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'Bully Project' wins public service TV award

"The Bully Project" -- a series of reports launched on WIVB-TV Channel 4 in January 2011 about schoolchildren who were bullied -- has won an award from the Society of Professional Journalists for public service television.

The reports featured interviews with bullying victims, parents who feared for the safety of their children and experts who answered viewers' questions live during newscasts.

"Too often the voice of the victim, the target of the bully, goes unheard," said Chris Musial, WIVB president and general manager. "The tragic suicide of Jamey Rodemeyer from the Buffalo area rocked our community, from school-age children to parents and grandparents.

"Unfortunately, bullying still happens," Musial said. "Young people still feel trapped, abused and tormented. We at WIVB-News 4 and CW23-WNLO are committed to digging deeper in our coverage of this important issue. Whether it begins in the schoolyard or school bus, or in cyberspace through online taunting or texting, we will continue our efforts to find solutions that lead to an end of these horrible actions by bullies."

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A new morning reporter will be joining WIVB-TV's morning show, "Wake Up!," in May, said Daniel G. Meyers, WIVB marketing and promotions manager.

Brittni Smallwood previously worked at WETM-TV in Elmira as a morning show co-anchor and reporter. In 2009, she earned a master's degree in broadcast journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University after graduating from Saint Francis University in Loretto, Pa., in 2008.

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Blues fans will be treated to a free concert at 6 p.m. May 3 in Sportsmen's Tavern, 326 Amherst St., sponsored by WNED-TV and WBFO/AM-970.

Music will be provided by the Gretch N Doug Band, with appearances by blues program hosts Anita West and Jim Santella. Tickets are free but limited; call 845-7038 or email membership@wned.org. Tickets include food and one free drink.

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Sandy Beach, Linda Pellegrino and Ed Reilly were among the recipients of the Buffalo Excellence in Media Awards presented by the Buffalo Broadcasters Association.

The event in Salvatore's Italian Gardens, Lancaster, on Friday was co-hosted by Kendra Eaglin of WKBW-TV and Rob Lucas of STAR/102.5-FM. The awards recognized the achievements of radio, television, print and digital companies and individuals in Western New York.

The 2012 winners are: Sandy Beach/WBEN-AM and FM for Radio Personality; WBEN-AM and FM for Radio Station; Jeremy White/WGR-550 AM for Best Use of Social Media; The Buffalo News for Digital Media; Jacquie Walker/WIVB-TV for TV Personality; WGRZ-TV for TV Station; Paul Smith/WGRZ-TV for Sales Executive; Ed Reilly/WKBW-TV for Backpack Journalist; Anthony Congi/WIVB-TV for Rising Star; Linda Pellegrino/WKBW-TV for Trailblazer; and Rich Newberg for Pinnacle.

email: jkwiatkowski@buffnews.com