Iris speaker urges local TV to expand

WANE, WXYZ among NATPE honorees

Amid the ever-growing world of syndicated behemoths, local programming producers from across the country were told Wednesday to go on the offensive at the 1999 NATPE Iris award ceremonies held at Paramount Studios.

Bruce Johansen, president-CEO of the National Assn. of Television Program Executives, presented the kudos, which recognize excellence in local English- and Spanish-language programming in the U.S. and Canada, and are the only national awards for locally funded TV and cable stations. The luncheon ceremony featured a keynote address by producer Arnold Shapiro.

Think locally, act nationally

“Local television isn’t necessarily local, there are many local shows out there that are as good as anything you’ll find on the networks,” Shapiro said. “It’s fine to produce locally and keep it locally, but if you think your show is good enough, by all means, expand and shop the programs around the country.”

The winners were selected from 400 entries, doubling last year’s total and will receive exposure from special video kiosks located at January’s NATPE confab.

Among the honorees: Documentary “Christopher” from WANE, Fort Wayne, Ind., for the Member’s Choice prize as well as current affairs-info programming; “Impact: Sterilized by the State,” from Detroit’s WXYZ, for individual achievement in writing-producing; Ken Speake, host of Minneapolis’ KARE’s “Speake Softly, Minnesota Birding,” for individual achievement for on-camera talent; Los Angeles’ KLCS’ “Truancy: PSA,” for public service announcements; KARE’s “Whatever’s on Your Mind,” for children’s programming; “Women Outdoors With Kate Mistol,” from Fresno’s KFSN, for sports programming; “Almost Live’s Live New Year’s Eve,” from Seattle’s KING, for entertainment programming; and Raleigh, N.C.’s WRAL, for local Web site.

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