Syracuse Press Club congratulates all winners for the 42 Annual Professional Recognition Awards!
The coronavirus pandemic has upended life as we know it — including the awards banquet scheduled for April 18. But the Syracuse Press Club board arranged for four live broadcasts on Facebook, hosted by Chris Bolt, Brent Axe, TeNesha Murphy and Ricky Sayer.
The winners and placements are listed below.
Award certificates will be mailed directly to your newsroom unless winners ask otherwise. This might take us some time; our award producer is not currently in business. We are sorry for the inconvenience.
Don’t forget to check out our Facebook page to watch the replays of our virtual event. Cheers to all the winners! We look forward to celebrating again with you in person soon.
Radio / Podcasts
1st Place: Chris Bolt, WAER-FM, “Child Sex Abuse Victims Get Reminder About Open Window for Old Cases Under NY Child Victims Act”
2nd Place: Scott Willis, WAER-FM, “New Syracuse Opioid Court Aims to Help Addicts, Not Punish Them”
3rd Place: Ellen Abbott, WRVO-FM, “SU students walk out of forum to address racism, chancellor agrees to majority of demands”
About the winner, the judges wrote: The story is well presented, interesting, compelling, with good sound that is both deeply touching and thoughtful. This is an important subject that can be overblown with emotion. This reporting is balanced and powerful at the same time.
News Feature or Series
1st Place: Elliott Lewis, WAER-FM, “Local Stories Show Realities of Biracial Identity for People and Families”
2nd Place: Tom Magnarelli, WRVO-FM, “For struggling farmers out of options, FarmNet offers help”
3rd Place: Maiya Focht and Chris Bolt, WAER-FM, “Dietary & Health Supplements: Balancing Benefits with Cautions”
About the winner, the judges wrote: The story on the challenges faced by biracial individuals was compelling–loved the way the reporter/professor integrated his own personal experiences into a piece that had interesting people with diverse experiences. Drew me in. Made me care. Made me laugh in a few places. And made me better understand the personal challenges faced by folks who are often judged by the confusing color of their skin.
Human Interest Feature
1st Place: Katie Zilcosky, WAER-FM, “Cooking Workshop to Prove Healthy Eating is Relatable & Affordable”
2nd Place: Payne Horning, WRVO-FM, “The legacy of Oswego’s Safe Haven is its lessons”
3rd Place: Chris Bolt and Tom Honan, WAER-FM, “Woodstock Golden Anniversary Offered Musical & Spiritual Look Back”
About the winner, the judges wrote: Great story! It captured well an issue that plagues people across the country in a way that is easy to understand and enjoyable to listen to.
1st Place: Jenna Fink, WAER-FM, “Syracuse Sled Hockey Opens Sport to New Participants”
2nd Place: Jonah Karp, WAER-FM, “Syracuse Basketball Player Rehabbing Injury Suffers Stroke: Gets and Gives Lesson in Life”
About the winner, the judges wrote: Heart-warming and informative story. Told with compassion.
1st Place: JD Raucci, Jonathan Hoppe, Corey Spector and Jack McMullen, WAER-FM, “Countdown to Tipoff: Syracuse vs. Virginia Basketball Pregame Show”
2nd Place: Tim Leonard, Corey Spector, Jack McMullen and Brendan Mortensen, WAER-FM, “Countdown to Kickoff: Syracuse vs. Clemson Football Pregame Show”
3rd Place: Jon Banner and Sportsnight Staff, WAER-FM, “A Look Back and Ahead for Syracuse Basketball Fans: Disappointment Replaced by Hope”
1st Place: Mark Lavonier, Leah Landry, Jason Smith and Catherine Loper, WRVO-FM, “Take Care: Legalizing recreational use of marijuana, revisiting medical use”
2nd Place: Katie Zilcosky, Chris Bolt, Kevin Kloss and Allegra Craver, WAER-FM, “Syracuse Speaks: Engaging the Community in Climate Change Conversations”
About the winner, the judges wrote: Well done interview program. Introduced the subject with a compelling lead and kept me interested, mostly because the questions were on point and the folks interviewed were interesting and offered great “sound.” Worth the listen.
