Sponsored by The Greater Montana Foundation, the annual E.B. Craney Awards recognize excellence in local news, production, promotion and public service.
This year Cowles Media's three Montana stations, KTMF/KWYB, KFBB and KULR, took home a total of seven awards. Of those seven, KTMF/KWBY brought in four first place honors - the most of any station there.
KTMF/KWYB News Director Andrea Lutz said "It was really a team effort; everybody at ABC FOX Montana works hard, but it was still really great to see us show so well in the main categories. It's a huge win for the Cowles family."
At just under four years old, KTMF/KWYB is the youngest local news station in Montana. The recognition at the Craneys supports the progress and statewide effort made by the station over these past few years Lutz said.
Station Manager Tom Ciprari shared Lutz's excitement.
"I'm thrilled and ecstatic over the growth and continued tenacity of this team," he said. After a hard year "we didn't tear each other apart, but pulled ourselves together."
Last May the station lost Kalee Scolatti the former news director and dear friend of many station employees. In her honor the station created the KTMF Kalee Scolatti Memorial Scholarship.
Angela Marshall (Broadcaster of the Year) and Dominic Shelden (Sportscaster of the Year) are donating each of their $500 prizes to memorial fund.
"As many of you know, we suffered a great loss a year ago, following the sudden, tragic death of our former News Director Kalee Scolatti. Since, we have become harder-working journalists, stronger employees, and closer friends. I know Kalee would be proud," Marshall said. "That’s why I’m taking the opportunity to donate this year’s monetary award to the Kalee Scolatti KTMF Memorial Scholarship fund, through the University of Montana’s School of Journalism. My hope is that this will help inspire other young journalists with the same spunk, sass, and smarts as our beloved Kalee. Thank you!”
Angela Marshall won Broadcaster of the Year.
Dominic Shelden won Sportscaster of the Year
Shaun Rainey and Rob Jesselson won Sports story
Ben Croft won TV PSA
Breaking news (Wake up Montana - Melinda Lee, Kenneth McGrath, Wesley Richard, Becky Hillier)
Hard news (KFBB Amanda Roley)
Website (KULR - Jessica Hilgendorf, Sara Sanchez)