WCNY Nets Area's Only Regional Murrow

April 22, 2011 by

SYRACUSE -- The Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) 2011 Regional Edward R. Murrow Award Winners have been announced.  Between radio, television and online, WCNY-TV is the only local station to appear on the list.  "Our Veterans and Their Families: 21st Century Challenges" took home the regional Murrow in the Video News Documentary category.

The hour-long documentary was up against submissions from other small market television stations in RTDNA Region 11, which includes New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The regional award means "Our Veterans" is now in the running for the national Murrow Awards.  National winners will be announced in June, and recognized at the annual RTDNA Awards Dinner this fall in New York City.

Murrow Awards 2011 Logo"Our Veterans" was written and produced by WCNY VP/Broadcasting Peter Spartano with help from videographer/editor Brian Anelli, host Liz Ayers and associate producer Christa Grome. More details about the documentary and the award appear below, in the full text of a press release WCNY issued today.

Every other Murrow in the small market TV categories went to stations in Buffalo and Rochester.  On the radio side, nearly all the small market radio regional Murrows went to one station in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, with the only exception being a single award for Clear Channel news/talker WHAM 1180 in Rochester.

This may not be the only award for "Our Veterans" -- earlier this month, the Syracuse Press Club listed it in contention for its own television documentary category.  "Our Veterans" is up against another WCNY documentary, "Arctic Air: A Greenlandic Journey with the 109th" and the New York Emmy Award-winning half-hour special "Deadly Delusion" produced by YNN's Bill Carey.  SPC award winners will be announced on May 7th -- two weeks from tomorrow.

WCNY Press Release issued April 22, 2011


SYRACUSE, N.Y. (April 22, 2011) – WCNY-TV has won a 2011 regional Edward R. Murrow Award for its documentary “Our Veterans and Their Families: 21st Century Challenges.’’

WCNY won the award in the Video News Documentary category for small market television stations in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The documentary is now entered in that category for a national Murrow Award.

“Our Veterans’’ tells the compelling stories of veterans and their families and the unique challenges they face in this new century. The one-hour documentary focuses on issues such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Traumatic Brain Injury, special needs of injured veterans, reconnecting with family and friends, the stress of re-deployment, and the hardships faced by female veterans.

“War tears away at the fabric of families, separating them by thousands of miles and forcing them into desperate realities,’’ said WCNY’s Peter Spartano, the documentary’s producer and writer. “Viewers meet soldiers and their families and their words define their experiences and offer guideposts for those who follow.’’

Spartano, now WCNY’s Vice President of Broadcasting, said the production of “Our Veterans’’ was a team effort that also included videographer and editor Brian Anelli, host Liz Ayers, and associate producer Christa Grome.

The Murrow awards are named after the legendary journalist who was a pioneer of television news broadcasting. Presented by the Radio Television Digital News Association since 1971, the awards are given to stations that demonstrate the spirit of excellence that Murrow made a standard for the broadcast news profession.

“This documentary is a shining example of what we strive to do every day, which is educate our viewers about issues that touch all of our lives,’’ said Robert J. Daino, WCNY’s President and CEO. “We’re proud of this award, but we’re more proud of the veterans who fight for our freedom.’’

To purchase a DVD of “Our Veterans and Their Families: 21st Century Challenges,’’ visit and click on “Shop.’’ For more information on the Murrow Awards, visit

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