KPCC enjoyed a huge night at the Golden Mike Awards in Universal City last Saturday night. All three of our local talk programs garnered wins in various categories, and our reporters were big winners, too.
AirTalk’s honor was for Best News Special for the live three-hour broadcast we did in Phoenix on the first day of SB-1070’s implementation. We had live reports from the street protests in Phoenix and Los Angeles, interspersed with my interviews with all the major players in the heated debate.
It was quite a morning, and a real honor to be recognized by our peers for all the hard work the AirTalk production team put into the coverage.
Producer Karen Fritsche took the lead on the broadcast, traveling to Arizona several weeks before the event and leading our broadcast while we were there.
Saturday night’s awards were like old home week for me, given the many years I served on the Radio & TV News Association of Southern California’s board. I enjoyed catching up with longtime friends and colleagues, and meeting others whose work I admire.
Regis Philbin and Kelly Lange were two of the lifetime achievement honorees. Philbin told amusing stories about his early years in San Diego and Los Angeles – from local late-night talk to sidekick on the Joey Bishop Show. Though he kept joking about having “no discernable talent,” Philbin’s take-it-to-the-bank likeability was on full display. That likeability and humor have obviously served him well.
Lange was funny and ribald as she rattled off a list of bloopers from her years as co-anchor of the KNBC-Channel 4 news. KNBC anchor Chuck Henry, who worked with Lange for years and has apparently been her friend for many of them, introduced her and revealed that they’d once gone six months without talking to each other, except when in front of the camera. Henry claimed that wasn’t unusual in the TV news business – yet another reason I’m grateful to work in radio!
I’ll close by pointing out how opposite it is at KPCC, where staffers were genuinely proud of each other Saturday night and glad to be part of a thriving news service. So many in our business are having difficult times – either unemployed or doing work that there hearts aren’t in. We have the luxury of working for a broadcaster that expects and demands depth and quality, and with a group that competes in ways that build the service, not just their own egos.
(Larry Mantle, Linda Othenin-Girard, Karen Fritsche, Gina Delvac, Marcos Najera accept AirTalk's Golden Mike award, 2011)