Syracuse Press Club announces 2019-2020 awards finalists

Syracuse Press Club congratulates the finalists for the 42 Annual Professional Recognition Awards.

The coronavirus pandemic has upended or postponed life as we know it — including the awards banquet scheduled for April 18.

We plan to host a virtual award presentation soon, where winners can tune in to learn their first, second and third placements.

We hope to hold a gathering to celebrate the talented journalists in Central New York later this year, if possible.

We’ll also have announcements coming on award certificates. This might take us some time; our award producer is not currently in business. We are sorry for the inconvenience.

We’ll post more details on all of our plans as we know them. You can reach out to us using our contact page.

Thank you for entering!

The Syracuse Press Club board of directors toasts this year's winners. The club plans to host a virtual awards presentation to announce first, second and third place winners soon. (Top row: director Laura Bailey, president Katrina Tulloch, director Charlie Miller; Second row: director Michael Riecke, vice president Patrick Lohmann, treasurer Jacob Pucci; Third row: director Ken Sturtz, past president Josh Cradduck, secretary Julie McMahon; Bottom row: director Katelynn Ulrich
Note: The following list is scrambled. First, second and third place winners will be announced at a later date.

Radio / Podcasts

Spot News

  • Chris Bolt, WAER-FM, “Child Sex Abuse Victims Get Reminder About Open Window for Old Cases Under NY Child Victims Act”
  • Ellen Abbott, WRVO-FM, “SU students walk out of forum to address racism, chancellor agrees to majority of demands”
  • Scott Willis, WAER-FM, “New Syracuse Opioid Court Aims to Help Addicts, Not Punish Them”

 News Feature or Series

  • Maiya Focht and Chris Bolt, WAER-FM, “Dietary & Health Supplements: Balancing Benefits with Cautions”
  • Tom Magnarelli, WRVO-FM, “For struggling farmers out of options, FarmNet offers help”
  • Elliott Lewis, WAER-FM, “Local Stories Show Realities of Biracial Identity for People and Families”

 Human Interest Feature

  • Payne Horning, WRVO-FM, “The legacy of Oswego’s Safe Haven is its lessons”
  • Chris Bolt and Tom Honan, WAER-FM, “Woodstock Golden Anniversary Offered Musical & Spiritual Look Back”
  • Katie Zilcosky, WAER-FM, “Cooking Workshop to Prove Healthy Eating is Relatable & Affordable”

 Sports Story

  • Jonah Karp, WAER-FM, “Syracuse Basketball Player Rehabbing Injury Suffers Stroke: Gets and Gives Lesson in Life”
  • Jenna Fink, WAER-FM, “Syracuse Sled Hockey Opens Sport to New Participants”

 Sports Show

  • Jon Banner and Sportsnight Staff, WAER-FM, “A Look Back and Ahead for Syracuse Basketball Fans: Disappointment Replaced by Hope”
  • Tim Leonard, Corey Spector, Jack McMullen and Brendan Mortensen, WAER-FM, “Countdown to Kickoff: Syracuse vs. Clemson Football Pregame Show”
  • JD Raucci, Jonathan Hoppe, Corey Spector and Jack McMullen, WAER-FM, “Countdown to Tipoff: Syracuse vs. Virginia Basketball Pregame Show”

Special Program

  • Katie Zilcosky, Chris Bolt, Kevin Kloss and Allegra Craver, WAER-FM, “Syracuse Speaks: Engaging the Community in Climate Change Conversations”
  • Mark Lavonier, Leah Landry, Jason Smith and Catherine Loper, WRVO-FM, “Take Care: Legalizing recreational use of marijuana, revisiting medical use”

All Print

Spot News

  • staff, The Post-Standard (Chris Libonati, Elizabeth Doran, Tim Knauss, Chris Baker, Rick Moriarty, Samantha House, Jacob Pucci, Katrina Tulloch, Dennis Nett), “Black Friday shooting at shopping mall”
  • staff, The Post-Standard (Douglass Dowty, Sarah Moses Buckshot, Patrick Lohmann, Mike Waters), “Jim Boeheim’s fatal car accident”

Robert Haggart Award for Best Column

  • Brent Axe, The Post-Standard, “It’s time for Syracuse University to honor female athletes with retired jerseys at the Dome”
  • Jacob Pucci, The Post-Standard, “If Syracuse were a food, it would be a salt potato”
  • Kevin Conlon, The Cortland Standard, “A ship lost in the storm”

