WTVO-17 was honored Wednesday night, at the annual Illinois Broadcaster Association Awards, as the state’s ‘Station of the Year’ and as also producing the state’s ‘Best Newscast’, both in the medium-sized TV market category.
This is the second consecutive year WTVO-17 ‘Eyewitness News’ has been recognized as having Illinois’ ‘Best Newscast’. It is the first-time ever the station has won ‘Station of the Year’, which is awarded to the local TV station that has demonstrated the greatest commitment when it comes to local news coverage, programming, and community service.
Kelly Lattimer, General Manager of sister-station WQRF-Fox 39, which also provides shared services including news content with WTVO-17, accepted the award on behalf of the entire staff. She told assembled broadcasters from across the state about the team effort that has propelled the station to be recognized with the IBA’s highest honors as well as substantial ratings growth in news and other local-originated programming.
“We are humbled and honored to receive such high praise,” said Lattimer. “But mostly we are inspired to maintain the highest level of commitment to serving the needs of our community with quality news and entertainment programming.”
‘Eyewitness News’ Sports Director Scott Leber was also honored for his story-telling by producing the ‘Best Sports Story’.
WTVO-17 is owned by Mission Broadcasting, and provides 23 hours of news programming per week on Channel 17.1 and a ½ hour Spanish-language news weeknights at 5:30pm on Channel 17.2.
WQRF Fox-39 is owned by Nexstar Broadcasting, and airs 16 hours of news programming per week on Channel 39.1.
The stations’ also produce several hours per year of special programming, including the ‘Bergstrom Stateline Quiz Bowl’, the Celebration of Freedom fireworks show, the ‘Bear Blitz’ syndicated program dedicated to coverage of the Chicago Bears NFL team, the ‘Sports Connection’ program covering weekly high school sports, and various other events.