1st Place: staff, The Post-Standard (Douglass Dowty, Sarah Moses Buckshot, Patrick Lohmann, Mike Waters), “Jim Boeheim’s fatal car accident”
2nd Place: staff, The Post-Standard, (Chris Libonati, Elizabeth Doran, Chris Baker, Rick Moriarty, Samantha House, Jacob Pucci, Katrina Tulloch, Dennis Nett), “Black Friday shooting at shopping mall”
Robert Haggart Award for Best Column
1st Place: Brent Axe, The Post-Standard, “It’s time for Syracuse University to honor female athletes with retired jerseys at the Dome”
2nd Place: Kevin Conlon, The Cortland Standard,“A ship lost in the storm”
3rd Place: Jacob Pucci, The Post-Standard, “If Syracuse were a food, it would be a salt potato”
About the winner, the judges wrote: This column immediately takes a stand on an important issue, makes recommendations, and provides a path for a solution. Well done.
Front Page Design
1st Place: Steve Sbelgio, The Cortland Standard
2nd Place: Al Vieira, The Cortland Standard
1st Place: Seth Wallace, The Palladium Times, “A story we will unfortunately probably have to run soon”
2nd Place: Seth Wallace, The Palladium Times, “Pax Cuomana”
3rd Place: Rabbi Rachel Esserman, The Reporter, “Broken promises and lost lives”
Comment on winner: Pithy and impactful. Great writing.
1st Place: Katrina Tulloch, The Post-Standard, “Cardi B is worth the wait in Syracuse”
2nd Place: Geoff Herbert, The Post-Standard, “All hail Nas and Mary J. Blige”
3rd Place: David Wilcox, The Citizen, “Fantastic ‘Loch Ness’”
About the winner, the judges wrote: Katrina Tulloch’s Cardi B review showcased a nuanced understanding of hip-hop and a flair for scene-setting. And she did an admirable job of pulling readers into the review, making them feel as if they were at the concert with her, standing beside her while Cardi B trilled in front of them.
1st Place: Sonja Meyer Duntley, The Post-Standard
2nd Place: Bill DeLapp, Syracuse New Times
3rd Place: Al Vieira, The Cortland Standard
About the winner, the judges wrote: I appreciated that these headlines struck a balance between brevity, description, and word play without going too far to be clever.
1st Place: Mary Jo Kravec and Amy Bleier Long, CNY The Good Life, “March / April 2019”
2nd Place: Mary Jo Kravec and Amy Bleier Long, CNY The Good Life, “May / June 2019”
3rd Place: Jennifer Wing, Homegrown, “Spring Edition”
About the winner, the judges wrote: Compelling stories, great design
Best Newsletter or Trade Publication
1st Place: Steve Guglielmo and Robin Barnes, Family Times, “Welding and Gases Today Q4”
2nd Place: Amber Smith, Jim Howe, Susan Keeter and Leah Caldwell, Upstate Medical University, “Upstate Health Magazine”
3rd Place: Maria Simmons, Janet Gramza and Ryan Wood, Rosamond Gifford Zoo, “MyZoo Magazine”
About the winner, the judges wrote: Meaty reads and good mix of stories. I never thought I would be this interested in this topic
News Feature or Series
1st Place: Kenneth Sturtz, Oswego County Business Magazine, “Gun Shops Still Thriving in CNY”
2nd Place: Ashley Kang and Nabiha Asim, The Stand, “Uncertain Future”
3rd Place: Ashley M. Casey, Eagle Star-Review, “Bridgeport homeowners at odds over Airbnb”
Human Interest Feature or Series
1st Place: Ashley Kang and Ben Cleeton, The Stand, “Unconditional Love”
2nd Place: Kenneth Sturtz, 55 Plus Magazine, “African Odyssey: CNY woman finds purpose building library in Ghana”
3rd Place: Ashley M. Casey, Eagle-Star Review, “A sign for Shannon”
About the winner, the judges wrote: The article treats romance seriously without being sappy. The reporter used a light touch with the statistics, keeping this from becoming too dry, and let the sources provide the love and the honesty to make the article work.
1st Place: Phil Blackwell, Eagle Star-Review, “C-NS football heading to finals”
2nd Place: Tom Maguire, The Catholic Sun, “Coach V and the way to be”
3rd Place: Jeff Kramer and Cherilyn Beckles, The Stand, “Cycling forward”
About the winner, the judges wrote: This game story proves just how exciting sports reporting can be! The reporter’s use of language radiates emotion and puts the reader right in the stands. An excellent piece!