 Front Page Design

  • Steve Sbelgio, The Cortland Standard
  • Al Vieira, The Cortland Standard


  • Rabbi Rachel Esserman, The Reporter, “Broken promises and lost lives”
  • Seth Wallace, The Palladium Times, “Pax Cuomana”
  • Seth Wallace, The Palladium Times, “A story we will unfortunately probably have to run soon”


  • Katrina Tulloch, The Post-Standard, “Cardi B is worth the wait in Syracuse”
  • David Wilcox, The Citizen, “Fantastic ‘Loch Ness’”
  • Geoff Herbert, The Post-Standard, “All hail Nas and Mary J. Blige”

 Headline Writing

  • Bill DeLapp, Syracuse New Times
  • Sonja Meyer Duntley, The Post-Standard
  • Al Vieira, The Cortland Standard

Non-Daily Print

Best Magazine

  • Mary Jo Kravec and Amy Bleier Long, CNY The Good Life, “March / April 2019”
  • Jennifer Wing, Homegrown, “Spring Edition”
  • Mary Jo Kravec and Amy Bleier Long, CNY The Good Life, “May / June 2019”

Best Newsletter or Trade Publication

  • Amber Smith, Jim Howe, Susan Keeter and Leah Caldwell, Upstate Medical University, “Upstate Health Magazine”
  • Steve Guglielmo and Robin Barnes, Family Times, “Welding and Gases Today Q4”
  • Maria Simmons, Janet Gramza and Ryan Wood, Rosamond Gifford Zoo, “MyZoo Magazine”

News Feature or Series

  • Ashley M. Casey, Eagle Star-Review, “Bridgeport homeowners at odds over Airbnb”
  • Ashley Kang and Nabiha Asim, The Stand, “Uncertain Future”
  • Kenneth Sturtz, Oswego County Business Magazine, “Gun Shops Still Thriving in CNY”

Human Interest Feature or Series

  • Ashley M. Casey, Eagle-Star Review, “A sign for Shannon”
  • Ashley Kang and Ben Cleeton, The Stand, “Unconditional Love”
  • Kenneth Sturtz, 55 Plus Magazine, “African Odyssey: CNY woman finds purpose building library in Ghana”

Sports Story

  • Tom Maguire, The Catholic Sun, “Coach V and the way to be”
  • Jeff Kramer and Cherilyn Beckles, The Stand, “Cycling forward”
  • Phil Blackwell, Eagle Star-Review, “C-NS football heading to finals”

Daily Print

Investigative Story or Series

  • Tim Knauss and Michelle Breidenbach, The Post-Standard, “Syracuse’s unfair property tax system”
  • Chris Baker, The Post-Standard, “Inside Syracuse’s worst slumlords”
  • Julie McMahon, The Post-Standard, “How El Chapo empire fueled Syracuse fentanyl, heroin crisis’

News Feature or Series

  • Douglass Dowty, The Post-Standard, “As bosses did little, Syracuse cop coerced women for sex, they say; ‘I was terrified’”
  • Julie McMahon, The Post-Standard, “Meet Central NY’s crack-dealing motel and convenience store owner. He delivers, too”
  • Samantha House, The Post-Standard, “What made Carson – a goofy, smart, helpful kid – take his own life?”

Human Interest Feature or Series

  • David Figura,, “Painfully hooked: Adirondack hospital fishing lure display is no joke”
  • Patrick Lohmann, The Post-Standard, “As 100 runaway bison annoy the neighbors, rancher turns to apples, dart gun and patience”
  • Elizabeth Doran, The Post-Standard, “A gun, a click, then terror: Chili’s survivor struggles to live after brush with death”

Sports Story

  • Nate Mink, The Post-Standard, “Chris Gedney’s struggle: The pain he carried, and the pain he left behind”
  • Justin Ritzel, The Citizen, “The next arm epidemic”
  • Lindsay Kramer, The Post-Standard, “Syracuse basketball star and cancer warrior Tiana Mangakahia”



  • Kevin Rivoli, The Citizen, “Planetarium open again”
  • Dennis Nett, The Post-Standard, “Oh, the glory of summer days!”
  • Michael Greenlar, The Post-Standard, “Put to the test”


  • Scott Schild, The Post-Standard, “Unabashed celebration”
  • Scott Schild, The Post-Standard, “Giant block”
  • Dennis Nett, The Post-Standard, “Hang on a second”


  • Scott Trimble, The Post-Standard, “Autum glory in NY”
  • Lauren Long, The Post-Standard, “First snowscape of the season”
  • Kevin Rivoli, The Citizen, “Horse at sunset”


  • Scott Trimble, The Post-Standard, “Not your typical running coach”
  • Robert Mescavage, Upstate Medical University, “Everyday Hero”
  • Dennis Nett, The Post-Standard, “Oh say can you see”

