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It is time to say some nice things about local TV news

A voice in the back of my head said "say something nice about local TV news."

So I'm going to congratulate some recent award winners in local broadcasting and dish out some other praise.

Rich Newberg, who retired from WIVB-TV (Channel 4) almost a year and a half ago, received a New York State Emmy Award Saturday night in the Talent: Performer/Narrator category for a Dec. 28, 2015 report that summarized his career, "One Reporter's Journey."

Newberg and Channel 4 co-anchor Jacquie Walker presented some Emmy awards in New York City and used the position to give a tribute to the late Channel 2 reporter Scott Brown.

Newberg also gave a speech after his Emmy win about the renaissance that is occurring in Buffalo that continued while the program attempted to play him off with music. One attendee texted me "it was the longest thank you speech of the night."

"Had to say what I had to say," Newberg told me in a text.

After thanking his family and several former and present Channel 4 employers, Newberg ended his speech by saying that he hoped younger journalists "will be able to say 46 years from now, 'Wow, what a great ride' because that's the way I feel."

Michelle Girardi Zumwalt of Pegula Sports and Entertaiment (PSE) said Newberg's speech was "well-received" by her table. PSE won an Emmy in the sports interview discussion category for a March 1, 2016 episode of its "Beyond Blue and Gold" entitled "All Star: The Music Man: Ryan O'Reilly." Several members of PSE, led by Sabres co-owner Kim Pegula and executive producer Mark Preisler, were honored for their involvement in the story.

WGRZ-TV morning co-anchor Melissa Holmes won an Emmy in the Children & Youth category for a May 19, 2016 story entitled "Finding Love on the Pediatric Cancer Floor" about two patients falling in love.

The Emmys were given out about a week after several employees of Channel 2, Channel 4 and the former Time Warner Cable News (now Spectrum News) won prestigious regional Edward R. Murrow awards for quality journalism.

Channel 2's Dave McKinley won for excellence in writing and the station won for overall excellence, breaking news coverage of the Bethlehem Steel Fire, its website and for excellence in social media.

Channel 4 won for best investigative reporting of a nursing home death, best news series and best newscast in a small market.

TWCN won for a sports story and a story about convicted murderer Ralph "Bucky" Phillips a decade after his capture.

Channel 2 sports anchor Jonah Javad looks like an early favorite for an Emmy next year for a heartwarming story last week about a disabled superfan fan of the Buffalo Bisons befriended by a husband and wife who sit nearby at Coca Cola Field and take him on family vacations.

Javad replayed the story on Sports Talk Sunday and gave a strong commentary about the relationship between the superfan and the former strangers that epitomizes the slogan that Buffalo is the City of Good Neighbors.

Channel 2 sports anchor (and lately news anchor) Adam Benigni also deserves some applause for a story that aired on Monday night about bike safety that was inspired by the accident that he had nine months ago in which he believes his life may have been saved by the helmet he wore.

Many people hearing Benigni's accident story and the stories of two other bikers saved by helmets were given a lot of evidence that it would be wise to wear one the next time -- and every time -- they take a ride.

There was a nice moment Monday night when Channel 2 anchors Maryalice Demler and Scott Levin thanked Newberg and Walker for their New York City tribute to Scott Brown and aired footage of it.

I don't know if my criticism of Channel 2's presentation of "If My Parents Only Knew" suggesting it was their own work when it was produced by another Tegna station had anything to do with it, but it was nice to see that Channel 2 is crediting Tegna for a current series about "Fake News."

Levin noted in part one of the series Monday nthat Tegna conducted the fake news survey Channel 2 was offering its viewers and Demler said "we bring part one of the series" rather than "our" series.

I wrote in the previous blog and column about "If My Parents Only Knew" that Channel 2 should have identified it as a Tegna series since there was no local content.

Unfortunately, Levin ended Monday's story by bringing back "our" in saying "we'll continue our series" Tuesday.



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