The Anatomy of an Award

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I tripped while receiving an award last year from The New York State Broadcasters Association and severely injured my pride. I’m still recovering from the embarrassment, which explains why I was not in attendance last night to receive my 10th annual NYSBA award for broadcast excellence.

(Kidding. I was fired earlier this year. I guess my invitation got lost in the mail.)

Since many of you who read this blog have listened to New York State morning radio shows I’ve worked with (WCMF in Rochester, WQBK in Albany, 95X and TK99 in Syracuse, to name a few), I thought you might enjoy a peek behind the curtain of these awards.

First of all, they’re voted upon by an outside source, in recent years by members of the Missouri Broadcasters Association. Folks there have no idea who I am, nor do they know CNY Central TV sportscaster Niko Tamurian. So, when one of us is fortunate enough to win an award, we know it didn’t result from fan-based ballot stuffing or inside connections, but was granted with complete impartiality.

It’s truly a merit-based award system. But I’m sending bottles of wine and chocolates to every broadcaster in Missouri for next year, just in case.

Here’s the entry that won the 2015 award for Best Sportscast:


The clips I utilized were a combination of real sports “actualities” from that day’s news, along with recognizable movie or TV clips culled from the flotsam and jetsam in the vast ocean of pop culture. It’s a body of water I’ve been swimming in ever since I can recall. I put special emphasis on grabbing the attention of the listener in the first 15-20 seconds, as I do whenever I go on the air.

Aside from the eight trophies I’ve picked up for Sportscasts, our former morning show at TK99 also won twice for Best Personality/Team. Here’s our winning entry from 2011:


This montage of highlights from that year featured celebrity interviews, some local and national content, original games, parodies, segments and production elements, creative “back-sells” of songs representative of the Classic Rock format of our station, all mixed together in a particular order and featuring a dash of production and attitude.

So, now I’ve earned 10 New York State Broadcasters Association trophies. The ones in my possession are gathering dust in a box in the basement, along with Punt, Pass & Kick trophies from my youth.

I’ve never really cared to display them; the work I put into them and the honor of the awards are most important to me, as opposed to the actual trophies.

When I return to the airwaves in my next job, I’ll give one away to caller #9. Each trophy resembles the Washington Monument and makes a great paperweight. Stay tuned for your chance to win.

Dave Coombs is a longtime morning radio host, who’ll be back on the air soon.

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