- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 13, 2004

WTTG-TV (Channel 5) won 16 local Emmy Awards Saturday night, including two for former anchor Tracey Neale, who shared one honor — and an awkward on-stage reunion — with ex-boss Katherine Green.

Ms. Neale won the best news anchor award for the third time since 2002.

She competed this year against Shawn Yancey, one of the WTTG anchors angling for her old job on the station’s 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. newscasts, and Mary Beth Marsden of WMAR-TV (Channel 2), Baltimore’s ABC affiliate.

Ms. Neale — whose December departure from WTTG to join rival WUSA-TV (Channel 9) triggered a bitter legal battle with Fox — shared an investigative reporting award for a profile of the Washington area snipers with Ms. Green and producer Terri N. Tolliver.

Ms. Neale and Ms. Green smiled as they walked onto the stage from opposite ends of the ballroom to accept the award. Each one motioned to the other to speak at the microphone first, which Ms. Green did, saying the station misses its former star.

Other honorees in the reporting categories included WTTG’s Elisabeth Leamy, Lark McCarthy and Lou Holder, WUSA’s Lesli Foster and Ross McLaughlin of ABC affiliate WJLA-TV (Channel 7), which also won a team award for its coverage of Tropical Storm Isabel.

WTTG forecaster Sue Palka won the weathercasting award. The other nominee was colleague Gwen Tolbart, who Mrs. Palka said deserved the trophy more than Mrs. Palka did.

The sports anchor award went to WTTG’s Dave Feldman, the only nominee in the category.

WTTG’s 10 p.m. newscast was named best evening program. It competed against WUSA’s 7 p.m. news show, “USA Tonight.”

WTTG’s 7 a.m. newscast was named best morning show, beating the 6 a.m. newscast on the local NBC station, WRC-TV (Channel 4).

The National Television Academy’s local chapter, encompassing the District, Maryland and Virginia, organized the ceremony at the Omni Shoreham Hotel.

Academy officials were not certain yesterday which station won its Community Service Award, in which WUSA and PBS affiliate WETA-TV (Channel 26) competed. Not including this award, WUSA won three Emmys and WETA won two.

WTTG, with its 16 local Emmys, won the most awards for the seventh consecutive year.

WJLA won three awards and WRC, the area’s most-watched station, received none.

Other operations in the Washington area that received awards included Maryland Public Television and Comcast SportsNet, which won five each, and WB affiliate WBDC-TV (Channel 50), which won two.

Special awards were given to Frances Cole, who has never had a sick day in her 55 years as WJLA’s evening receptionist; Johnie Roth Jr., a veteran cameraman in NBC’s Washington bureau; and Scorchy Tawes, a retired anchor at a station on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

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