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CBS Wins 8 Murrow Awards

CBS News—television, radio and Web site—grabbed the bulk of the 2003 Radio-Television News Directors Association's Edward R. Murrow Awards announced last week.

CNN, Fox News and MSNBC, despite fierce ratings battles last year, were accorded no medals of honor or distinction by RTNDA. According to the organization, network and cable organizations submitted a total of 398 entries; 113 of them were from cable news outlets. The only cable news organization honored was New England Cable News (NECN), for its story "Where Love Lives" about a New Hampshire home for abused and neglected children.

The television end of CBS News garnered four awards, including a nod for overall excellence—an award for "which a network must consistently demonstrate depth and scope in its coverage."

Seventy awards went to 49 news organizations. For a full list of winners, see BROADCASTING & CABLE 's Web site (

Awards for overall excellence also went to KIRO-TV Seattle for large-market television and to KTUU-TV Anchorage, Alaska, for small-market.

Best newscast awards were handed out: in the large-market category, to WFAA-TV Dallas, for "News 8 Update: Church Bus Crash"; in the smaller-market, WCAX-TV, South Burlington, Vt.

ABC News Radio received the overall radio excellence award. WTMJ(AM) Milwaukee, won the big-market award. KFDI-FM and KFTI-AM in Wichita, Kan., were small-market winners.

CBS's 9/11
news special, filmed by two French photographers who just happened to be documenting life in one New York firehouse on the day of the World Trade Center attacks, was tops among the news documentary series. It drew 39 million viewers when it first aired in March 2002. CBS also won for feature reporting with Steve Hartman's story about a couple's agonizing decision to leave their 4-year-old daughter behind while they wrangled wild horses. CBS Radio received three awards, and was named best Web site.

NBC, last year's most decorated organization, didn't lag too far behind with a total of six awards, half of those for NBC Nightly News.
The Tom Brokaw-led half-hour was named best newscast for its focus on the arrest of the Washington, D.C.-area snipers; best spot news coverage for "Tornadoes"; and best continuing coverage for "Skating Controversy," which kept tabs on the 2002 Winter Olympics figure-skating judging debacle. Dateline NBC
walked away with two awards: "Mystery on Highway 47," about the mysterious death of a New Mexico state trooper's wife, was recognized for investigative reporting, while "Death in the Desert" was named best videography. Today's "Ted Williams Remembered" was cited for sports reporting.

Spanish-language net Univision made an impression with its weekday news magazine Primer Impacto, which was named best news series for "Disposable Kids," about the murder of children by roving vigilantes in Honduras. It was Primer Impacto's second win in the category, having won in 1998.

The RTNDA awards will be handed out Oct. 13 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York.