WBAL Radio Wins Audio/Multimedia Eclipse Award

Edited press release

WBAL Radio in Baltimore has won the 2006 Media Eclipse Award in the audio/multimedia Internet category for its live coverage of the 131st Preakness Stakes (gr. I) from Pimlico Race Course.

Produced by news director Mark Miller, WBAL’s program presented daylong coverage of this year’s Preakness Stakes, beginning with reports from the barn area at 6:00 a.m. and continuing with reports and stories on the key connections and festivities during the day. WBAL had reporters on the spot immediately following the injury to Barbaro, including interviews with veterinarians and racing officials. The station’s reports continued through Barbaro’s arrival at the George D. Widener Hospital for Large Animals at the University of Pennsylvania’s New Bolton Center later that evening.

“It’s safe to say that all of us in Baltimore value the tradition, the history and what the Preakness--the biggest sporting event each year in the state of Maryland--means to us,” Miller said. “We are extremely proud to win the Eclipse Award again, and we are grateful to our CEO David Barrett (chief executive officer of parent company Hearst-Argyle) and station manager Jeff Beauchamp for providing us with the resources to not just cover the Preakness, but to also devote year-round coverage to the Maryland horse industry.”

WBAL staffed 11 producers and reporters at this year’s Preakness. Miller made special mention of lead Thoroughbred reporter Scott Wycoff, who covered the scene from the barns Preakness morning and sent back reports from New Bolton that evening; and to Keith Mills, WBAL morning sports anchor.

It’s the seventh Media Eclipse Award for WBAL, which previously won in 1978, 1981, 1984, 1997, 2001, and 2004.

Honorable mention in the audio multimedia Internet category went to WVLK Radio in Lexington, Ky., for the “Kenny and Kenny Sports Show Plus,” which aired a feature report “Saving Barbaro” Nov. 9. Kenny Rice was the producer.

Judges for the category were Brian Horton of Associated Press Broadcast; Brian Rublein, former news director of WHAS Radio in Louisville, Ky.; and Mike Farrell, racing journalist and former UPI Radio reporter.

The 2006 Eclipse Awards ceremony will be held Jan.  22, 2007 at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif.