Southeastern Channel named Best TV Station by Associated Press
Monday, June 22, 2020
by: Tonya Lowentritt
ASSOCIATED PRESS BEST COLLEGE NEWSCAST - The Southeastern Channel’s student newscast “Northshore News” was honored recently as “Best Newscast” and “Best of Show in Television” at the 2019 Louisiana-Mississippi Associated Press College Broadcasters Awards. Pictured, from left, are “Northshore News” co-anchors Chris and Dana DiPiazza, both of Mandeville. The Southeastern Channel won more first place awards in television than any other university in the two-state region.
HAMMOND – The Southeastern Channel at Southeastern Louisiana University has been
honored as the best college television station in Louisiana and Mississippi by the
Associated Press Broadcasters and Media Editors.
The channel won first place for “General Excellence in Television” out of all college television stations in the two-state region along with five other first place awards and seven awards total at the 2019 Louisiana-Mississippi Associated Press College Broadcasters Awards.
The Southeastern Channel’s six first place awards were the most of any university in the television division. Other colleges competing included Louisiana State University, Mississippi State University, the University of Mississippi, Loyola University, and the University of Southern Mississippi. There were over 1,200 entries across all categories.
Of its first-place “General Excellence in Television” award, Associated Press judges said of the Southeastern Channel and its programs, “Consistent quality throughout their presentations- with video, audio and on-air talent. The channel has much more the feel of a small market TV station than it does a college TV station. Very well done.”
“We’re thrilled with this great recognition from the Associated Press, the preeminent organization in journalism,” said Southeastern Channel General Manager Rick Settoon. “To be recognized as the top college television station and broadcast journalism program out of all universities in Louisiana and Mississippi is a great credit to our Southeastern Channel staff and students and their daily commitment to television standards of the highest quality.”
Along with the first-place station award, the Southeastern Channel’s student newscast “Northshore News” brought home the competition’s top television honor, “Best of Show in Television,” along with winning first place for “Best Newscast.”
Regarding “Northshore News,” the AP judges stated, “In a great field of competition, easily the best, consistently well-produced content. Stood out above the rest.”
The newscast was produced by Kyle Orleans of Slidell and anchored by Chris Rosato and Dana DiPiazza, both of Mandeville. For winning “Best of Show in Television,” all three students will receive a $100 check.
“It feels so great when you look at the talent that our team has and the hard work we all put in,” Rosato said. “To win the award is an honor enough, but when you look at how many we were competing against, it really makes it much more special.”
DiPiazza graduated from Southeastern in December and is now a television news reporter for WBRZ-TV Ch. 2 (ABC) in Baton Rouge.
“It feels so rewarding to win “Best of Show,” especially now that I’ve graduated and am working in the business,” DiPiazza said. “I see the result of our lessons and attention to detail paying off every day. Northshore News is made up of hard workers with a passion for the field and respect for one another as a team, and I’m so proud to have been a part of that.”
“I think the overall theme is professionalism and poise from a viewer’s point of view,” DiPiazza continued. “Since working in news professionally, I have had several people comment on our Northshore News show, surprised that it was a college production.”
Orleans, who graduated in May, has already been hired as a television news producer by WXXV-TV Ch. 25 (FOX/NBC) in Gulfport, Miss.
“It’s meaningful to me because if I can produce an award-winning newscast for school, then I know I’m capable of being able to produce likewise content for a professional station,” Orleans said. “I think the judges saw a well-coordinated and communicated effort in production that led to a cleanly aired, timely newscast.”
Also winning first place for the Southeastern Channel was its live weekly sportscast, “The Big Game,” which won for “Best Sportscast or Sports Program.” The show was produced and directed by Dylan Domangue of Houma and anchored by John Sartori of Mandeville and Gabby Cox of Hammond. Richie Solares of New Orleans was a guest anchor.
AP judges said of “The Big Game,” “Very watchable. Good energy with a variety of storytelling. A show that will likely attract the non-sports fan, too.”
In addition, Sartori won first place for “Best Sports Story” for his “Big Game” segment, “Last Southeastern Football Ranking.” One judge wrote about Sartori’s reporting, “Great energy and delivery. Nice inflection and use of natural sound. Got my attention from the start.”
Domangue won second place for “Best Sports Story” for his “Big Game” feature story on Lady Lion basketball player Jaclyn Scholvin. Judges said, “Good broad appeal. Always a challenge to attract the non-sports fan to a sports character. This entry did that.”
John Williams of Denham Springs was honored with first place in the “Best Videography” category. The judges praised Williams’s videography composite saying, “We were incredibly impressed with John’s work. I’d put it next to many who’ve been in the industry for decades! Great job!”
The annual Associated Press competition recognized the best in journalism in 2019 from Louisiana and Mississippi. The AP represents 1,400 newspapers and 5,000 broadcast stations in the United States.
“The broadcasting program at Southeastern sets the school apart from the rest as the instructors pave the way to success for the students involved,” DiPiazza said. “I had no idea this career would be possible for me, but the instructors believed in me and gave me a chance to pursue my dream. I believe the Southeastern Channel puts the university on the map for many aspiring to work in broadcasting.”
In its 17 years of existence, the Southeastern Channel has won over 400 national, international and regional awards, including 17 awards from the Emmys. The channel can be seen on Spectrum Channel 199 in Tangipahoa, St. Tammany, Livingston and St. Helena parishes. It is also streamed on Roku, Apple TV and thesoutheasternchannel.com, which offers video on demand, and can be found on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.