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Santa Barbara Channels Earns Trio of First-Place Awards

An online news panel from the Central Coast MIT Enterprise Forum takes top honors in public-access competition

For the second consecutive year, three programs produced at The Santa Barbara Channels won first-place awards at the annual WAVE Awards competition for public-access stations in California and five other states.

The WAVE (Western Access Video Excellence) award competition acknowledges the best programs produced by professional staff and community volunteers in California, Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii, Nevada and New Mexico. The nonprofit Santa Barbara Channels, which runs Channels 17 and 21, had 11 programs selected as finalists in various categories.

Golf Santa Barbara’s half-hour program on the Unity Golf Classic, produced by Dee Hamby, was a winner in the community producer/sports category.

A Santa Barbara Channels staff production that documented The 36th Annual Fiddlers’ Convention won first prize in the performing arts category.

Also winning first place, in the public forum category, was The Santa Barbara Channels-produced “New News in Santa Barbara.” Sponsored by the Central Coast MIT Enterprise Forum, the event featured moderator Bob Johnson and speakers Bill Macfadyen, founder and publisher of Noozhawk; Randy Campbell, publisher of the Santa Barbara Independent; Tim Gallagher, former editor and publisher of the Ventura County Star; Jeramy Gordon, publisher of the Santa Barbara Daily Sound; and Peter Sklar, founder of Edhat.com. The panel discussed their strategies, business models and challenges in the Internet-based news world.

It was the second consecutive year that a Channels production earned first place in the public forum category. Last year, the station won for covering a community forum on youth violence at La Casa de la Raza.

Hap Freund is executive director of The Santa Barbara Channels.

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