Athens, Ga. – The Georgia Association of Broadcasters recently honored WUGA, 91.7/97.9 FM, public radio for the Athens area, with five of their highest awards, the Gabby Awards, for excellence in programming, during the calendar year 2007.
WUGA won two Gabby Merit Awards for Best Radio Non-News Programs. One went to the live music program It’s Friday! hosted by Robb Holmes, program director. It’s Friday! airs on WUGA at 4 p.m. each Friday and features local and visiting artists. Holmes submitted a December program which included performances by The Solstice Sisters folk group and by the instrumental Americana band Japancakes.
The other Merit Award went to the August 2007 program “Once in a Blue Moon,” produced by Traffic Manager Abbie Thaxton. The 20th anniversary musical variety show featured jazz musician Rand Lines, gospel singer Rosa Thurmond, the University of Georgia Opera Ensemble, Southern rockers The Wildcats, and zydeco band Zydefunk.
News Director Mary Kay Mitchell won two First Place Gabby Awards for Best News Story and Best Feature Reporting for a story on the Ellenton Health Clinic in Colquitt County which partners with the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Service to provide health care for migrant farm workers.
Mitchell also won a Merit Award for an afternoon newscast in November that featured reporting from the opening of U.S. Congressman Paul Broun’s district office in Athens and a health awareness day observance for UGA students.
“I can’t tell you how proud I am of this staff and their accomplishments,” said WUGA general manager Steve Bell. “These kinds of honors are the result of the entire staff’s efforts. Awards such as this mean all of the staff work diligently to produce excellence in broadcasting. It’s almost unheard of for a station as small as ours to win this caliber and number of awards.”
The GAB awards were presented at the annual convention in Atlanta on June 6. The awards competition is open to all television and radio stations in the state of Georgia. WUGA competes against stations in Georgia’s metropolitan areas outside of Atlanta.
For more information on WUGA, see http://www.uga.edu/wuga/.