May 5, 2021

WMTV earns ‘News Operation of the Year,’ ‘Best Morning Newscast’ awards

Category: Station News

MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - WMTV is proud to announce it was named ‘News Operation of the Year’ and received 19 other honors from the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association in its annual Awards for Excellence competition.

The Awards for Excellence recognize outstanding coverage that aired in 2020. The winners were announced Saturday night in a virtual ceremony. It is the second-straight year that WMTV NBC15 was honored as ‘News Operation of the Year,’ one of the most coveted awards of the night.

“I am so proud of what our newsroom does each day. To have a News Director like Jess Laszewski allows NBC15 the opportunity to win back-to-back News Operation of the Year awards. Our journalists championed food drives, provided a voice to those seldom heard, and kept our communities informed during the entire pandemic. Thank you to the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association for recognizing our efforts when people needed local news the most,” said Don Vesely, vice president and general manager of WMTV NBC15.

NBC15′s top honors include Best Morning Newscast and Best Breaking News Coverage for documenting the first calls for social justice and the demonstrations that followed in downtown Madison on May 30 and 31st. It was the first of many days of unrest we covered over the summer months. Our series, ‘Class During COVID,’ was also recognized for a first place award—each month we follow five different classrooms as they navigate a changing and challenging school year due to the pandemic. NBC15′s commitment to serving our community through the ‘Care Box Challenge’ and our ’25th Share Your Holidays Campaign’ were also honored. Both campaigns raised awareness about food insecurity and helped the hungry by raising millions of dollars in funding to benefit Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin.

“2020 tested us and it motivated us—to reflect on our work and to get it right. I’m so proud of our entire team and they way they stepped up to share the stories of Southern Wisconsin in a year like no other. We are grateful that you trust us to share your stories every day,” said Jess Laszewski, news director of WMTV NBC15.

NBC15 received nine First Place honors, three Second Place honors, and seven Third Place recognitions, including:

First Place – Medium Market Television
· Best Morning Newscast – The Morning Show: Overnight Unrest (May 31)
· Best Series or Documentary – Class During COVID
· Live On-Scene Reporting - NBC15′s George Balekji
· Best Sportscast – NBC15′s George Balekji
· Sports Reporting – Using His Voice
· Online Personality – NBC15′s Tim Elliott
· Online Breaking News Coverage – Downtown Demonstrations
· Best Pandemic-Related Service to Community – Care Box Challenge raises nearly $3.4 Million in its First 100 Days
· Public Service Announcement – Stop in the Name of Love
Second Place Awards
· Significant Community Impact – Because of You: 25th Share Your Holidays Campaign
· Hard News/Investigative – NBC15 Investigates: Chaos in Kenosha, The Questions That Remain
· Feature – Tools to Succeed
Third Place Awards
· Continuing Coverage – Anisa Scott’s Death and Legacy
· Feature – Scott and Shannon’s Love Story
· News Writing – A Simple Stone
· Use of Video – Hold Onto Hope
· Sports Reporting – First Family of Pucks
· Best Sportscast – NBC15 Sports
· Image Promotion – Wake up to More

In total, WMTV was nominated for 19 Awards for Excellence in 16 categories. WMTV competed in the medium market division, which includes all television stations in the Madison and Green Bay markets. The television awards competition is divided into three categories: Large Market (Milwaukee), Medium Market (Green Bay and Madison), and Small Market (LaCrosse/Eau Claire and Wausau/Rhinelander).