KNX (1070 AM), KFI (640 AM), and KPCC (89.3 FM) were the big winners this year as the Radio and Television News Association of Southern California handed out this year’s Golden Mike awards January 24th. Both KNX and KFI earned seven Golden Mikes each, while KPCC (89.3 FM) was right behind with six.
The awards are presented annually by the RTNA, a non-profit organization representing broadcast newsrooms -- radio and television -- in Southern California. Stations from as far away as Fresno to the North and the Mexican border to the South compete for the coveted awards. Obviously large stations that concentrate on news and features would tend to dominate the awards as did our leading three. But there were some smaller stations involved, and one that may surprise you.
KFI won in the categories of Best Radio News Special (Breaking Down the Border Crisis), Best Radio Investigative Reporting (Mold School), Best Light Feature - less than one minute (Valentine’s Day Flower Inspection), Best Radio Serious Feature - less than one minute (Operation Boo), Best Radio Hard News Feature (Trial of Jailed Marine in Mexico), Best Radio Internet Reporting (Operation Boo) and Best Radio Newscast Under 15 Minutes (6 O’Clock News).
KNX won with Best Live Coverage of a News Story (LAX Shooting), Best News Reporting (Nanny Nightmare), Best Spot News Reporting (The Great UCLA Flood of 2014), Best News Public Affairs Program (Ask the Mayor), Best Traffic Report (KNX Traffic at 6:15 a.m.), Best Sports Reporting (Watts Bears), and Best News Broadcast Over 15 Minutes (KNX Morning News).
KPCC earned awards for Best feature News Series Reporting (The Northridge Earthquake: 20 Years Later), Best Serious Feature Reporting - one minute or longer (Friday Nights at DCFS), Best Consumer and Business Reporting (The Price of Pain), Best Government and Political Reporting (Bell Keeps Paying Rizzo Tax), Best medical and Science Reporting (Geologists Dream Unearthed by the 405 Construction), and Best Use of Sound (Everything You Didn’t Know About Bats in Los Angeles).
Cal Lutheran’s KCLU (88.3 FM, 1340 AM) came away with five awards, including Best Entertainment Reporting (The Fifth Beatle), Best Use of Sound - Div. B (Musical Visionary), Best News Broadcast Under 15 Minutes - Div. B (7 a.m. News with Jim Rondeau), Best Sports Reporting - Div. B (No Pro Football in LA, No Problem!), and Best News Reporting - Div. B (Dangerous Pipelines? Fear on Campus).
KVPR/Fresno earned three awards, one for Best Investigative Reporting - Div. B (One Year After the Rim Fire), Best Light Feature Reporting - one minute or longer (Dreaming Up Spanish Language Theater in Fresno), and Best Business and Consumer Reporting - Div. B (Self Driving Cars Uee Merced as Landing Pad).
KLAA (830 AM) won for Best News Public Affairs Program (Community Cares); KCSN (88.5 FM) won for Best News Broadcast Over 15 Minutes - Div. B (The Evening Update); KSPC (88.7 FM) won for Best medical and Science Reporting - Div. B (How to e-Save a Life) and K-Beach (KJAZ 88.1 HD3) won for Best Individual Writing (Hi-Definition News Feature: 15 Seconds of Confusion).
Those last two awards are in some ways the most impressive. While the list of award-winners includes stations located on college campuses, only two are actual college stations and broadcast using students rather than paid professionals. The fact that both KSPC and K-Beach won Golden Mikes using programming created, produced, and presented by students is in my mind, worthy of celebrating.
Congratulations, though, are well-deserved to all Golden Mike winners!
Not sure if my column had anything to do with it, but KABC (790 AM) took what I advised and ran with it. Mark Levin is no longer associated with the talk station; in his place is Peter Tilden (hopefully told to run wild as I said previously) in Levin’s former 6-9 p.m. weekday slot, followed from 9 to midnight by Dennis Miller, who moves down the dial from KRLA (870 AM).
Where s Levin? No longer on tape delay, he can be heard live on KRLA 3 to 6 p.m. That should be good news for his local fan. Hugh Hewett, formerly heard 3-6, will now follow Levin at 6 p.m.