- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 8, 2003

Fox affiliate WTTG-TV (Channel 5) swept the local television Emmy awards Saturday night, virtually shutting all other Washington-area stations out of the competition.

It was at least the third consecutive year WTTG has dominated the competition.

Fifty categories produced 64 winners. WTTG won 17 awards, NBC affiliate WRC-TV (Channel 4) won three and CBS affiliate WUSA-TV (Channel 9) and ABC affiliate WJLA-TV (Channel 7) won one each.

Public television stations, local cable networks and news reporting services, independent producers and network affiliates from the Baltimore and Richmond, Va., areas won the remaining awards.

WTTG’s Tracey Neale won in the news anchor category. Also nominated: Miss Neale’s co-anchor, Brian Bolter, WJLA’s Andrea McCarren and Jeff Pegues of NBC’s Baltimore affiliate, WBAL-TV (Channel 11).

Tom Sater of WTTG won his fourth consecutive Emmy for weathercasting. WRC’s Bob Ryan and Tim Williams of WJZ-TV (Channel 13), the Baltimore CBS affiliate, were also nominated.

WTTG’s reporting on the October 2002 sniper attacks won for continuing coverage. WJLA’s sniper reporting was also nominated.

WTTG won several Emmys for a series of stories on arsenic contamination in the District’s Spring Valley neighborhood, including the award for investigative reporting.

“[September 11] marked a change in this market, and it has been nothing but news since. … I’m sorry, but we did a great job,” said WTTG News Director Katherine Green during one of her acceptance speeches.

The local chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences organized the 45th annual competition, which is judged by television professionals from other big cities.

This year, the academy gave its career achievement awards to WRC anchor Susan Kidd and Maryland Public Television reporter John Aubuchon.

Winning Emmys gives stations something to promote in their drive to win viewers, said Robert A. Papper, a Ball State University professor who studies local TV news across the nation.

“If you’re a struggling news operation, it helps lend credibility. If you’re already successful, it reinforces that,” Mr. Papper said.

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