Investigative Story or Series
1st Place: Tim Knauss and Michelle Breidenbach, The Post-Standard, “Syracuse’s unfair property tax system”
2nd Place: Chris Baker, The Post-Standard, “Inside Syracuse’s worst slumlords”
3rd Place: Julie McMahon, The Post-Standard, “How El Chapo empire fueled Syracuse fentanyl, heroin crisis’
News Feature or Series
1st Place: Samantha House, The Post-Standard, “What made Carson – a goofy, smart, helpful kid – take his own life?”
2nd Place: Julie McMahon, The Post-Standard, “Meet Central NY’s crack-dealing motel and convenience store owner. He delivers, too”
3rd Place: Douglass Dowty, The Post-Standard, “As bosses did little, Syracuse cop coerced women for sex, they say; ‘I was terrified’”
About the winner, the judges wrote: Courageous and well written
Human Interest Feature or Series
1st Place: Patrick Lohmann, The Post-Standard, “As 100 runaway bison annoy the neighbors, rancher turns to apples, dart gun and patience”
2nd Place: Elizabeth Doran, The Post-Standard, “A gun, a click, then terror: Chili’s survivor struggles to live after brush with death”
3rd Place: David Figura, NewYorkUpstate.com, “Painfully hooked: Adirondack hospital fishing lure display is no joke”
About the winner, the judges wrote: The color and character that was in this story epitomizes everything you could want from a human interest feature. “He’s in a neighbor’s cooler” is a quote that will stick with me for a long, long time.
1st Place: Nate Mink, The Post-Standard, “Chris Gedney’s struggle: The pain he carried, and the pain he left behind”
2nd Place: Justin Ritzel, The Citizen, “The next arm epidemic”
3rd Place: Lindsay Kramer, The Post-Standard, “Syracuse basketball star and cancer warrior Tiana Mangakahia”
About the winner, the judges wrote: People often look at athletes as invincible celebrities who shock and awe crowds with their greatness. Nate Mink went way beyond this–telling an artful story about the man behind the jersey, his struggles, his pain and how it all culminated with his death. This story is a true standout. Incredible work!
1st Place: Michael Greenlar, The Post-Standard, “Put to the test”
2nd Place: Kevin Rivoli, The Citizen, “Planetarium open again”
3rd Place: Dennis Nett, The Post-Standard, “Oh, the glory of summer days!”
About the winner, the judges wrote: A wonderfully captured action photo that artfully reveals the strength of horses and the tenuous hold of humans struggling to keep them under control.
1st Place: Dennis Nett, The Post-Standard, “Hang on a second”
2nd Place: Scott Schild, The Post-Standard, “Giant block”
3rd Place: Scott Schild, The Post-Standard, “Unabashed celebration”
About the winner, the judges wrote: Great timing of the photo. Great image!
1st Place: Lauren Long, The Post-Standard, “First snowscape of the season”
2nd Place: N. Scott Trimble, The Post-Standard, “Autum glory in NY”
3rd Place: Kevin Rivoli, The Citizen, “Horse at sunset”
About the winner, the judges wrote: Your ability in taking photos is clearly on display. Thank you for sharing your work with others.
1st Place: N. Scott Trimble, The Post-Standard, “Not your typical running coach”
2nd Place: Dennis Nett, The Post-Standard, “Oh say can you see”
3rd Place: Robert Mescavage, Upstate Medical University, “Everyday Hero”
About the winner, the judges wrote: This portrait gives you an idea of who this man is without words. The photographer also captured the very interesting motion effects that add to the image’s allure. It’s not over-posed yet says so much. Great work.
1st Place: Michael Greenlar, The Post-Standard, “Rare look inside a NY draft horse auction”
2nd Place: Michael Greenlar, The Post-Standard, “Band of four brothers part of Honor Flight Syracuse Mission 14”
3rd Place: Maranie Staab and Jim Howe, Upstate Medical University, “Pint-Sized Patient”
The judge wrote: Each photo shows us a vivid moment of this tradition. In them we see the people involved and their expressions throughout the event. The photographer captures not only their subjects but follow them through their day and tell us a tale. A very compelling piece.
