16 broadcasters win honors at annual awards fête | TheUnion.com

16 broadcasters win honors at annual awards fête

KVMR broadcasters and volunteers gather for the station's volunteer appreciation party in 2012. This year's festivities took place this week.
Submitted by Doug Austin |

It isn’t exactly the Oscars or the Grammys, but it might be even more fun, anyway.

A “Tuesday Music Magazine” host, a Saturday evening broadcaster and a Sunday morning deejay won top honors for their music programming at the annual KVMR 89.5FM Volunteer Appreciation Extravaganza this week at a packed Miners Foundry.

Johnnie Gallagher, last year’s Substitute of the Year award winner, picked up one of three John Nichols awards for outstanding music programming for his eclectic 4-6 p.m. Tuesday magazine with other honors going to longtime deejay Laura Miller (“Diamonds and Rust,” 6-8 p.m. Saturday) and Gary Wells for his roots-oriented “Crooked Highway,” 7-10 a.m. Sunday.

More than 50 different volunteers were nominated for the award, named in honor of the late Nichols, a former music director who helped shape the sound at the Nevada City station. KVMR’s Program Committee picks the winners based on nominations and other factors.

Nearly 150 different “citizen broadcasters” host shows each month on the noncommercial outlet, according to Program Director Steve Baker.

Al Lauer was presented with the Bill Tuttle Lifetime Achievement Award for his more than 20 years of reggae and other music programming, assistance on station music sales and his recent award-winning “Duke’s Place” show.

“Al has this creative edge that propels a listener’s imagination,” said Baker. “And he’s one of the most authentic, convincing pitchers around during on-air fundraisers.”

The late Tuttle and Eric Rice were the original winners of the lifetime award, which has also been given to Mikail Graham, Dawn Fischer, Len Gorsky, Allison Miller and Chris Towne.

Patricia Smith and Martin Webb won the Jody Fenimore Public Affairs award for their monthly “Cannabis Crusades” show (noon Fridays), while Glenn Farr received the Osborn Woods Community Service program honors a second time for the weekly “Flea Market” (1 p.m. Thursdays).

The Early Bird programming award went to Joyce Miller (“Bedhead Radio,” Thursday 4-7 a.m.), while veteran Mark Leviton won the Night Owl award for his ’60s then-and-now “Pet Sounds,” 10 p.m. Wednesday.

This year’s Substitute of the Year honors went to Eric Flaherty, who garnered further raves for covering air shifts during the recent snowstorm. Rookie of the Year was Jes Taber from the 2013 broadcaster class.

Last year’s rookie winner, Tenali, won the “Out Of The Box” for creative, offbeat programming this year.

Special awards went to:

—Jimmie Grimes, as “1968 KVMR Broadcaster of The Year” for his bi-weekly “Time Machine” feature transporting listeners to an earlier year (8 a.m. Thursday)

—Kim Bryant, a “Hidden Pleasure” award for his long-running, often-comic “Right Place, Right Time” series 4-7 a.m. alternate Saturdays

—Michael Ben Ortiz, an award for “taking a risk” by changing the tone and programming of the annual Indigenous People’s Day programming.

—Jake Michaels, a tongue-in-cheek “Early Retirement” award for Jake’s on-air work over nearly two-thirds of his 24-year-old life.

The station also honored a variety of other volunteers for their work at the Nevada City nonprofit. Next week’s On The Air will cover that part of the festivities.

A weekly wrap-up of news and oddities about community radio station KVMR (89.5 FM, kvmr.org streaming), a noncommercial station offering diverse musical programming, independent news and provocative public affairs from about 150 volunteer “citizen-broadcasters.” A video about the station’s new building is at vimeo.com/63303996 Complete program listings are available at kvmr.org.

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