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Finalists announced in 2018 Ohio APME broadcast contest

February 26, 2019 GMT

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Finalists have been announced in the Ohio Associated Press Media Editors 2018 radio and TV contest.

The awards in actual order of finish -- first or second -- will be announced at the annual Ohio APME annual awards banquet May 4, 2019 in Columbus. The General Excellence, Hall of Fame, Rising Star and First Amendment award winners also will be announced at the meeting.

Twenty- four broadcasters submitted 327 entries in the contest, which featured news, sports and weather reporting as well as features, documentaries and photography from 2018.

Entries were judged by broadcasters from Michigan Radio, Ann Arbor, Michigan and WGHN-FM, Grand Haven, Michigan, Radio; WLUC-TV, Negaunee, Michigan, WLNS, Lansing, Michigan, and KDKA-TV, Pittsburgh Television I and Television II.


The Associated Press is a not-for-profit news cooperative representing 1,300 newspapers and 5,000 broadcast stations in the United States.

Finalists in the 2018 Ohio APME broadcast contest:

Television I:

Best Producer: Stephen Kappas, WSYX/WTTE-TV, Columbus; Jason Scott, WXIX-TV, Cincinnati.

Best Anchor: Stacia Naquin, WSYX/WTTE-TV, Columbus; Rob Powers, WEWS-TV, Cleveland.

Best Feature Reporting: Scott Light and Brooks Hooley, WBNS-TV, Columbus, “How an OSU Buckeye Saved a US President”; Bryant Somerville and Nicki Thacker, WBNS-TV, Columbus, “Catching a Childhood Dream.”

Best Broadcast Writing: Mike McCarthy, WSYX/WTTE-TV, Columbus; Bhaskar Nair, WSYX/WTTE-TV, Columbus.

Best Photographer: Ali Ghanbari, WJW-TV, Cleveland; WBNS-TV, Columbus.

Best Reporter: Duane Pohlman, WKRC-TV, Cincinnati; Tom Sussi, WCMH-TV, Columbus.

Best Sportscast: Jerod Smalley and Audrey Hasson, WCMH-TV, Columbus, “End of the Urban Era - Covering the Buckeyes in 2018”; Paul Spohn and Shawn Dunagan, WBNS-TV, Columbus, “First and 10.”

Best Sports Feature: Maria Durant and Jay Novotny, WSYX/WTTE-TV, Columbus, “Where Are They Now? - Bobby Carpenter”; Dave Holmes, WBNS-TV, Columbus, “One Stroke Victory.”

Best Use of Photography: Breanna Molloy and Kevin Necessary, WCPO-TV, Cincinnati, “Observatory”; Marcus Nichols, WBNS-TV, Columbus, “Greenlawn Honors Veterans.”

Best Documentary or Series: Breanna Molloy and Kevin Necessary, WCPO-TV, Cincinnati, “Living in the Shadows: The Documentary”; Stephanie O’Grady, WBNS-TV, Columbus, “The Bullying Gap.”

Best Coverage of a Scheduled Event: Angela An and Joe Brackman, WBNS-TV, Columbus, “Hannaversary”; WVIZ-TV, Cleveland, “Glenville Shootout: 50 Years Later.”


Best Spot News Coverage: WBNS-TV, Columbus, “North 20th Street Explosion”; WCMH-TV, Columbus, “Hell from the Sky, Storms Damage Town.”

Best Continuing Coverage: Tara Morgan and Justin DePrekel, WSYX/WTTE-TV, Columbus, “A Survivor’s Tale Amid Safety Campaign”; WCPO-TV, Cincinnati, “Pike County Massacre Arrests.”

Best Enterprise Reporting: Glenn McEntyre and Marcus Nichols, WBNS-TV, Columbus, “I Failed Her”; Tara Morgan and Justin DePrekel, WSYX/WTTE-TV, Columbus, “Where’s Chang Lim?”

Best Investigative Reporting: Craig Cheatham and Lot Tan, WCPO-TV, Cincinnati, “Forcing the Peace”; Terri Sulivan and Ben Frecker, WSYX/WTTE-TV, Columbus, “Mail Fail.”

Best Newscast: Jennifer Nichols and Jeff Pullin, WBNS-TV, Columbus; WCPO-TV, Cincinnati.

Best Weathercast: Mike Davis and Ashlee Baracy, WBNS-TV, Columbus, “4/3/2018”; Andrew Michael, WSYX/WTTE-TV, Columbus.

Best Digital Project: Dan Gialucca and Brad Bader, WBNS-TV, Columbus, “Westerville Strong”; Kevin Necessary, WCPO-TV, Cincinnati, “Living in the Shadows.”

Best Digital Presence: Andrew Long, WCMH-TV, Columbus; WCPO-TV, Cincinnati.

Television II:

Best Producer: Dakota Cleland, WTVG-TV, Toledo; Emily Gay, WHIO-TV, Dayton.

Best Anchor (TV Only): Bill Hormann, WTVG-TV, Toledo; Andrew Kinsey, WTOL-TV, Toledo.

Best Feature Reporting: Lissa Guyton and Justin Billau, WTVG-TV, Toledo, “Saving Soles”; Derek Steyer, WFMJ-TV, Youngtown, “Singing Waiter.”

Best Broadcast Writing: McKenzie Kuehnlein, WTVG-TV, Toledo, “Justice for Sierah”; Tyler Paley, WTOL-TV, Toledo.

Best Photographer: Todd Gaertner, WTVG-TV, Toledo; Robert Meluch, WFMJ-TV, Youngtown.