1st Place: Steve Altieri, Chloe Vincente, Josh Rosenblatt, Paul Mueller, WBNG-TV, “December Snowstorm”
2nd Place: Tommy Sladek, CNY Central, “Body Camera Footage of Fenton Street Shooting”
3rd Place: Erin Bischoff, WWNY-TV, “Swatting victim: I just need it to stop”
Comment on winner: Well done coverage of a snow event, with rapid open that draws in the viewer, great use of short soundbites, and solid in the field reporting. This is the way spot news should be done.
Investigative Story or Series
1st Place: Matt Mulcahy and Andy Wolf, CNY Central, “Heidi Allen Investigation Series”
2nd Place: Chloe Vincente and Dan Conklin, WBNG-TV, “Contaminated: 40 Years Later”
3rd Place: Diane Rutherford, Patrick Malowski and Cassie Weed, WWNY-TV, “What happened at the mine?”
About the winner, the judge wrote: Very well done. The entire investigation centers around what’s a pretty small detail, but in an enormously important local case. Raises interesting questions with rational smart reporting.
News Feature or Series
1st Place: Anne Sparaco and Chris Overby, WBNG-TV, “Prescription for Danger”
2nd Place: Andrew Donovan, Jack Estabrook and Lou Gulino, WSYR-TV, “World War II Reunion”
3rd Place: Josh Martin, WSYR-TV, “Oswego Friendly’s Workers Get New Jobs”
About the winner, the judge wrote: This is an excellent look at a national epidemic but told with meaning from a local perspective.
Human Interest Feature or Series
1st Place: Josh Martin and Bill Goldschmidt, WSYR-TV, “Mexico Might Mite”
2nd Place: Abbey Buttacavoli, WWNY-TV, “Urban Garden”
3rd Place: Katie Benoit, WWNY-TV, “Meet Charlie Solar”
About the winner, the judges wrote: “What a loving, inspirational, meaningful, supportive and adorable story! It just made me feel good about the community, the coaches and the kids. After watching and reading all of these reports, I get a real sense that Syracuse is a true “community.” Wish there could be more winners in this category.”
1st Place: Steve Infanti and Maria Palmeri, WSYR-TV, “The Melvin Beard Story”
2nd Place: Niko Tamurian and Andy Wolf, CNY Central, “Tough for T: Syracuse Orange Basketball star Tiana Mangakahia beats breast cancer”
3rd Place: Andy Malnoske, WETM-TV, “Vision Quest – Blind Corning Wrestler Jake Cole’s Journey”
About the winner, the judges wrote: Really well told. Nice use of spotlighted game footage to tell the story. Good use of sound, just really good overall.
1st Place: staff, Spectrum News, “First and Ten”
2nd Place: Nicole Menner, Jacob Seus and Rex Henry, WBNG-TV, “Sports Overtime High School Football”
3rd Place: staff, Spectrum News, “Orange Empire: The Next Step”
About the winner, the judges wrote: Fast-paced and informative without being overwhelming
1st Place: Niko Tamurian and Matt Hauswirth, CNY Central, “Syracuse Mets Take over the Carrier Dome”
2nd Place: Niko Tamurian and Isis Young, CNY Central, “From the Basketball Court to the TV Studio”
3rd Place: Niko Tamurian and Matt Hauswirth, CNY Central, “Syracuse Mets force one-game playoff”
Comment on winner: Liked taking the show live, made it special. Good stuff.
1st Place: staff, WSYR-TV, “Celebrating Women”
2nd Place: Jennifer Sanders and Jack Estabrook, WSYR-TV, “Hidden History: The End of the 15th Ward”
3rd Place: Dan Cummings, Scott Irving, Mark Folsom and Jack Estabrook, WSYR-TV, “Veterans Voices”
About the winner, the judges wrote: These are the stories we need: inspiring portraits of women impacting their local communities. Excellent storytelling, entertaining and visually compelling, ‘Celebrating Women’ is an illuminating program showcasing diverse heroic pioneers.
