WMUL-FM students take home national awards from three competitions

Students from WMUL-FM, Marshall University’s public radio station, brought home awards from three national broadcasting competitions: the 2020 Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) Mark of Excellence Contest,  the Hermes Creative Awards 2020-2021 competition, and the 27th Annual Communicator Awards 2021 Audio Competition.

WMUL-FM students won one first-place award and one finalist award in the SPJ Mark of Excellence Contest for Region Four, consisting of West Virginia, Ohio, Michigan, and western Pennsylvania.

“Our radio students have established a tradition at WMUL-FM of being able to successfully compete at the national, regional or state level with other student-operated college radio stations,” said Dr. Chuck G. Bailey, professor of Radio-Television Production and Management in the W. Page Pitt School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Marshall University and faculty manager of WMUL-FM.

The first place award winning entry by WMUL-FM is in the Radio Feature Reporting category. The winning entry was:

“Obinna Anochili-Killen Standout Athlete of the Week,” written and produced by Andrew Rogers, a junior from Clarksburg, broadcast during Basketball Friday Night in West Virginia, Jan. 17, 2020, and made available online.

WMUL also earned a finalist award in the same category for the following entry:

“Grant Wells Feature,” written and produced by Jayden Taylor, a junior from Nitro, broadcast during the pregame program of the Marshall versus Eastern Kentucky football game, Sept. 5, 2020, and also made available online.

In the Hermes Creative Awards 2020-2021 competition, WMUL-FM received three Platinum Awards, five Gold Awards and seven Honorable Mention Awards. The Hermes Creative Awards are administered and evaluated by the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals, and this year’s competition drew more than 6,000 entries from throughout the United States, Canada and dozens of other countries.

The Platinum Award-winning entries by WMUL-FM were in the following categories:

Audio/Radio Program

WMUL-FM’s Platinum Award-winning entry was “49th Annual Memorial Fountain Ceremony November 14, 2019,” a live remote, with hosts of the program Makaylah Wheeler, a senior from Huntington; and Tyler Kennett, a junior from Rock, broadcast Nov. 14, 2019. The remote broadcast was produced on site by Spencer DuPuis, a recent graduate from Leesburg, Virginia, and engineered from the WMUL-FM on-air studio by David Adkins, a senior from Huntington.

Audio/Radio Podcast Single Episode

WMUL-FM’s Platinum Award-winning entry was “Pro Day,” written and produced by Nick Verzolini, a senior from Stewartstown, Pennsylvania, for “Herd Roundup,” and posted online March 13, 2020.

Audio/Radio Sports Play-by-Play Programming

WMUL-FM’s Platinum Award-winning entry was its broadcast of the Marshall versus University of Southern Mississippi men’s college basketball game played Feb. 6, 2020 in Huntington. The students calling the men’s basketball broadcast over FM 88.1 were: Play-by-play Announcer Andrew Rogers; Color commentator Nick Verzolini; Statistician Justin Zimmer, a sophomore from Bethesda, Maryland; Engineers Nick Matawa, a junior from Brick, New Jersey, and James Maddox, a recent graduate from Culloden.

The Gold Award winning entries by WMUL-FM were in the following categories:

Audio/Radio Ad/Promo

WMUL-FM’s Gold Award-winning entry was “Alexis – Newscenter 88 Promo,” an in-house promotional announcement, broadcast in WMUL-FM’s Promotion Announcement rotation Feb. 19, 2020. Itwas written and produced by Zane Bowles, a junior from Sandstone.

Audio/Radio Podcast Single Episode

WMUL-FM’s Gold Award-winning entry was “Obinna Anochili-Killen Standout Athlete of the Week,” written and produced by Andrew Rogers and broadcast during Basketball Friday Night in West Virginia, Jan.17, 2020, and made available online.

Another WMUL-FM Gold Award-winning entry was “Marshall Men’s Soccer Reflects upon Historic Season,” written and produced by Savanah Matney, a recent graduate from South Point, Ohio, broadcast during “Herd Roundup,” Dec. 6, 2019, and made available online.