Best Reporter: Bill Hormann, WTVG-TV, Toledo; Michelle Nicks, WFMJ-TV, Youngtown.

Best Sportscast: Dana Balash, WFMJ-TV, Youngtown, “Overtime Report”; WTVG-TV, Toledo, “Football Friday.”

Best Sports Feature: John Juby and Jordan Strack, WTOL-TV, Toledo, “Shot of a Lifetime”; Kristi Kopanis, WTOL-TV, Toledo, “Battling Cancer One Goal at a Time.”

Best Use of Photography: Robert Meluch, WFMJ-TV, Youngtown; Derek Steyer, WFMJ-TV, Youngtown.

Best Documentary or Series: Brandon Lewis, WTAP-TV, Parkersburg, “Addiction’s Children”; WKEF/WRGT-TV, Miamisburg, “Hunger in the Miami Valley.”

Best Coverage of a Scheduled Event: Lissa Guyton and Todd Gaertner, WTVG-TV, Toledo, “Inside Jeep: The World Debut of the Gladiator”; Megan Vanselow, WTAP-TV, Parkersburg, “IEI Fire Anniversary.”

Best Spot News Coverage: Michael Bratton, WTVG-TV, Toledo, “Evening Storms Leave Their Mark Across Wood County”; WKEF/WRGT-TV, Miamisburg, “Huber Heights Heist.”

Best Continuing Coverage: Sheila Miller, WFMJ-TV, Youngtown, “GM Lordstown”; WTVG-TV, Toledo, “Christmas Weed.”

Best Enterprise Reporting: Amanda Fay and Eric Rerucha, WTOL-TV, Toledo, “The New Stranger”; Bill Hormann and Justin Billau, WTVG-TV, Toledo, “Political Spot Check.”

Best Investigative Reporting: Joe Cromer, WTOL-TV, Toledo, “Roadside Memorials”; Andrew Kinsey, WTOL-TV, Toledo, “Andrew Kinsey Bus Bandit Investigation.”

Best Weathercast: McCall Vrydaghs, WHIO-TV, Dayton; Kirstie Zontini, WHIO-TV, Dayton.

Best Newscast: WHIO-TV, Dayton; WTVG-TV, Toledo.

Best Digital Project: Joe Cromer and Claudia Seibert, WTOL-TV, Toledo, “Holy Toledo”; Kelly Heidbreder, WTOL-TV, Toledo, “Super Fitness Weight Loss Challenge.”

Best Digital Presence: WHIO-TV, Dayton; WTVG-TV, Toledo.


Best Anchor/News Host: Amanda Rabinowitz, WKSU-FM, Kent; Maryanne Zeleznik, WVXU-FM, Cincinnati.

Best Feature Reporting: Adora Namigadde, WOSU-FM, Columbus, “Once A Top Rock Climber, Jeremy Petrovich Learns to Ascend Again”; Bill Rinehart, WVXU-FM, Cincinnati, “Minions, Mickeys and Rubber Duckies: All Flushed Away, But Not Forgotten, At MSD.”

Best Broadcast Writing: Nick Evans, WOSU-FM, Columbus, “Ohio’s 12th District Rematch Pits Ground Game Against Demographics”; WVXU-FM, Cincinnati, “Four Years After Oil Spill, Oak Glen Nature Preserve Shows Signs of Healing.”

Best Reporter: Nick Evans, WOSU-FM, Columbus; Ann Thompson, WVXU-FM, Cincinnati.

Best Sportscast: Amanda Rabinowitz and Terry Pluto, WKSU-FM, Kent, “Cavs’ Kevin Love Starts a Much-Needed Conversation About Mental Health.”

Best Sports Feature: No Winner

Best Use of Sound: Kabir Bhatia, WKSU-FM, Kent, “Akron’s Canal Park Holds a Different Type of Tryout”; Tana Weingartner, WVXU-FM, Cincinnati, “Operation Santa Makes Christmas Brighter for Those in Need, and You Can Help.”

Best Documentary or Series, WCPN-FM, Cleveland, “Opioid Crisis: The Ripple Effect”; WKSU-FM, Kent, “Navigating the Path to Mental Health.”

Best Coverage of a Scheduled Event: WCPN-FM, Cleveland, “Glenville Shootout: 50 Years Later”; WKSU-FM, Kent, “Election Night Coverage.”

Best Spot News Coverage: Mark Arehart, WKSU-FM, Kent, “The Last Goodyear Wingfoot Blimp Takes Flight”; WHIO-AM/WHIO-FM, Dayton, “School Violence.”

Best Continuing Coverage: Adora Namigadde, WOSU-FM, Columbus, “Saving the Columbus Crew”; Tana Weingartner, WVXU-FM, Cincinnati, “Restoration of Union Terminal.”

Best Enterprise Reporting: Jeff St. Clair, WKSU-FM, Kent, “Industry 4.0 in Cleveland”; Paige Pfleger, WOSU-FM, Columbus, “Columbus Changes Needle Program Amid Community Concern.”

Best Investigative Reporting: Nick Evans, WOSU-FM, Columbus, “Opportunity Zones Send Tax Breaks to Areas That Might Not Need Them”; Adora Namigadde, WOSU-FM, Columbus, “Rent to Own, Then Left Without a Home.”

Best Newscast: Jeff St. Clair, WKSU-FM, Kent; WHIO-AM/WHIO-FM, Dayton.

Best Digital Project: Gabe Rosenberg, WOSU-FM, Columbus, “Kangaroo Crossing Saga.”

Best Digital Presence: WHIO-AM/WHIO-FM, Dayton; WKSU-FM, Kent.