1st Place: Tom Walters, Spectrum News, “Dickens Christmas”
2nd Place: Matt Landers, CNY Central, “Bubble Express at NYS Fair”
3rd Place: Tom Walters, Spectrum News, “Red Cross Real Hero: Youth Good Samaritan”
1st Place: Justin Bachman, Spectrum News
2nd Place: Matt Landers, CNY Central, “Ice House, Over the Edge, Catching up with Laura Hand”
About the winner, the judges wrote: The intensely human focus of Mr. Bachman’s stories separated them easily from the rest. There was a tangible kindness and clarity in his point of view and a strength in his reporting that really shined.
Regularly-Scheduled Local Newscast
1st Place: staff, WSYR-TV, “NewsChannel 9 at 6:00 Snowstorm Clean Up Weekend”
2nd Place: staff, CNY Central, “Boeheim’s Tragic I-690 Crash WSTM 6 pm”
3rd Place: staff, WSYR-TV, “NewsChannel 9 at 6:00 I-81 Report”
About the winner, the judges wrote: Like the cold open, the first reporter is terrific. Love the talkback with the mayor — great idea and it looked good. The anchor is solid. Nicely done, well thought-out and executed.
1st Place: Kate Thornton, WSYR-TV, “Thanksgiving Weather 11/27/19”
2nd Place: Howard Manges, WBNG-TV, “Stormtrack 12”
3rd Place: Damon Matson, WBNG-TV, “December Storm”
About the winner, the judges wrote: Well done, easy to follow. Good information.
1st Place: Annabel Otts, urbancny.com, “Mother of lead-poisoned toddlers says landlord threatened eviction following Onondaga County Legislature testimony; City sues over chronic code violations”
2nd Place: Kenneth Jackson, urbancny.com, “Use of Force Community Meeting is ‘Forced’ off the Road”
3rd Place: Jana Barnello, cnycentral.com, “Boeheim Crash Tragedy”
1st Place: Christa Lemczak, Lauren Long, Katrina Tulloch, N. Scott Trimble, Dennis Nett, Marnie Eisenstadt and Patrick Lohmann, syracuse.com, “Drunk with Power: Inside a rogue Syracuse AA group”
2nd Place: Christa Lemczak, Lauren Long and Geoff Herbert, syracuse.com, “What was Woodstock really like? The naked truth from 1969 attendees”
3rd Place: Luke Parsnow, Tammy Palmer and Tim Robertson, SpectrumLocalNews.com, “Legacy of Flight 103: SU Honors Lives Lost in Lockerbie”
About the winner, the judges wrote: All entries were well done and well put together, utilizing the most of multimedia elements. But the time and research spend on this investigation made “Drunk with Power” stand out. Excellent work!
1st Place: staff and Robert Harding, auburnpub.com
2nd Place: staff, SpectrumLocalNews.com
3rd Place: staff, cnycentral.com
About the winner, the judges wrote: I liked the clean, readable format. The content was interesting and finding my way around was easy. Nice job.
1st Place: Kenneth Jackson, urbancny.com, “The Hall Monitor, ‘Ken’s Blog’”
2nd Place: Robert Harding, auburnpub.com, “Eye on NY”
3rd Place: Charlie Miller, syracuse.com, “Hidden Gems of Central New York”
Comment on winner: Nicely written and a clear “voice.”
Photos & Graphics
1st Place: Annabel Otts, urbancny.com, “Toddler with elevated lead levels plays in harm’s way”
2nd Place: Luke Parsnow, SpectrumLocalNews.com, “Timeline of Syracuse University Bias Incidents”
3rd Place: Scott Schild, syracuse.com, “Small but mighty consolation”
Comment on winner: This is a wonderfully evocative image and particularly strong because of the candid nature of the photograph. I think it highlights the “backseat” placement that many are forced to push Lead/Lead Poisoning into due to the overall cost of repairing the problem and particularly the lack of care and assistance from government agencies for those in need. Very well done!
1st Place: N. Scott Trimble, Christa Lemczak, Brent Axe, syracuse.com, “Chance meeting on elevator helps save boy on verge of death; Death of ex-Syracuse football player Chris Gedney haunts friend; Syracuse-Connecticut 6 OT game”
2nd Place: Christa Lemczak and Johnathan Croyle, syracuse.com, 60 Second NYS Fair
3rd Place: Charlie Miller, Syracuse.com, Best of Central New York food
Comment on winner: Solid stories, strong characters, good use of archival material in the two sports stories. Good job of weaving interviews together. The elevator doc story, especially, was well shot and edited.
