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WBUR’s “Hotter Than Hell” Segment Heats Up AP Awards

NPR station takes home eight top honors in regional contest

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Nannan ZhongWBUR’s Bob Oakes

Click to hear “Hotter Than Hell,” Bob Oakes’ award-winning piece about a Cambridge restaurant tradition.

WBUR, Boston University’s National Public Radio station, collected the lion’s share of top radio honors in the 2007 Massachusetts/Rhode Island Associated Press awards competition, winning 8 of the 12 categories for large-market stations. The awards will be given at a ceremony on April 4.

The station won in the General News Reporting, Investigative Reporting, Documentary, Feature Reporting, Continuing Coverage, Sports Program, Use of Sound, and Public Affairs categories, according to John Davidow, WBUR news director. Last year, the station took home five honors in the competition.

“We are honored by this acknowledgement of our dedicated news and production team,” says Davidow. “These awards are a tribute to the hardworking, intelligent, and creative professionals who are so deeply committed to the delivery of high-quality news to our listeners.”

“Hotter Than Hell,” a segment about Hell Night at Cambridge’s East Coast Grill, won the Feature Reporting and Use of Sound awards. The piece, reported by Bob Oakes, produced by Sarah Bush, and edited by Margaret Evans, explores the restaurant’s triannual spicy-food night, where patrons are challenged to try the hottest foods possible.

Following is a full list of WBUR’s AP regional awards for 2007:

General News Reporting: “Counting on Immigration,” part 3, reported by Bianca Vasquez Toness.

Investigative Reporting: “Brazil Pills,” reported by Allan Coukell, edited by Margaret Evans; Michael Garth, sound engineer.

Documentary: “Meltdown: Inside Out,” reported by Daniel Grossman, edited by Anna Bensted and George Hicks.

Feature Reporting and Use of Sound: “Hotter Than Hell,” reported by Bob Oakes, produced by Sarah Bush and edited by Margaret Evans.

Continuing Coverage: “Bianco Raid,” reported by Bianca Vasquez Toness, along with contributor Nancy Cook, edited by Margaret Evans; Michael Garth, sound engineer.

Sports Program: Only a Game, hosted by Bill Littlefield and produced by Gary Waleik; Karen Given and Gabe O’Connor, associate producers; Jon Perotti, sound engineer.

Public Affairs: “Health Care,” reported by Martha Bebinger and edited by Margaret Evans; call-in portion of show produced by Mark Navin.

Edward A. Brown can be reached at ebrown@bu.edu.

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