KCLU news director Lance Orozco was named reporter of the year and the station itself received three other prestigious 2008 Mark Twain Awards for broadcast excellence at an industry ceremony at Universal Studios Hollywood on Saturday.

For the fourth consecutive year, Orozco won the Pat Davis Reporter of the Year award as the best small-market broadcast journalist from the Associated Press Television and Radio Association of California, Nevada, Hawaii, Arizona, New Mexico, Washington & Idaho.

Orozco also won the award for Best Spot News Reporting for “Ranch Fire Threatens Piru,” part of the station’s coverage of last year’s massive blaze in Ventura and Los Angeles counties. He received the Best News Writing award for “Fire in the Hills,” a story about the Santa Rosa Valley brushfire that threatened hundreds of homes before it was contained.

Orozco, John Palminteri and Jim Rondeau won the award for Best Live Coverage of a News Event for “Zaca Firestorm,” coverage of the huge brushfire in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.

KCLU was also a nominee in the Best Light Feature Reporting category for “Santa in Santa Barbara,” a story about a man who operates a free hotline for children to call during the holiday season to talk to Santa Claus.

Click here for a complete list of winners.

KCLU, a National Public Radio station serving 70,000 listeners in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, is a community service of California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks. It broadcasts in Santa Barbara County on 102.3 FM and on 88.3 FM in Ventura County. Click here to listen online.

Karin Grennan is California Lutheran University‘s media relations coordinator.