Best Use of Social Media
1st Place: David Haas, “@SyracuseHistory”
2nd Place: Jana Barnello and Joshua Pietzold, CNYCentral.com, “Engaging Viewers Across Platforms”
About the winner, the judges wrote: The quality and depth of the Insta-stories are phenomenal. I’m glad they were archived for those who might not have been on their phones the day they ran. Great work!
Best College Radio / Podcast News Story
1st Place: Ford Hatchett, NCC News, “Chief Kenton Buckner Aims to Improve the Relationship Between Police and Community”
2nd Place: Jonah Karp, NCC News, “For the Salvation Army, New Technology Giveth and Taketh Away”
3rd Place: Peter Champelli, 92 WICB, “Students Rally, Protest and Fight for Climate Justice in Albany”
The judge wrote: Well-rounded reporting with multiple sources.
Best College Print News Story
1st Place: Gabe Stern, The Daily Orange, “Students pressure administrators at Barnes Center sit-in”
2nd Place: Maria Montero Silva, Utica College Tangerine, “When Halloween becomes racist”
Best College TV News Story
1st Place: Jack Arpey, ICTV, “ICTV Reports – Staying Connected”
2nd Place: Kristen Mirand, ICTV, “ICTV Reports – Vaping Ban”
3rd Place: Gilat Melamed, NCC News, “One Jewish Nation, Many Jewish Lives”
Comment on winner: This is an excellent piece that took what could have been a rather dry subject and brought it to life with exceptional clarity.
Best College Radio / Podcast Sports Story
1st Place: Ben Carlton and Matias Weilmann, 92 WICB, “Importance of the Cortaca Jug Game”
2nd Place: Jonah Karp, NCC News, “The Road Back”
3rd Place: Sevrin Lavenstein, 92 WICB, “Ithaca Football – Cortaca Jug Game Open”
Comment on winner: Exciting lead-in to play-by play
Best College Print Sports Story
1st Place: Matt Liberman, The Daily Orange, “Inside the lack of racial diversity in lacrosse”
2nd Place: KJ Edelman and Molly Gibbs, The Daily Orange, “Her IMPACT: Maddy Hertweck, a 5-year-old with cerebral palsy, is a part of Syracuse women’s lacrosse this season”
Comment on winner: A very interesting look at the lack of diversity in lacrosse. The reporting is solid and the graphics give it a clear edge. Nice work!
Best College TV Sports Story
1st Place: Tara Lynch, ICTV, “Newswatch – Cornell Hockey’s Misha Song”
2nd Place: James Kattato, SUNY Oswego, “Oswego State Preps for Invitational”
3rd Place: Casey Honigbaum and Tanner Wegzyn, ICTV, “The Gridiron Report – Cortaca Postgame Interviews”
Best College Radio / Podcast Feature Story
1st Place: Bronte Cook, 92 WICB, “Drag Queen Story Hour”
2nd Place: Ford Hatchett, NCC News, “Country Nation”
3rd Place: Sarah Horbacewicz, 92 WICB, “Six Degrees – The Fourth Degree”
Comment on winner: Unusual story, very well told.
Best College Print Feature Story
1st Place: Jordan Muller, The Daily Orange, “BY CHANCE: Students who switched tickets escaped the Pan Am Flight 103 bombing”
2nd Place: Haley Robertson, The Daily Orange, “A Tiny Home for Good builds affordable housing for those facing homelessness”
3rd Place: Maria Montero Silva, Utica College Tangerine, “More than a hassle: The ordeal of menstruating as a homeless woman”
Comment on winner: Vivid writing creates searing scenes.
Best College TV Feature Story
1st Place: Sarah Al-Shaikh, NCC News, “Syracuse Man Loses 450 Pounds and Gains a New Life”
2nd Place: Meredith Kava, NCC News, “Basketball Manager”
3rd Place: Abigail Fridmann, NCC News, “Hearts on a Harley”
Comment on winner: Good story idea. Strong soundbite at start, good standup – fit well in piece.
Best College Multimedia Story
1st Place: Borderlines staff, “Borderlines”
2nd Place: Rooted staff, “Rooted”
3rd Place: Syracuse Side Hustles staff, “Syracuse Side Hustles”
Comment on winner: Thanks for your insightful work. The depth and pictures you provided give the audience great context.