For the fifth consecutive year, the Michigan Association of Broadcasters has named WKAR as Public TV Station of the Year. Across WKAR-TV and WKAR-FM 90.5, the stations also earned ten Best in Category awards and six Merit awards at the Broadcast Excellence Awards 2015 ceremony May 3, 2016, in Lansing, Mich.
WKAR original productions honored with Best in Category awards include the radio show "Current State with Mark Bashore" (four Best awards) TV shows "Forte" (two Best awards), "Curious Crew," and "Evening with the Governor 2015;" and the TV marketing piece, "WKAR Fall Sizzle Spot."
More than 850 entries from over 80 Michigan stations and networks were judged this year by members of the Colorado Broadcasters Association. The awards recognize WKAR's original shows, community outreach and engagement, education services and the many facets that make the station a vibrant and essential part of the community it serves.
WKAR broadcasts in mid-Michigan on TV channels WKAR-HD 23.1, WKAR World 23.2 and WKAR Create 23.3 and radio on 90.5 FM, AM 870, WKAR-FM HD1 and HD2. The station is part of the College of Communication Arts and Sciences at Michigan State University.
"Objective, external peer review is a basic tenet at a research university," said Gary Reid, MSU director of broadcasting and WKAR general manager. "We are honored and gratified that our peers from the Colorado Broadcasters Association found our work to be deserving of these prestigious honors."
For television programming and engagement, WKAR won a total of ten Broadcast Excellence Awards, including six Best in Category awards and four Merit awards.
"Winning Station of the Year for the fifth time is really a testament to the support we get from our community, and the drive to make a difference instilled in us as Spartans at MSU," said Susi Elkins, WKAR television station manager. "We're committed to expanding our impact more broadly in Michigan with offerings like 'Forte' and 'Curious Crew' and through new partnerships across stations, and it is very rewarding to have those efforts recognized by fellow broadcasters."
The TV Best in Category awards were for:
- Cultural and Performing Arts -- Forte: Ann Arbor Huron High School Jazz Band
- Marketing Materials and Promo -- WKAR Fall Sizzle Spot
- Mini-Documentary or Series -- Curious Crew: Levers
- News or Public Affairs Special -- 2015 Evening with the Governor
- Special Interest Programming -- Forte: Ann Arbor Huron High School Jazz Band
- Station of the Year Category -- WKAR Public TV Station of the Year
The TV Merit awards were for:
- Community Involvement -- Ready to Learn-Words to Grow By
- Cultural and Performing Arts -- Forte: Grand Ledge High School Wind Ensemble
- Independent Producer -- Tom Lietz Second Shift
- News or Public Affairs Special -- 2015 Michigan State of the State
For radio programming, WKAR won six Broadcast Excellence Awards, including four Best in Category award and two Merit awards.
"We're grateful to our radio colleagues for their recognition of our team's service to listeners in Michigan and beyond," said Peter Whorf, radio station manager. "And a huge thanks to WKAR's thousands of listeners and many contributors for inspiring us every day."
The radio Best in Category awards were for:
- Feature/Use of Medium -- Current State: Lansing Homeless Count
- Musical Programming -- Current State Holiday Special
- New Media -- Current State Holiday Special (Video Webcast)
- Special Interest and Cultural Programming -- Current State: French Immersion Program
The radio Merit awards were for:
- Musical Programming -- Forte
- Station of the Year Category -- WKAR: Excellence and Innovation in 2015
Since the station joined the College of Communication Arts and Sciences in 2011, and under the leadership of Gary Reid, director of Broadcasting Services; Susi Elkins, TV station manager; and Peter Whorf, radio station manager, WKAR has been named Michigan Public TV Station of the Year five times; earned more than 50 Broadcast Excellence Awards for TV and radio; and was honored by the National Association of Broadcasters with the prestigious Marconi Award for Non-Commercial Station of the Year 2015 for WKAR-FM.