Kristi Wheeler Published

55th Public Media Awards Winners Announced

WVPB Receives Two Public Media Awards presented by NETA

CHARLESTON, WV: WVPB was presented two Public Media Awards from The National Educational Telecommunications Association (NETA) at the 55th Annual Public Media Awards Gala held Sunday, Sept. 10, 2023. Blue Demons: A West Virginia Legacy was recognized as the Division 2, Television Historical Feature winner and Us & Them: The Gun Divide received the Division 2, Radio Society and Culture award.

“West Virginia Public Broadcasting doesn’t produce essential television and radio content for the sake of awards, but it’s always great to get national attention for what we do,” stated WVPB Interim Executive Director Eddie Isom. “WVPB continues to produce documentaries about the rich culture and history of our state, and we continue to have meaningful conversations about what’s important to West Virginians on the radio and online. These awards are a testament to the hard work of the staff.”

The Public Media Awards, presented by NETA, honor their member’s work in the highest caliber community engagement, content, education, and marketing and communications. With the exception of the overall excellence categories, stations compete within their divisions based on their station size. Awards are judged by a group of expert panelists from within the public media system, as well as industry professionals working outside of public media.

Blue Demons: A West Virginia Legacy is a half-hour television program available with PASSPORT on West Virginia Public Broadcasting’s TV at Blue Demons or on our YouTube channel, YouTube Blue Demons. The documentary traces the Northfork High School “Blue Demons” as a force to be reckoned with from 1971 to 1984, setting national records including most consecutive state championships. The small coal mining town in McDowell County received national attention. As jobs in Northfork were really starting to disappear, the high school winning the state title brought hope to the community.

Us & Them: The Gun Divide looks at gun ownership in America, and the way our social, political and racial divisions fuel gun purchases. The year 2020 showed a historic rise in gun violence. Guns killed a record 45,000 people, a majority of them by suicide. This episode of Us & Them is presented with support from the West Virginia Humanities Council, The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation and the CRC Foundation. Listen online.

You can also watch, listen, and stream these and other award-winning broadcasts by downloading the WVPB app. It’s free and available in the Apple store or via Google Play – just search for West Virginia Public Broadcasting. 


Kristi Morey, Marketing Communications