Audio/Radio Sports Program

WMUL-FM’s Gold Award-winning entry was the March 13, 2020, edition of a collaborative high school sports radio program between WMUL-FM and WFGH-FM in Fort Gay, West Virginia that is broadcast to a statewide audience. “Basketball Friday Night in West Virginia” runs from 9 p.m. to midnight each Friday night during the high school basketball season with its audio signal originating from the studios of WMUL-FM, but includes a high definition video signal coming from the W. Page Pitt School of Journalism and Mass Communication’s Television Studio A. Volunteer hosts Ryan Epling, Ric Morrone, Joe Linville, Bill Cornwell and guests provide fans with continual score updates, interviews and analysis of the evening’s games.

Audio/Radio Sports Play-by-Play Programming

WMUL-FM’s Gold Award-winning entry was WMUL-FM’s broadcast of the Marshall University versus Louisiana Tech men’s basketball contest Feb. 8, 2020, in Huntington. The students calling the men’s basketball broadcast over FM 88.1 were: Play-by-play announcer Nick Verzolini; color commentator Andrew Rogers; courtside reporter Savanah Matney; engineer Wesley Steele, a sophomore from Flatwoods, Kentucky.

The Honorable Mention Award winning entries by WMUL-FM were in the following categories:

Social Media Site: Twitter  

WMUL’s FM 88 Sports Twitter account is recognized for its use during sporting events and continual coverage of Marshall sports throughout  the academic year. It can be followed at @WMUL_Sports. The Twitter account is overseen by all members of the FM 88 sports staff.

Social Media Site: Instagram
WMUL-FM’s station Instagram account is recognized for its use for coverage of campus/community news and updates from the local music scene throughout the academic year. The radio station’s Instagram account is overseen by Makaylah Wheeler. It can be found at http://www.instagram.com/wmul_radio/.

Audio/Radio Podcast Single Episode

“Grant Wells Feature” written and produced by Jayden Taylor, broadcast during the pregame program of the Marshall versus Eastern Kentucky football game, Sept. 5, 2020.

Audio/Radio/Podcast Sports Program

An Honorable Mention was awarded for “Sportsview,” featuring third-year Marshall Swimming and Diving Head Coach Ian Walsh with host Andrew Rogers and producer Justin Zimmer,  broadcast Sept. 30, 2020.

Another Honorable Mention was awarded for “Inside Conference USA” with Hosts Nick Verzolini and Andrew Rogers, and Engineer Justin Zimmer, broadcast Sept. 30, 2020.

Audio/Radio Sports Play-by-Play Programming

An Honorable Mention was awarded for WMUL-FM’s broadcast of the Cleveland Classic featuring Marshall men’s basketball versus Duquesne University Dec. 29, 2019, in Cleveland. The students calling the game broadcast over  FM 88.1 were: Play-by-Play Announcer Nick Verzolini,  Color Commentator Andrew Rogers, and Engineer Blake Jude, a sophomore from Lesage.

Video/Online Video Program

An Honorable Mention was awarded for the March 13, 2020, edition of “Basketball Friday Night in West Virginia.” Volunteer hosts Ryan Epling, Ric Morrone, Joe Linville, Bill Cornwell, and guests provided fans with continual score updates, interviews and analysis of the evening’s games.

In the 27th Annual Communicator Awards 2021 Audio Competition, students and the operations manager received eight Awards of Excellence and seven Awards of Distinction. The 2021 contest had more than 5,000 entries from radio stations, ad agencies, interactive agencies, production firms, in-house creative professionals, graphic designers, design firms, public relations firms, corporate communications departments and government entities.

The Award of Excellence winning entries by WMUL-FM were in the following categories:

Audio Newscast

The Award of Excellence was given for the “5:00 p.m. Edition of Newscenter 88” broadcast Nov. 6, 2019. The students who participated in this newscast were: Landon Mitchell, a senior from Ottawa (Producer); Makaylah Wheeler (Anchor); Ethan Edmond, a freshman from Belington (Anchor); David Adkins (Weather); and Alexandra Warrington, a recent graduate from Bristow, Va. (Sports Anchor).

