NEW YORK, April 22, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) today announced it has honored two Hearst Television stations – KCCI-TV, Des Moines, and WDSU-TV, New Orleans – with prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Awards recognizing the best in professional journalism.
Today's awards cap a week in which Hearst Television's WTAE-TV, Pittsburgh, was honored with the highly coveted Peabody Award, from the University of Georgia's Grady College of Journalism, for its series of special reports, "Burning Questions: Investigation into Fire Response Times." The Peabody, which WTAE was one of only three U.S. television stations to receive this year, recognized WTAE's investigation of systemic problems within Pennsylvania's volunteer fire departments leading to wide gaps in fire response times. The series -- which also helped WTAE earn a National Headliner Award from the Press Club of Atlantic City and a regional Edward R. Murrow Award for "Overall Excellence" from the Radio Television Digital News Association -- helped spur remedial action in the Pennsylvania Legislature.
The National Headliner was one of 16, including eight first-place honors, awarded to Hearst stations this month. The regional Murrow, awarded this week, was one of 28 given to stations throughout the group -- including an "Overall Excellence" honor to each of the company's four largest news stations.
These latest honors follow the December 2015 grant of a prestigious Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Award to WBAL-TV, Baltimore, and its lead investigative reporter, Jayne Miller, for her reporting on the arrest of Freddie Gray and injuries he sustained while in custody. WBAL-TV and sister radio station, WBAL-AM, also collectively earned six National Headliner Awards for coverage of the Gray story and others.
"Outstanding journalism earns recognition from the most respected critics when it serves the public good by informing and inspiring communities and spurring action," said Jordan Wertlieb, Hearst Television's President. "Hearst Television journalists throughout the group have passed the test more than ever this year, earning television journalism's very highest national and regional honors – and proving just how indispensable truly local television is to our society."
In addition to WTAE, four other regional Murrows for Overall Excellence went to WCVB-TV, Boston; WESH-TV, Orlando; KCRA-TV, Sacramento; and KMBC-TV, Kansas City. WESH also earned four Florida AP Broadcast honors, including Overall Excellence, for various stories, while WPBF-TV, West Palm Beach, was recognized for its story, "Cuba: Unlocked." WDSU received both a regional Murrow and National Headliner for a two-part series on ALS, which also this week earned the national Gabriel Award, presented by the Catholic Academy of Communication Professionals. In ongoing regional Emmy competition, WCVB meteorologist Harvey Leonard will be receiving the Emmy's Governor's Award.
About Hearst Television
Hearst Television owns and operates local television and radio stations serving 26 media markets across 39 states reaching over 21 million U.S. television households. Through its partnership with nearly all of the major networks, Hearst Television distributes national content over nearly 70 video channels including programming from ABC, NBC, CBS, CW, MY Net, MeTV, This TV, Estrella and more. Hearst Television is recognized as one of the industry's premier companies, and has been honored with numerous awards for distinguished journalism, industry innovation, and community service. Hearst Television is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hearst. The Company's Web address is www.hearsttelevision.com.
SOURCE Hearst Television