Scripps stations win two Peabody Awards

Thu, March 28, 2013 by Valerie Miller

The Peabody Awards has recognized two local television stations of The E.W. Scripps Company, KNXV in Phoenix and KMGH in Denver, for strong investigative journalism that led to new public safety efforts.

“The ABC15 Investigators” at KNXV won the industry’s highest honor for “Ford Escape: Exposing a Deadly Defect.” After an SUV accident claimed the life of an Arizona teenager, KNXV’s relentless five-month investigation revealed an acceleration problem that inspired a federal inquiry and the recall of more than 700,000 SUVs by Ford and Mazda.

“We believe our reporting had real impact nationwide and saved lives,” said Anita Helt, vice president and general manager of KNXV. “Taking action to make our community safer and better is our station’s mission. This investigation is reflective of the kind of journalism we strive for every day.”

At KMGH in Denver, the series “Investigating the Fire” revealed widespread problems with the state’s emergency system after a controlled burn by Colorado state foresters turned deadly. The station used the Freedom of Information Act to uncover documents, as well as reviewed 911 recordings and recorded dozens of interviews that exposed errors and faulty systems.

“We served our community well in our coverage of the wildfire, but we didn’t stop when the smoke cleared,” said Byron Grandy, vice president and general manager of KMGH. “Our news team reviewed countless documents and hours of 911 recordings to piece together failures in a system that our community thought it could trust. We are committed to holding our government agencies accountable for keeping our citizens safe and their homes protected.”

"This is a huge honor for our journalists in Phoenix and Denver who each day work to close that gap between what citizens and consumers deserve to know and what governments and companies want to hide," said Rich Boehne, Scripps president and CEO. "We are honored that the Peabody committee recognized the grit and courage of our teams at KNXV and KMGH."

The University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication announced the 39 recipients of the 72nd Annual Peabody Awards on Wednesday. KNXV and KMGH were two of only four winners selected by the Peabody board as the best in electronic media for 2012. 

The Peabody Awards, the oldest awards in broadcasting, are considered among the most prestigious and selective prizes in electronic media. The Peabodys recognize excellence and meritorious work by radio and television stations, networks, webcasters, producing organizations and individuals.

The Peabodys will be formally presented at a luncheon ceremony on May 20 in New York.

In the past two years, Scripps journalists received three Peabodys, the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Award and the Edward R. Murrow Award. The company also earned the Distinguished Service Award from the National Association of Broadcasters.

About Scripps  

Scripps ( is a leading media enterprise driven to develop and expand its digital strategies while embracing its rich history in delivering quality journalism through television stations, newspapers and the Scripps Howard News Service. Creative, talented and energetic employees are leading the way at 19 television stations and in 13 newspaper markets. The Scripps digital group is growing and gaining momentum with new product offerings, enhancements, and technology that gives customers more options than ever before to find the information and entertainment they crave.

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