Athens, Ga. – The Georgia Association of Broadcasters has honored WUGA, 91.7/97.9 FM, public radio for the Athens area, with six awards for excellence in programming during the calendar year 2008.
WUGA won a Gabby Merit Award for Best Radio Non-News Program. The honor went to the classical music program Night Music, hosted by Public Service Director David Ferguson. Night Music airs on WUGA from 10 p.m. until midnight, Monday through Wednesday, and from 11 p.m. until midnight on Thursday.
News Director Mary Kay Mitchell won a first place Gabby award for Best News Story for “Lynching Re-enactment,” which demonstrated the tale of the last mass lynching in America. Last summer, civil rights volunteers re-enacted the lynching of four black sharecroppers at the Moore’s Ford Bridge in Walton County.
Mitchell also received a first place Gabby for Best Series for numerous reports throughout the year on a controversial bio-lab. The reports looked at both sides of the issue of bringing the National Bio and Agro-Defense Lab to Athens.
Two Merit Awards went to Mitchell’s story about the location filming of Black Entertainment Television’s first scripted series in Athens. The piece won recognition in both the news story and feature story categories because it looked at both the economic and cultural impact of the local filming of the Somebodies situation comedy show.
A Merit Award also honored “Organic Meat Farm” in the Best Feature category. Mitchell’s piece visited Nature’s Harmony, one of the state’s few farms, which raises animals entirely in the pasture without any artificial chemicals or feed.
“Awards like these recognize the diligent efforts of the entire staff here at the station to produce quality programming for our listeners,” said WUGA general manager Steve Bell. “It’s a real testament to their dedication that a station as small as ours has won this number of prestigious awards. These honors come on top of being the AP Pacemaker News award winner this year…the best radio news in the state outside of Atlanta.”
The GAB awards were presented recently at the annual convention in Atlanta. WUGA competes against stations in Georgia’s metropolitan areas outside of Atlanta.
For more information on WUGA, see http://www.wuga.org/.