NewsTalk WANI Wins Two Coveted ABBY Awards for 2021

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The Auburn Network’s NewsTalk WANI won the station group’s 33rd and 34th ABBY Awards for broadcast excellence from the Alabama Broadcasters Association on Monday.


Auburn-Opelika This Morning, now in its 24th year and hosted by Zac Blackerby since 2018, won “Best Talk Show”, and its newscast won “Best Regularly Scheduled Newscast” in its class. The annual ABBYs honor the best in broadcasting in Alabama and this year included 506 entries from the state’s radio and television stations.


“I’m extremely proud of Zac and our dedicated staff and grateful for the recognition of our continuing efforts to inform, engage, and serve east Alabama,” said Steve Witten, Executive Vice President and Market Manager for Auburn Networks LLC. “Excelling for the benefit of our listeners and advertisers has always been our number one priority.”


Since the ABBYs program began 15 years ago, Auburn Network stations have won a dozen awards for Best Talk Show; 10 for Best Regularly Scheduled Newscast; four for Best Sports Show/Sports Talk Show; twice for Best Sportscaster, Best Personality or Team, and Best Morning Show; and once for Best Election Coverage and App. The network was also home of Alabama’s Radio Station of the Year in 2009 and 2016.


The group’s sister stations, based in Sylacauga and operated under the master RadioAlabama brand, won ABBY Awards for special pandemic coverage, local public affairs programming, and a sports podcast series. The stations have earned 19 ABBY honors since 2013 for news, sports, production, programming, and client promotion and were home to Alabama’s Radio Station of the Year in 2017.