B+C has selected the winners of its annual awards saluting the tops in local television. Each December, B+C picks the top station general manager in three market sizes, the best news director, the finest multiplatform broadcaster and the top station group in America.
Claudia Puig, president and general manager of Univision’s WLTV-WAMI Miami, wins for markets 1-25 for shifting the stations’ live transmission to their parking lot at the height of the pandemic, for creating a hotline that gave local businesses new life, and for inspiring South Florida residents to register to vote.
Joel Vilmenay, president and general manager at Hearst TV’s WDSU New Orleans, was awarded top GM for markets 26-50 for his work to mentor future diverse broadcast leaders, and for overseeing the station’s standout coverage of COVID and Hurricane Zeta.
John Ware, VP and general manager of Gray Television’s KPLC Lake Charles, wins for markets 51-plus for his leadership amidst Hurricane Laura, which saw the station forge ahead after its 380-foot transmission tower snapped and fell into the KPLC studio.
Amber Eikel, VP and news director at Fox’s KTVU-KICU San Francisco, gets best news director for the stations’ top-notch coverage of COVID, the election and other key issues, expertly using digital platforms to extend Fox 2’s reach, and going the extra mile to keep employees safe from the virus.
The top multiplatform broadcaster is Tegna, for launching the Near Me mobile app, which allows users to share community content, rebranding its Justice Network multicast, rolling out unique podcasts and getting its fact-checking initiative Verify on more platforms.
The top station group is ABC Owned Television Stations. ABC pushed to increase its ratings advantage at its eight stations with a new community journalist initiative, a data journalism center and a groupwide docuseries on the Black experience in America.
The winners will be highlighted in the Dec. 14 issue of B+C.
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Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.