In what organizers called the largest domination of the awards since 1970, KCAL-TV Channel 9 won 16 Golden Mike Awards for excellence in locally produced broadcast news, including best half-hour and hourlong newscasts among stations with large staffs and for coverage of last spring's rioting in Los Angeles.
"'We're very pleased that the Golden Mike judges have chosen to honor 'Prime 9 News' in so many categories," Bob Henry, KCAL's vice president and director of news, said following the presentation of trophies Saturday at the Beverly Hilton.
Although records are not complete, a spokesman for the Radio & Television News Assn. of Southern California, which administers the awards, said that no television station has scored such a sweep over the awards since then-KNXT (now KCBS-TV) Channel 2 in 1970.
A year after taking only two prizes, the Disney Co.-owned independent also received honors for best sports segment, newscast writing, individual writing, sports feature reporting, documentary ("Victim No More") and live coverage of a news story (the Los Angeles floods).
In the competition, which also included stations from the San Diego and Santa Barbara markets, KNSD-TV Channel 39 in San Diego was second with 10 awards, including best 30-minute newscast for smaller-staffed stations (those with 69 or fewer full-time news employees).
KCBS, whose newscasts have received criticism for sensationalism and stories tied to preceding talk and entertainment programming, was second among Los Angeles stations with three awards--for news reporting, investigative reporting and sports news reporting. KGTV-TV Channel 10 in San Diego and two Santa Barbara stations--KEYT-TV Channel 3 and KSBY-TV Channel 6--also had three awards. KSBY was cited for having the best hourlong newscast among the smaller stations.
Spanish-language station KMEX-TV Channel 34 took two awards, including best coverage among the smaller stations of the civil unrest in Los Angeles. KTTV-TV Channel 11 also had two awards. KABC-TV Channel 7, the ratings leader in Los Angeles, had just one award, as did KCOP-TV Channel 13, the top winner in last year's ceremonies with five. KTLA-TV Channel 5, which tops the ratings among the four Los Angeles stations with 10 p.m. newscasts, was shut out, as was KNBC-TV Channel 4.
In radio, KFWB-AM (980) came out on top with 12 awards, including best newscast over 15 minutes for large stations (six or more full-time news employees), best newscast writing, best news reporting, best investigative reporting and best coverage of the Los Angeles riots.
KCSN-FM (88.5) was second with six awards, including best newscast over 15 minutes for smaller stations. KNX-AM (1070) was third with five awards. KFI-AM (640) won for best newscast under 15 minutes among large-staff stations, while KLAC-AM (570) won in that category for smaller-staff stations.
Judging for the awards for work done during 1992 was performed by what the RTNA described as "a nationwide panel of professional broadcast journalists."