BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Three Auburn Network stations were honored with prestigious ABBY Awards by the Alabama Broadcasters Association on Saturday in Birmingham.
Donny Blankenship was recognized as both the best-in-class on-air personality, and as host of the state’s best morning show, The Donny B Show, on Wings 94.3.
NewsTalk WANI’s Auburn-Opelika This Morning was named the state’s best talk show, marking the 14th time that the show has received the award, while ESPN 106.7’s The Drive with Bill Cameron and Dan Peck was awarded the state’s best sports talk show for the second time.
Since the annual ABBY Awards began 17 years ago, Auburn Network stations have earned 44 awards, more than any other media organization in the state.
“These four coveted awards recognize our stations’ continued dedication to broadcast quality and excellence,” said Steve Witten, Vice President and Market Manager. “I am extremely proud of all our teams, from on-air, to operations, to sales, and administration. It is satisfying to be recognized for our efforts, and I’m happy to be able to celebrate our passion for excellence, entertainment, information, and public service. A special thank you to Riley Hubbard for assembling the reels that we submitted to the ABA for consideration. That project required a lot of time and effort.”
Donny Blankenship, who hosts The Donny B Show weekday mornings on Wings 94.3, was named best on-air personality. In addition, The Donny B Show was also given the nod as the state’s best morning show.
“It is incredibly humbling to receive two ABBY awards in just my first year as the morning show host on Wings 94.3,” said Blankenship. “I have thoroughly enjoyed being able to play the best music ever made and providing some laughs to my listeners every morning. I’m looking forward to growing the show even more in the future. I’m also thankful to Steve and Ben for giving me this opportunity to get back into radio, which I love doing.”
Ben Taylor received an honor on Saturday night as Auburn-Opelika This Morning was named best talk show in his first year as the show’s host. The weekday morning show on NewsTalk WANI featuring local news, weather, commentary, and interviews has now received the honor 14 times in the show’s 25-year
history. Prior to taking the reins of Auburn-Opelika This Morning, Taylor hosted the popular morning show, Ben & Friends on Wings 94.3, twice taking home ABBY awards for his work on that show.
“It’s very humbling to accept this award and be mentioned alongside legendary broadcasters Rod Bramblett and Andy Burcham who have previously hosted Auburn-Opelika This Morning. It goes to show how important local radio is. Thank you Auburn, Opelika, and Lee County for supporting local, supporting our community, and embracing this show for over 25 years. This award speaks to our wonderful community and what it has to offer, far more than it speaks to any of us responsible for the show.”
The fourth honor that the network picked up on Saturday night was for best sports talk show, The Drive with Bill Cameron & Dan Peck. This marks the second time that Cameron and The Drive have received the honor, and the fifth time that the award has been won by an ESPN 106.7 program.
Cameron has been involved in sports talk in the state since 1986 when he and former Voice of the Auburn Tigers Jim Fyffe began co-hosting a daily sports talk show in Montgomery. He has been a host of The Drive since joining the Auburn Network in 2013.
“Dan [Peck] and I have a great time getting to cover Auburn’s hometown teams for the Auburn-Opelika area which of course includes Auburn University, but also the incredibly successful high school programs in our area,” said Cameron. “I believe that we’ve built a quality program that listeners enjoy being able to engage with every weekday by calling in and sharing their opinions on Auburn sports as well as Alabama and the SEC. I also want to thank our studio engineer Drew Forehand, who has done a really great job of producing our show and making the show sound perfect every day behind the controls.”