The consolidation fever that gripped the local broadcasting business abated somewhat in 2014, though dealmaking didn’t exactly dry up. More important than getting bigger fast was the task of staying consistent in the delivery of relevant, communitybased content. More than most, the individuals on the pages to follow were more than equal to the task.
For the first time, B&C this year is recognizing a station group of the year, along with individual standouts. The inaugural honor in the category goes to E.W. Scripps, which managed to stay very much in the M&A conversation, as well as offering up noteworthy original programming and excelling at the core mission of breaking news and serving local viewers. The remainder of the honorees, who span markets and regions from San Diego to Boise and Pittsburgh to Des Moines, all showed veteran poise in staying effective in a marketplace undergoing constant change. The results are inarguable, but perhaps even more impressive is the M.O. shared by our picks this year. They work the phones. They ask a lot of questions, including of themselves. They are constantly holding things up to the light to consider different angles of approach. In a business of relentless innovation, it’s a good reminder that veteran experience still counts for a lot.
Station Group of The Year
The savviest local broadcasters of 2014 are focused on 2015—and beyond. They’ve increased scale to get vital leverage with multichannel video programming distributors and networks. They’ve sunk retrans cash into resources—reporters, helicopters, technology—to make their reporting stand out. They’re also investing it in research and development, creating shows outside of traditional newscasts in an effort to break away from highcost, low-return syndicated programming. More»
GM of the Year, Markets 1-25
Pittsburgh may be the toughest TV market in the nation, with three highly worthy competitors duking it out. But the inspired leadership of Chris Pike keeps KDKA a step ahead. Pike pulls off the deft task of reinventing local TV for the rapidly changing market, while still producing the timeless local programming that has long held wide appeal to Pittsburghers. More»
GM of the Year, Markets 26-50
Pat Nevin, VP and general manager of San Diego mainstay KFMB, sees the lack of other television stations in his ownership group as beneficial. “The ownership of the station lives right here in San Diego,” Nevin says of Midwest TV. “And we really have not only our finger on the pulse of the market but just unbelievably deep roots to the community." More»
GM of the Year, Markets 51+
To Doug Armstrong, running a television station is about more than just delivering the news. KTVB Boise’s president and general manager of 18 years has instilled a sense of community within the station — both the loyalty and stability among the staff and a charitable attitude toward the city and region. More»
News Director of the Year
There are markets with political activity, and then there’s Des Moines. Politics are the pastime in Iowa, home of the bellwether caucuses, and Des Moines is its capital. Dave Busiek, news director at market leader KCCI, was supremely suited to cover the many key elections going down last month. KCCI produced four Senate and Congressional debates. For those candidates wishing to speak directly to voters, there’s the KCCI.com feature In Their Own Words. Gov. Terry Branstad was among many who took KCCI up on its offer to cut a video. More»
Multiplatform Broadcaster of the Year
Weigel Broadcasting vice chairman Neal Sabin was already honing the programming skills that earned him B&C’s 2014 Multiplatform Broadcaster of the Year nod in the fifth grade, when he started his own business, showing cartoons at kids birthday parties. More»