ABC Radio Vice President and General Manager Steve Jones just sent the following email out:
Dear ABC affiliate,
We received the exciting news today that ABC News was recognized with Edward R. Murrow Awards for Overall Excellence both in radio and television! The Overall Excellence award is the highest honor the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) bestows. This is the third year in a row that ABC News has won the Overall Excellence award for both its radio and TV journalism.
ABC News Radio also won Murrow awards in the Breaking News category for our coverage of the San Bernardino terror attack and in the Hard News category for our coverage of the Paris terror attacks.
Here at ABC News Radio we are committed to taking our listeners—your listeners—to the scene of breaking news so they can hear and feel events unfold. We know you place tremendous trust in us to get the story right and we carry that responsibility very seriously. We’re proud to be the largest commercial radio news network in the U.S. reaching 68.5-million listeners weekly and thank you for the privilege of serving you 24/7.
Should you wish to hear the winning Overall Excellence submission, we are putting it online through next week. The link and a description of the winning entry is below.
Through ABC News Radio’s vivid on-scene reporting in 2015, our listeners ducked tear gas in the middle of the Baltimore riots; investigated a passenger train derailment near Philadelphia; braved danger with refugee families seeking a better life in Europe; picked through the wreckage of a passenger plane flown into the side of a mountain by a suicidal pilot; experienced the wild scene on the Supreme Court steps after the ruling legalizing gay marriage; and cheered with the crowds lining the streets in Cuba and the US for a glimpse of Pope Francis.
Our reporting brought listeners to Paris –twice– to share that city’s shock, grief and remarkable resilience in wake of the terror attacks that bookended the year. ABC’s Aaron Katersky spoke with survivors of the November attack at the very scenes of the shooting, reliving their memories of that awful night. At the same time, ABC’s Tom Rivers was with the crowds at a Paris memorial service – sharing his feeling of déjà vu after seeing a faded Je Suis Charlie poster from the attack of January. That’s the context and background ABC News Radio adds to our reporting, giving listeners the full story – what’s happening, and what it means.
When terror struck at home, ABC’s Alex Stone rushed to the scene in San Bernardino, California, and captured those terrifying moments as police searched for an active shooter and families tried to account for their loved ones. ABC News Radio was on the air live during that tense search and stayed on to bring listeners the dramatic end to the manhunt- with Alex just steps from where it all went down.
ABC News Radio correspondents were at a community college in Roseburg, Oregon; a military office in Chattanooga, Tennessee; a movie theater in Lafayette , Louisiana; and a Planned Parenthood office in Colorado Springs – all scenes of mass shootings – speaking with witnesses and survivors trying to make sense of the killing. ABC News Radio’s Jim Ryan was in Charleston, South Carolina when a young racist’s hatred exploded into a shooting spree that killed nine people. Jim and ABC’s Steve Osunsami brought listeners into that city’s mourning and healing, and was on the statehouse grounds to describe the final lowering of the Confederate Battle Flag in a cheering crowd.
One very special event this year – a first-ever “virtual audience” with Pope Francis, allowing the faithful in three cities to share their experiences and questions with the Pope via live satellite.
ABC News Radio affiliates and listeners benefit from a range of special programming – longform looks at everything from toy shopping to saluting the troops on Memorial Day. We also provide daily short-form features that cover politics, business, world events, and technology.
Those daily features are also available to listeners of our digital outlet Slacker, which is updated hourly with the latest reporting from across ABC News. Our affiliates using the ABCNewscall site have access not only to the 300 to 400 correspondent reports, actualities and natural sound we produce every day, they can find a full year’s worth of that material –all searchable by keyword– at the click of a mouse.
Our web and digital teams produce hundreds of concisely written, up to the minute, pieces a week, covering world, national, and local news for our affiliates’ websites. Those affiliates are notified of breaking news and compelling content via emailed breaking news alerts, and digital “editor’s notes.” Our AirPower web service provides morning music and lifestyle shows a full day’s content – text and audio- to get them running. And, our Facebook and Twitter feeds spread our newsgathering to the digital audience beyond our affiliates.
ABC News Radio makes it easy for our affiliates to put our correspondents directly on their air, no matter the dateline — to make us part of their team. We provided more than 14,600 of thosestation calls in 2015 – about 40 a day, 7 days a week.
Our Entertainment and Sports units give our listeners VIP access to the most exciting events. If we’re not in the audience at Jon Stewart’s final Daily Show, we’re taking in the costumes at ComicCom, or we’re backstage at the Oscars. We’re playing with the latest gadgets at CES, or riding a hoverboard around Central Park, or watching the US Women’s soccer team raise the World Cup, or we’re catching confetti on the field after the Super Bowl.
It’s not just what we do, it’s how we do it. Our writing and the way we use sound set us apart. We find the natural sound, compelling interviews, and file material to make our stories – from the opening moments of the Charlie Hebdo attack to a feature piece on campaign music- truly come alive.
This sampling of our work in 2015 captures our strength. Correspondents on the scene, reporting sound-rich, compelling, stories with context and detail. That ability to bring the world to our audience – vividly- makes ABC News Radio truly excellent.