On April 22, 2011, just short of a year since the debut of the Brown County Hour radio program on WFHB Community Radio, our little auditory diversion from the norm received its very first award: a 3rd Place for Radio Writing in the 2011 Society of Professional Journalists’ Best Of The Best Awards, Indiana Division. Ours was just one of twenty awards picked up by WFHB that evening, a third of all awards given to Indiana radio stations, including a clean 3-way sweep (1st, 2nd and 3rd place) in the Best Radio Newscast category. Some very impressive wins for our mother station. Way to go, guys!

BCH Executive Producer Chad Carrothers, Managing Producer Pam Raider, Technical Producer Jeff Foster, and Segment Correspondent Susan Showalter were on hand at the SPJ Awards Banquet up in Indianapolis at the Northside Marriot to accept the award. A good time was had by all, as they say. The food was pretty good, though the drinks were a bit pricey. But no one seemed to mind that much.

There we were, rubbing shoulders with some pretty hot-shot radio, television and print journalists from all over Indiana. We had one of the biggest tables there, with 10 WFHB volunteers and staff on hand to receive awards. We got pretty loud at times, too, cheering for some other Bloomington news sources in attendance, including the Herald-Times, WFIU and the Indiana Daily Student. All in all, Bloomington was probably only second to Indianapolis for the number of awards brought home that night.

Frankly, we were kind of surprised that our little radio show was able to garner such recognition so soon out of the gate. With only five episodes under our belt, we feel that we’re still learning the ropes of this radio show gig… but have to acknowledge that we’re getting better at it every time we pull a show together. We feel encouraged, so we reckon we’ll keep at it.

BCH Head Writers include Lee Edgren, Pam Raider, Pete Sebet, John Sisson and Susan Showalter. Thumbs up to these very creative folks, and everyone else who puts their shoulder to our wheel.

While a 3rd Place showing for Writing leaves a lot of room for growth (and there are a few other categories we’d like to crack), we’re all very pleased, as you can imagine, to have received such an award within our first year on the air. Coupled with the fact that the Brown County Hour has broken all records for number of downloads on the WFHB website, this tells us we might just have a hit on our hands. So we’d best get to work and make our show even better in the future. We certainly want the good people of Brown County to be proud of how we present (and represent) our unique community.

We just wish our colleague Jeff Quick could have been there with us to celebrate. He was a big part of our success during this first year, a fact that was not lost on any of us. This one’s for you, buddy.

We’ll have some pics uploaded from the awards banquet soon. Stay posted.

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