WRVO Wins Grand Prize in AP Awards

Oswego, NY – WRVO "deemed by the judges to exemplify the best traditions of journalistic initiative and dedication is providing a complete news service to the listening public." These words are inscribed on the award to the WRVO Stations presented Saturday, June 11 in Saratoga. The WRVO Stations picked up a record 13 awards in 9 categories in the New York State Associated Press Association's annual competition. Among the winners were WRVO News Director Chris Ulanowski, Skye Rohde, Elizabeth Christensen, WRVO Producer Mark Lavonier and student news assistant Jeremy Hanlon.

With assistance from Chris and Mark, Jeremy produced a moving report about experiencing the State Fair butter sculpture from the viewpoint of a visually impaired person. In naming this work as Best Feature Report, the judges commented "Awesome! This piece was quite an eye-opener and Jeremy deserves a pat on the back. Does he churn out this kind of work always? Because next to this, the rest were marginal. Seriously, I wish we "sighted" reporters saw as well as Jeremy." Hanlon is a freshman at Cayuga CC and interned at WRVO during his senior year at Oswego High.

The Radio-Television News Directors Association (RTNDA), the Syracuse Press Club and the New York State Associated Press Association have honored WRVO with a total of 23 awards for news excellence this year.

The RTNDA bestowed a 2005 regional Edward R. Murrow award on Skye Rohde for Best in Feature Reporting for her August 2004 documentary Fort Ontario Emergency Shelter. In her documentary, Skye Rohde examined the only refugee center in the United States, located in Oswego, that accepted refugees from Europe during World War Two. The prestigious award is a first for the WRVO Stations. This work also received an AP Award for Best Documentary.

Other AP awards included two for General Excellence in Use of Medium: Mark Lavonier for his report on the 1940's Radio Hour and Skye Rohde for a report on a Sheet Music Library. Rohde also earned honors for General Excellence of Individual Reporting; Best Sports Coverage for pieces on The Syracuse Sting and a Lacrosse Stick Maker; Best Enterprise Reporting - Teen Jobs; Best Continuing News Coverage - Essential New York which the judges termed "Head & Shoulders above the competition. I got a warm feeling," and Best News Series for her report on the life of a Carrier employee after the plant was closed. Elizabeth Christensen earned two awards: a Special Mention for Best News Special - Distance Learning and First Place for Best Interview - The Dahfir Trial, which was co-produced by Chris Ulanowski.

The Syracuse Press Club nominated the WRVO stations for nine awards in seven categories in its 2005 awards competition among radio stations in the 23 county Central and Northern New York region. WRVO's Assistant News Director Elizabeth Christensen, Features Reporter Skye Rohde, Operations Director Fred Vigeant and Producer Kate Percival all received honors for their reporting. The award for Best Special Program was the first SPC award for Kate Percival. In her report, Voices of Light-Anonymous 4, Kate brought to life a dramatic theater production presented at the State University College at Oswego. Fred Vigeant was nominated in the category of Public Affairs Reporting for his entry Then and Now, WRVO's weekend news-in-review program. The SPC recognition was the second SPC award for Fred. The nine nominations were the most received in one-year in the 22 years WRVO has entered the SPC competition. First and special mention awards were given at the SPC's annual awards dinner held at the New York State Fair grounds on May 14.

The WRVO news team has earned over 250 awards for excellence in reporting in the nearly 30 years WRVO has been covering the Central New York Region. All of this year's award winners can be enjoyed by visiting the WRVO Stations' website wrvo.fm.