporting, an entry reported by Sports Director Zach Groth and produced by Special Projects Executive Producer Daniel Beals took top honors. “Steury’s Story” explored the journey of a young man from orphanage in Africa to Indiana State Champion in long distance running.
ABC21’s third honoree received the Murrow Award for Podcast. The “ABC21 Weekly” entry was a collaborative effort, featuring contributions from anchors Brien McElhatten and Krista Miller, Managing Editor Ian Hoover and Social Media and Digital Content Manager Kayla Crandall.
ABC21 has now garnered seven Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards and two National Edward R. Murrow Awards since 2018. The national honors came in 2019 in the category of Investigative Reporting and 2020 in the category of Excellence in Sound.
“We are humbled to be recognized with one of broadcasting’s most celebrated awards,” said WPTA News Director Jonathan Shelley. “To receive three such honors in one year is truly special.
“We endeavor each day to provide northeast Indiana and northwest Ohio with fair, comprehensive and original reporting, and we greatly appreciate the recognition from RTDNA and the Murrow Awards judges.”
A complete list of the regional winners is available here.