BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Special pandemic coverage, new local public affairs programming, and a reflective high school sports podcast series earned prestigious, best-in-class 2021 ABBY Awards for three RadioAlabama stations from the Alabama Broadcasters Association on Monday.
- Best Pandemic Coverage: At the cusp of the COVID-19 outbreak in early 2020, MIX 106.5 along with its local news, sports, and weather partner SylacaugaNews.com began special simultaneous daily coverage of the pandemic on-air and online. Hosted by RadioAlabama Executive Vice President and morning personality Michael Brannon, the programs exemplified a commitment to public service in the form of 30-minute shows at noon on air and on the SylacaugaNews.com and station Facebook pages. Guests included radio show host/author/entertainer John Tesh, national Cheddar News anchor Nora Ali, Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall, and now U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville. Local guests included various members of the community: business owners, Chambers of Commerce representatives, health officials, educators, city officials, and financial professionals. Click here to watch and listen.
- Best Public Affairs: Behind the Headlines, a 30-minute video and audio podcast, began airing weekly on KiX 100.3 in 2020; premieres natively on KiX 100.3, MIX 106.5, and SylacaugaNews.com Facebook pages; is linked for viewing on station websites; and is available anytime on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeartRadio, Spotify, and Stitcher. Talking with community and business leaders about what is important in the area, News Reporter and Content Manager Hannah Hammonds took readers, listeners, and viewers behind local stories reported on SylacaugaNews.com and heard on-air. Guests included medical health professionals, educators, city government leaders, community activists, Chamber of Commerce members, and local sports figures. Click here to watch and listen.
- Best Podcast: The Golden Season: The Story of the 2019 Lincoln Golden Bears, a RadioAlabama Sports original podcast series created by Noah Gardner, featured Lincoln High School’s 2019 football team. As new back-to-back region champions, the team enjoyed a season filled with dramatic wins and epic comeback victories that will be a topic of conversation for years to come. The documentary-style podcast series consisted of interviews with coaches and players, game-by-game storytelling of events throughout the season, and reliving key moments through play-by-play coverage of live broadcasts. The concept originated at the beginning of the pandemic by reflecting on a sense of normalcy through sports for the Lincoln community in revisiting a storied time in their program’s history. Click here to listen.
“Winning ABBYs is important recognition of ongoing efforts to serve the public,” said Lee Perryman, RadioAlabama President & CEO. “Competition is strong, and I’m extremely proud of Michael, Terrie, Hannah, Noah, and everyone else on our team as they continue to excel.”
The annual ABBYs honor the best in broadcasting in Alabama and this year included 506 entries from the state’s radio and television stations.
Owned by Marble City Media LLC, operated under the master RadioAlabama brand, and winner of 19 ABBY honors since 2013 for news, sports, production, programming, and client promotion, the group was also home to Alabama’s Radio Station of the Year in 2017 and the Alabama Broadcasters Association’s Broadcaster of the Year in 2014. RadioAlabama’s stations and services in east central Alabama include FOX Sports Central Alabama on 98.3 FM (WFXO), MIX 106.5 (WFXO-HD2), 105.1 WRFS (WRFS), KiX 100.3 (WYEA), KiX 96.3 (WSGN), AU100 (WAUE), SylacaugaNews.com, and RadioAlabamaSports.net.
Through co-owned Auburn Networks LLC, RadioAlabama’s operations include Wings 94.3 (WGZZ), NewsTalk WANI (WANI/WGZZ-HD2), ESPN 106.7 (WGZZ-HD3), 96.3 WLEE (WGZZ-HD4), and East Alabama Living Magazine. For 2021, the Auburn stations were also recognized with ABBYs for the state’s Best Newscast and Best Talk Show. Winner of 32 other ABBYs, the network was home of Alabama’s Radio Station of the Year in 2009 and 2016.