Audio Podcasts-Individual Episodes: Sports

The Award of Excellence was given for:

“Jon Elmore’s Legendary Career,” written and produced by Tyler Kennett, broadcast during “Herd Roundup” March 22, 2019, and also made available online.

“Marshall Men’s Soccer Reflects upon Historic Season,” written and produced by Savanah Matney, broadcast during “Herd Roundup,” December 6, 2019, and made available online.

“Obinna Anochili-Killen Standout Athlete of the Week,” written and produced by Andrew Rogers, broadcast during Basketball Friday Night in West Virginia, Jan. 17, 2020, and made available online.

“Marshall’s Evolving Offense,” written and produced by Nick Verzolini, broadcast during the “Cutting Edge Sports Radio Network Pregame Program” prior to kickoff of the Marshall versus Cincinnati football game Sept. 28, 2019, and also made available online.

Audio Sports Program

The Award of Excellence was given for:

“Herd Roundup” with host Spencer DuPuis, broadcast Dec. 6, 2019, and also made available online.

The March 13, 2020, edition of “Basketball Friday Night in West Virginia.” Volunteer hosts Ryan Epling, Ric Morrone, Joe Linville, Bill Cornwell and guests provide fans with continual score updates, interviews and analysis of the evening’s games.

Film/Video Sports Program

The March 13, 2020, edition of “Basketball Friday Night in West Virginia.

The Award of Distinction winning entries by WMUL-FM were in the following categories:

Audio Newscast

An Award of Distinction was given for the “5:00 p.m. Edition of Newscenter 88” broadcast March 13, 2019. The students who participated in this newscast were Anh Do, a recent graduate from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (Producer); Nick Matawa (Anchor); Makaylah Wheeler (Anchor); Justin Murphy, a former student from Huntington (Weather); Wesley Steele, a sophomore from Flatwoods, Kentucky (Sports Anchor)

Individual Episodes: News

An Award of Distinction was given for “49th Annual Memorial Fountain Ceremony November 14, 2019,” a live remote, with hosts of the program Makaylah Wheeler and Tyler Kennett, broadcast Nov. 14, 2019.  The remote broadcast was produced on-site by Spencer DuPuis and engineered from the WMUL-FM on-air studio by David Adkins.

Promotion

An Award of Distinction was given for “WMUL Sports Flavor Parlor,” an in-house promotional announcement broadcast in WMUL-FM’s Promotion Announcement rotation Dec. 2, 2019, and is still in rotation was written and produced by Tyler Kennett.

AUDIO SPORTS PROGRAM

An Award of Distinction was given for “Inside Conference USA” with Hosts Nick Verzolini and Andrew Rogers, and Engineer Wesley Steele, broadcast Oct. 2, 2019.

Audio Sports Play-by-Play Programming

An Award of Distinction was given for WMUL-FM’s broadcast of CollegeInsider.com Tournament Championship Marshall men’s basketball versus University of Wisconsin Green Bay played April 4, 2019 in Huntington. The students calling the men’s basketball game broadcast over FM 88.1 were: Play-by-Play Announcer Nick Verzolini; Color Commentator Andrew Rogers; Courtside Reporter Savanah Matney; and Engineer Wesley Steele.

Another Award of Distinction was given for WMUL-FM’s broadcast of the Marshall University versus Louisiana Tech football contest played Nov. 15, 2019, in Huntington. The students calling the football broadcast over FM 88.1 were: Play-by-Play Announcer Nick Verzolini, Color Commentator Wesley Steele; Sideline Reporter Tyler Kennett; and Engineer Justin Zimmer.

A third Award of Distinction was given for WMUL-FM’s broadcast of Marshall football versus Virginia Military Institute (VMI) played Aug. 31, 2019, in Huntington. The students calling the football game broadcast over FM 88.1 were: Play-by-Play Announcer Andrew Rogers; Color Commentator Nick Verzolini; Sideline Reporter Savanah Matney; On-Site Engineer Spencer DuPuis; and Engineers Wesley Steele and Tyler Kennett.