Photo Essay

  • Michael Greenlar, The Post-Standard, “Band of four brothers part of Honor Flight Syracuse Mission 14”
  • Michael Greenlar, The Post-Standard, “Rare look inside a NY draft horse auction”
  • Maranie Staab and Jim Howe, Upstate Medical University, “Pint-Sized Patient”


Spot News

  • Tommy Sladek, CNY Central, “Body Camera Footage of Fenton Street Shooting”
  • Steve Altieri, Chloe Vincente, Josh Rosenblatt, Paul Mueller, WBNG-TV, “December Snowstorm”
  • Erin Bischoff, WWNY-TV, “Swatting victim: I just need it to stop”

 Investigative Story or Series

  • Chloe Vincente and Dan Conklin, WBNG-TV, “Contaminated: 40 Years Later”
  • Matt Mulcahy and Andy Wolf, CNY Central, “Heidi Allen Investigation Series”
  • Diane Rutherford, Patrick Malowski and Cassie Weed, WWNY-TV, “What happened at the mine?”

 News Feature or Series

  • Josh Martin, WSYR-TV, “Oswego Friendly’s Workers Get New Jobs”
  • Anne Sparaco and Chris Overby, WBNG-TV, “Prescription for Danger”
  • Andrew Donovan, Jack Estabrook and Lou Gulino, WSYR-TV, “World War II Reunion”

 Human Interest Feature or Series

  • Josh Martin and Bill Goldschmidt, WSYR-TV, “Mexico Might Mite”
  • Katie Benoit, WWNY-TV, “Meet Charlie Solar”
  • Abbey Buttacavoli, WWNY-TV, “Urban Garden”

 Sport Story

  • Steve Infanti and Maria Palmeri, WSYR-TV, “The Melvin Beard Story”
  • Andy Malnoske, WETM-TV, “Vision Quest – Blind Corning Wrestler Jake Cole’s Journey”
  • Niko Tamurian and Andy Wolf, CNY Central, “Tough for T: Syracuse Orange Basketball star Tiana Mangakahia beats breast cancer”

Sports Show

  • staff, Spectrum News, “First and Ten”
  • Nicole Menner, Jacob Seus and Rex Henry, WBNG-TV, “Sports Overtime High School Football”
  • staff, Spectrum News, “Orange Empire: The Next Step”

 Regularly-Scheduled Sportscast

  • Niko Tamurian and Isis Young, CNY Central, “From the Basketball Court to the TV Studio”
  • Niko Tamurian and Matt Hauswirth, CNY Central, “Syracuse Mets force one-game playoff”
  • Niko Tamurian and Matt Hauswirth, CNY Central, “Syracuse Mets Take over the Carrier Dome”

 Special Program

  • staff, WSYR-TV, “Celebrating Women”
  • Dan Cummings, Scott Irving, Mark Folsom and Jack Estabrook, WSYR-TV, “Veterans Voices”
  • Jennifer Sanders and Jack Estabrook, WSYR-TV, “Hidden History: The End of the 15th Ward”

Photo Essay

  • Matt Landers, CNY Central, “Bubble Express at NYS Fair”
  • Tom Walters, Spectrum News, “Dickens Christmas”
  • Tom Walters, Spectrum News, “Red Cross Real Hero: Youth Good Samaritan”

 Video Journalism

  • Justin Bachman, Spectrum News
  • Matt Landers, CNY Central, “Ice House, Over the Edge, Catching up with Laura Hand”

Regularly-Scheduled Local Newscast

  • staff, CNY Central, “Boeheim’s Tragic I-690 Crash WSTM 6 pm”
  • staff, WSYR-TV, “NewsChannel 9 at 6:00 I-81 Report”
  • staff, WSYR-TV, “NewsChannel 9 at 6:00 Snowstorm Clean Up Weekend”

Best Weathercast

  • Kate Thornton, WSYR-TV, “Thanksgiving Weather 11/27/19”
  • Damon Matson, WBNG-TV, “December Storm”
  • Howard Manges, WBNG-TV, “Stormtrack 12”


Breaking News

  • Kenneth Jackson,, “Use of Force Community Meeting is ‘Forced’ off the Road”
  • Annabel Otts,, “Mother of lead-poisoned toddlers says landlord threatened eviction following Onondaga County Legislature testimony; City sues over chronic code violations”
  • Jana Barnello,, “Boeheim Crash Tragedy”

