Scripps Buffalo station recognized by IRE for “Fall from Grace” series on clergy abuse

Tue, April 09, 2019 by Kari Wethington

CNCINNATI – WKBW, the Buffalo, New York, ABC affiliate owned by The E.W. Scripps Company (NASDAQ: SSP), is being recognized by Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) for its work to uncover child sexual abuse inside the Catholic Church in Western New York.

The IRE Awards are presented annually by the nonprofit IRE organization to recognize the best in investigative reporting from print, broadcast and online media.

WKBW won in the Division 4 broadcast/video category for its 2018 investigative series, “Fall from Grace: How Buffalo’s Bishop Hid Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo.”

The impact of the series has extended beyond the Buffalo community to attract attention from national media and federal authorities.

As a result of its initial reporting, a source within the Buffalo diocese agreed to work with WKBW investigative reporter Charlie Specht and photojournalist Jeff Wick, providing the investigative team with evidence of a church cover-up. The Federal Bureau of Investigation launched a criminal investigation centered on the leadership of the diocese, and more victims have come forward to tell their stories exclusively to Specht.

“The persistent and careful storytelling of Charlie, Jeff and the WKBW I-team brought to light a story with difficult subject matter and tragic consequences for the children involved,” said Brian Lawlor, Scripps’ president of Local Media. “We are proud of the team’s relentless pursuit of the truth and their commitment to holding the powerful accountable.”

Winners were announced today across 18 categories from more than 500 entries. The awards will be presented June 15 at the 2019 IRE Conference in Houston.

About Scripps
The E.W. Scripps Company (NASDAQ: SSP) serves audiences and businesses through a growing portfolio of local and national media brands. With 36 television stations, Scripps is one of the nation’s largest independent TV station owners. Scripps runs a collection of national journalism and content businesses, including Newsy, the next-generation national news network; podcast industry leader Stitcher; the fast-growing national broadcast networks Bounce, Grit, Escape and Laff; and Triton, the global leader in digital audio technology and measurement services. Scripps produces original programming including “Pickler & Ben,” runs an award-winning investigative reporting newsroom in Washington, D.C., and is the longtime steward of the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Founded in 1878, Scripps has held for decades to the motto, “Give light and the people will find their own way.”

Media contact:
Kari Wethington, The E.W. Scripps Company, 513-977-3763, Kari.wethington@scripps.com

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