I am frequently told that I don’t write enough about the good work done by local television covering news and sports.
So what better day than Halloween to try and change my image and be a bearer of good, award-winning news.
The news department at WKBW-TV (Channel 7) has something to cheer and – perhaps just as importantly – to promote after three big wins at the New York State Emmy Awards on Saturday in New York City.
The celebration of six Emmy wins by former Pegula Sports and Entertainment employees must be bittersweet since PSE was dissolved in late August, leading to a number of employees working separately for either the Buffalo Bills or Buffalo Sabres.
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WIVB-TV (Channel 4) investigative reporter Luke Moretti also deserves cheers for the individual recognition he received.
WKBW was honored for best morning newscast, best evening newscast and for overall best excellence for its coverage more than a year ago.
The morning and evening newscasts were honored for their coverage of the horrific, racist massacre on May 14, 2022, at the Tops supermarket on Jefferson Avenue.
The evening newscast won in the medium and small market category for the May 16, 2022, newscast titled “48 Hours After Racist Rampage, Buffalo Begins the Healing Process.” Co-anchors Jeff Russo and Ashley Rowe (who has since left the station), reporter Eileen Buckley, news director Aaron Mason, executive producer DJ Hromowyk, assignment manager Adam Francis and producer Julia Skeval contributed to the coverage.
The morning newscast won in the medium and small market category for the May 16, 2022, newscast for “Buffalo Begins Healing Hours After Hate-Fueled Attack.” Co-anchors Ed Drantch and Katie Morse, reporter Taylor Epps, Hromowyk, Mason and producer Jenna Paternostro contributed.
Now let’s see if the Emmy honors translate into improved ratings.
The station remains in third place in the Buffalo market in Nielsen ratings, as it has been for years. The awards should give more viewers a reason to consider sampling the newscasts.
WIVB earned Emmys in three categories with Moretti involved in all of them. Moretti, producer Dan Telvock and assistant chief photographer Rich Ersing were honored for a July 21, 2022, report on evidence tampering by a state parole officer. Moretti, photographer/editor Dan Holland, chief photographer Chris Broadbent and art director Kurt Murphy were honored for a Nov. 24, 2022, story on Niagara daredevils buried in Oakwood Cemetery. Moretti also was honored in the Talent: Reporter: Specialty Assignment category for his reporting on the daredevils story.
PSE’s six Emmys included two for its coverage of the final season of the late Hall of Fame play-by-play announcer Rick Jeanneret.
Its awards were in the following categories:
Sports Program – Live (Single Program): “Buffalo Sabres: RJ Night” on April 1, 2022. Executive producers Chrisanne Bellas and Drew Boeing, segment producers Michelle Girardi Zumwalt and Andrew Quinn, writer Jourdon LaBarber, director Matt Gould, producer Kelsey Barrick, motion designers Eric Heine and Michael Califano, director Aaron Pike and associate producer Jason Wiese contributed.
Sports – One Time Special category: “Beyond Blue & Gold: RJ Forever” on April 6, 2022. Zumwalt, Bellas, Boeing and editor Michael Bahrenburg contributed.
Interview/Discussion (Single Program) category for “Dion Dawkins x Benny the Butcher: Time for a Change” was for the interview between the Bills offensive tackle and the rapper from Buffalo. Dawkins, executive producer Jeff Matthews, cinemaphotographer Andrew Meyer, producer Kelsey Sweet, producer/cinematographer James Acton and producer Maddy Glab contributed.
Branded Content-Sports for “Buffalo Bills 2022 Season Kickoff: Burn It All.” Supervising producer Zumwalt, producer-director JJ Territo, executive producers Matthews and Boeing, editor Andrew Quinn and cinematographer Josh Pohlman contributed.
Long form Content: “Beyond Blue & Red: Dawson Knox: Family is Everything.” Zumwalt, Quinn, Boeing, Matthews and Meyer contributed to the report on the Bills tight end.
Diversity/Equity/Inclusion Sports Content: “Buffalo Sabres Native American Heritage Night: Jocelyn Jones.” Zumwalt, Boeing, Bellas, editor Scott Balzer and Jones, who received a producer credit as the subject, contributed.
The Buffalo News earned an Emmy in the Lifestyle – Short or Long Form Content category for “Dig in, Buffalo,” described as “a fun, food-centric video series from The Buffalo News that takes Western New Yorkers inside the kitchens of some of the best local restaurants. Viewers get an inside look at unique restaurants and learn how to make some of the best food in Buffalo.” Creative director Danielle Ossher and videographers Jason Holler and Mark Blaszak contributed.