Athens, Ga. – The Georgia Association of Broadcasters has honored two University of Georgia stations, WNEG-TV and WUGA, 91.7/97.9 FM, with awards for excellence in programming during the calendar year 2009.
WNEG and WUGA shared a Gabby Merit Award for the television and radio program, “It’s Friday!” The weekly musical performance showcase is hosted by Robb Holmes, WUGA program director. It airs live on WUGA-FM at 4 p.m. Fridays and is rebroadcast on WNEG-TV on the following Friday at midnight. Students from the Music Business Program at the University of Georgia Terry College of Business assist with the television production.
WUGA won the first place Gabby Award for Best Radio Non-News Program.
The honor went to the music program, “Just Off the Radar,” hosted by JoE Silva. The weekly show looks at modern pop music outside of the mainstream. It airs on WUGA at 4 p.m. on Sundays.
A first place Gabby Award for Best Series or Documentary went to “Triple Murder Series.” After a University of Georgia professor killed three people at the local community theater, the station followed the manhunt, investigation, and suspect’s suicide with numerous live reports and feature stories.
A human interest piece produced by News Director Mary Kay Mitchell won two first place Gabby Awards. “Colbert Dog Rescue” was honored both as Best Feature Story and Best News Story. The piece profiled a small group of volunteers who collect abandoned dogs and take them to Connecticut for adoption. It also highlighted the overabundance of stray animals due to lax animal control laws in many Georgia counties.
Mitchell also received two Gabby Merit Awards for “Georgia Tool Guy.” The piece won recognition in both the feature story and news story categories because it looked at both the fun aspect and the educational impact of using a character to teach Georgia history to very young students.
The GAB awards were presented June 19th at the annual banquet in Atlanta. WUGA competes in medium-size radio markets in Georgia. WNEG competes in state television markets outside of Atlanta.