KCBS tops at Emmys

Station nabs 7 nods as revamped newscasts triumph

Continuing to distance itself from its tabloidesque “Action News” past, KCBS-TV’s newscasts stole the show at Saturday night’s 49th annual Los Angeles Area Emmy Awards, sweeping the 60-minute and 30-minute format news awards while the station itself took home seven statuettes to lead the pack.

KCBS won the 60-minute crown with its 6 p.m. weeknight hour and the 30-minute with its 11 p.m. edition of “Channel 2 News” to unseat KNBC and its “Channel 4 News,” which had earned both honors last year.

The station’s Emmy total was two better than runners-up KCAL (which once dominated these competitions) and pubcaster KCET, with five apiece. KABC, KNBC and KTTV each tied with four, while KCOP snared three Emmys, KTLA two and KOCE, KSCI, Fox Sports West, Charter Communications and L.A. City View one each.

Outstanding investigative reporting

Besides the two newscasts, KCBS earned wins for outstanding investigative reporting (Harvey Levin), for top light news story (perennial winner Steve Hartman), for serious news story (from producer Pete Noyes and reporter Drew Griffin) and for best news editing (Doug Imai) and news videographer (Les Rose).

The wins had to be particularly sweet for KCBS, which continues to struggle in the ratings but has begun to emerge as an investigative force in TV news locally.

Meanwhile, KCAL took the top prize for regularly skedded daytime newscast for its “KCAL 9 News Report,” and also earned Emmys for L.A. local color story (from producer Lissa Eichenberger and producer/writer/host Cary Berglund) and for health and science/environment reporting as well as crime/social issues.

Roggin wins two

While KNBC missed out on the top news prizes, it did win an Emmy for its coverage of the bombing during last summer’s Olympic Games in Atlanta and found its veteran sports anchor Fred Roggin winning a pair of trophies: one for outstanding sports reporting and another for his special “Fred Roggin’s Road to Atlanta.”

Pacing KTTV was annual winner Chris Blatchford, honored for top hard news reporting along with producer Dan Leighton. It also found wins for news writing (David Garcia) and news feature reporting (Sam Hall Kaplan).

KCOP was recognized in categories where it has come to excel — live events, both sports and entertainment. The Chris Craft/UPN station snared statuettes for its live coverage of the L.A. Marathon and, in the entertainment programming category, for its opening night special at “Cirque du Soleil.” It also won for top news special, the election program “America ’96: The California Factor.”

KCET takes home five

Public TV’s KCET won Emmys for its nightly informational/public affairs series “Life & Times” and for a quartet of individual “Life & Times” editions, giving the program five total wins (accounting for all of the station’s Emmys).

Of KABC’s four wins, just one, for the children’s/youth special “Think Before You Drink,” came in a non-technical category. The other three were for non-news videographer (Bob Ballew) and two in graphics categories. KTLA won for its annual coverage of the “Tournament of Roses Parade.”

A special tribute was presented to Stan Chambers, who has been with KTLA-TV for nearly a half century. Also, a special Los Angeles Area Governors Award was handed out to Spanish-language TV station KMEX.

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