Athens, Ga. – The Georgia Association of Broadcasters has honored WUGA, 91.7/97.9 FM, public radio for the Athens area, with five awards for excellence in programming during the calendar year 2010.
WUGA won the first place Gabby Award for best station-produced non-news radio program. The honor went to the Christmas special, “A Classic Performance,” produced by WUGA Production Manager Michael Cardin. The program featured the University of Georgia’s 2010 Holiday Concert at Hugh Hodgson Concert Hall.
The station also earned the second place Merit Award for non-news program for “Handle With Care.” Independent producer Telmeko Ransom-Smith interviews a wide range of people on topics dealing with illness, impairments and disabilities. The talk show is heard on WUGA on Sundays at 4:30 p.m.
A first place Gabby for best feature, series or documentary went to “Coastal Kids’ Songs.” WUGA News Director Mary Kay Mitchell worked with David Bryant, assistant director of the Georgia Sea Grant Program, to highlight an educational collaboration between Sea Grant and the Savannah Music Festival. The groups commissioned Nashville recording artist Roger Day to compose and perform songs about the Georgia coast that were geared toward teaching science to elementary students.
A series of reports on UGA research into the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico took the second place Merit Award for best feature, series or documentary. The reports focused primarily on work done by UGA marine scientist Samantha Joye whose research showed that giant oil plumes in the water and thick oil residue on the bottom remained long after the spill. Mitchell worked with UGA public affairs broadcasters Steve Bell and Pete Konenkamp on these pieces.
Mitchell also produced “Deep University Cuts,” a report that won the first place Gabby for best news story. The report featured former Gov. Sonny Perdue stating his opposition to State Sen. Seth Harp’s attempt to drastically slash the budget for the University System of Georgia.
The GAB awards were presented June 11th at the annual banquet in Atlanta. WUGA competes in medium-size radio markets in Georgia.