WKAR Wins Public TV Station of the Year

Posted on: March 18, 2014

WKAR Wins Public TV Station of the Year It is easy to forget that the College of Communication Arts and Sciences does more than educate students and conduct research. We are an integral part of the mid-Michigan community, and nothing demonstrates that more than the recent awards won by WKAR TV and Radio.

On behalf of their colleagues in the college, I congratulate the WKAR staff for being awarded Public Television Station of the Year by the Michigan Association of Broadcasters (MAB) for the third year in a row. The station was presented with this prestigious honor at the MAB Broadcast Excellence Awards ceremony on March 13 in Lansing.

This year marks the 60th anniversary for WKAR TV, the second longest, continually running local public TV station in America.

WKAR TV and Radio also took home two Best in Category awards, seven additional Broadcast Excellence awards, and WKAR Technical Services Manager Gary Blievernicht received the Carl E. Lee Broadcast Engineering Excellence Award for Television.

"WKAR's win is a win for us all. Because, frankly, we're in a partnership with our members, our donors, our community, to make radio and TV listening and viewing in mid-Michigan the best it can be," WKAR General Manager Gary Reid said. "To be the public television station of the year is both an honor and a responsibility because public broadcasting is focused on making the lives of the citizens of mid-Michigan better."

In total, WKAR TV received six Broadcast Excellence Awards: Off the Record, Best In Category for News or Public Affairs Special; WKAR In the Community Promo, Merit Award for Marketing Materials and Promo; the Two-Minute Membership Promo, Merit Award for Membership Appeal; Backstage Pass - Howling Diablos, Merit Award for Culture and Performing Arts; Current Sports with Al Martin and guest T.J. Duckett, Merit Award for Sports-Outdoor or Recreation; and Evening with the Governor, Merit Award for News Special or Documentary.

On the radio side, WKAR-FM won three Broadcast Excellence Awards for Current State: Neighbors in Action, Best In Category for Community Involvement; Violin CT Scan, Merit Award for Feature/Use of Medium; and Lansing Symphony Montage, Merit Award for Musical Programming.

"The breadth of the awards for WKAR Radio indicates our commitment to not only classical music and the fine arts, but also news and information that's important to our community," Reid said.

The Carl E. Lee Broadcast Engineering Excellence Award that Gary Blievernicht received is the most prestigious engineering award presented by the MAB. He received the award for television, but has been responsible for both WKAR TV and Radio including all television engineering and master control operations for the station since he first started working there in 1992.

These awards recognize WKAR for original production, community outreach and engagement, education services and the many activities that make WKAR a vibrant and essential part of the community it serves.

Of course, WKAR's contributions to mid-Michigan depend on community members giving back. As an example of how community members help, Jim and Sue Spaniolo recently donated the lead gift for the WKAR TV Innovation Fund and promised to match donations to the fund up to $6,500. The goal is to establish a $1.5 million endowment to support innovative technology for WKAR TV. For more information on the endowment or to donate, please see the WKAR TV Innovation Fund page. This is just the latest way Jim and Sue have contributed to the College. Jim was the Dean from 1996 to 2003, and Sue currently serves as the Director of Business Operations for the college.

Thanks to Jim and Sue for their generous gift. Thanks also goes out to all the WKAR TV and Radio members, WKAR staff, and all those who support and help make WKAR the best of what public broadcasting has to offer. Together, with your help, WKAR will continue to provide world-class educational and entertaining programming for people of all ages in the mid-Michigan community.

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