Multimedia Story

  • Christa Lemczak, Lauren Long and Geoff Herbert,, “What was Woodstock really like? The naked truth from 1969 attendees”
  • Luke Parsnow, Tammy Palmer and Tim Robertson,, “Legacy of Flight 103: SU Honors Lives Lost in Lockerbie”
  • Christa Lemczak, Lauren Long, Katrina Tulloch, N. Scott Trimble, Dennis Nett, Marnie Eisenstadt and Patrick Lohmann,, “Drunk with Power: Inside a rogue Syracuse AA group”

News Website

  • staff,
  • staff and Robert Harding,
  • staff,


  • Kenneth Jackson,, “The Hall Monitor, ‘Ken’s Blog’”
  • Charlie Miller,, “Hidden Gems of Central New York”
  • Robert Harding,, “Eye on NY”

Photos & Graphics

  • Annabel Otts,, “Toddler with elevated lead levels plays in harm’s way”
  • Scott Schild,, “Small but mighty consolation”
  • Luke Parsnow,, “Timeline of Syracuse University Bias Incidents”

Video Journalism

  • Scott Trimble, Christa Lemczak, Brent Axe,, “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”
  • Charlie Miller,, Best of Central New York food
  • Christa Lemczak and Johnathan Croyle,, 60 Second NYS Fair

Best Use of Social Media

  • Jana Barnello and Joshua Pietzold,, “Engaging Viewers Across Platforms”
  • David Haas, “@SyracuseHistory”


Best College Radio / Podcast News Story

  • Ford Hatchett, NCC News, “Chief Kenton Buckner Aims to Improve the Relationship Between Police and Community”
  • Peter Champelli, 92 WICB, “Students Rally, Protest and Fight for Climate Justice in Albany”
  • Jonah Karp, NCC News, “For the Salvation Army, New Technology Giveth and Taketh Away”

 Best College Print News Story

  • Gabe Stern, The Daily Orange, “Students pressure administrators at Barnes Center sit-in”
  • Maria Montero Silva, Utica College Tangerine, “When Halloween becomes racist”

Best College TV News Story

  • Kristen Mirand, ICTV, “ICTV Reports – Vaping Ban”
  • Jack Arpey, ICTV, “ICTV Reports – Staying Connected”
  • Gilat Melamed, NCC News, “One Jewish Nation, Many Jewish Lives”

Best College Radio / Podcast Sports Story

  • Jonah Karp, NCC News, “The Road Back”
  • Sevrin Lavenstein, 92 WICB, “Ithaca Football — Cortaca Jug Game Open”
  • Ben Carlton and Matias Weilmann, 92 WICB, “Importance of the Cortaca Jug Game”

 Best College Print Sports Story

  • 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”
  • Matt Liberman, The Daily Orange, “Inside the lack of racial diversity in lacrosse”

Best College TV Sports Story

  • Tara Lynch, ICTV, “Newswatch – Cornell Hockey’s Misha Song”
  • Casey Honigbaum and Tanner Wegzyn, ICTV, “The Gridiron Report – Cortaca Postgame Interviews”
  • James Kattato, SUNY Oswego, “Oswego State Preps for Invitational”

Best College Radio / Podcast Feature Story

  • Bronte Cook, 92 WICB, “Drag Queen Story Hour”
  • Ford Hatchett, NCC News, “Country Nation”
  • Sarah Horbacewicz, 92 WICB, “Six Degrees – The Fourth Degree”

 Best College Print Feature Story

  • Haley Robertson, The Daily Orange, “A Tiny Home for Good builds affordable housing for those facing homelessness”
  • Jordan Muller, The Daily Orange, “BY CHANCE: Students who switched tickets escaped the Pan Am Flight 103 bombing”
  • Maria Montero Silva, Utica College Tangerine, “More than a hassle: The ordeal of menstruating as a homeless woman”

Best College TV Feature Story

  • Abigail Fridmann, NCC News, “Hearts on a Harley”
  • Sarah Al-Shaikh, NCC News, “Syracuse Man Loses 450 Pounds and Gains a New Life”
  • Meredith Kava, NCC News, “Basketball Manager”

Best College Multimedia Story

  • The Syracuse Side Hustles Staff, “Syracuse Side Hustles”
  • The Rooted Staff, “Rooted”
  • The Borderlines Staff, “Borderlines”

Special Honors

Best News Source of the Year

A. Brohman Roth Award for Newcomer of the Year

  • Mike Curtis of The Post-Standard |

Bill Carey Award for Journalist of the Year

  • Kevin Rivoli of The Auburn Citizen |

Selwyn Kershaw Award for Best Professional Standards

 2020 Wall of Distinction inductees:

  • Mike Greenlar of The Post-Standard |
  • Eddie Jones of NewsChannel 9 (WSYR)

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