WVPB Celebrates 13 Finalists In 2021 Virginias Associated Press Broadcasters Contest

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West Virginia Public Broadcasting’s news team and radio department are finalists in the 2021 Virginias Associated Press Broadcasters contest, including Outstanding News Operation.

WVPB’s 13 finalists are represented in 11 categories. Thirty-seven news organizations in Virginia and West Virginia submitted 587 entries. While technically not part of the news department, Teresa Wills was nominated for the first time as best anchor for WVPB’s morning radio show West Virginia Morning.

First and second place winners will be announced at the Virginias AP Broadcasters Awards Luncheon on Saturday, March 26 at The Greenbrier Resort in White Sulphur Springs.

The list of WVPB finalists below are in random order:


Best Continuing News: Liz McCormick, WVPB-FM, Charleston, WV, “Closing the COVID Gap”; Ben Paviour and Whittney Evans, WCVE-FM/VPM, Richmond, VA, “Marijuana Legalization in Virginia.”

Best Documentary or In-Depth: Trey Kay and Ryan Katz, WVPB-FM, Charleston, WV, “Those Who Lack Good Oral Health Face Far More Than a Toothless Hillbilly Stereotype”; Megan Pauley, Sara McCloskey and Crixell Matthews, WCVE-FM/VPM, Richmond, VA, “Dreams Deferred: How an Overlooked Type of School Debt Is Affecting Thousands of Students in Virginia.”

Best Light Feature: Jordan Christie, WHRO-FM, Norfolk, VA, “The Legacy of Grace Sherwood, the Alleged ‘Witch of Pungo'”; Zack Harold, WVPB-FM, Charleston, WV, “Friends and Family Remember Russell Yann, Iconic Owner of Fairmont Hotdog Hotspot.”

Best Serious Feature: Jessica Lilly, WVPB-FM, Charleston, WV, “Woman Underground — How One W.Va. Miner Found Family and Fatherly Connection in Coal”; Sam Turken, WHRO-FM, Norfolk, VA, “It’s Coming Quicker Than We Realize: Reckoning With a Future of More Flooding.”

Best Sports Feature: Jessica Lilly, WVPB-FM, Charleston, WV, “Fayetteville Native Takes 7th in Paralympics 100-Meters”; Ian Stewart, WCVE-FM/VPM, Richmond, VA, “One Year In, Black Girls Hike RVA Still Breaking Stereotypes.”

Best Reporter: June Leffler, WVPB-FM, Charleston, WV; Jessica Lilly, WVPB-FM, Charleston, WV.

Best QA (One-on-One) Interview: Gene Marrano, WFIR-AM/FM, Roanoke, VA, “Dopesick-Hulu Interview”; Liz McCormick, WVPB-FM, Charleston, WV, “Returning Home: Berkeley County Special Education Teacher Lifts up Students With Disabilities.”

Best Website: WVPB-FM, Charleston, WV.

Best Radio News Anchor: Jeff Stapleton, WRVA-AM, Richmond, VA; Teresa Wills, WVPB-FM, Charleston, WV.

Best Mountain State Heritage: Zack Harold, WVPB-FM, Charleston, WV, “Retired Miner Makes Traditional Cream Pull Candy”; Trey Kay and Brad Stratton, WVPB-FM, Charleston, WV, “Us and Them: Blair Mountain.”

Outstanding News Operation of the Virginias: WVPB-FM, Charleston, WV; WVTF-FM, Roanoke, VA.

The VAPB is an independent association comprised of local members of The Associated Press, a not-for-profit news cooperative that represents thousands of newspapers and broadcast stations across the United States.