Fox-owned WFLD-Channel 32 was one of 36 recipients of the 69th annual Peabody Awards announced Wednesday. The station was recognized by the 16-member Peabody Board for its coverage of the fatal beating of Chicago student Derrion Albert.
The brutal tragedy wound up having national repercussions. "The award speaks for itself," said WFLD general manager Michael Renda.
The Peabody Award, the first in WFLD's history, comes as the station has begun making a substantial number of changes to its news operation to try and improve its last-place standing in the Nielsen late local news ratings.
The Peabody Board does not hand out its awards in specific categories, but rather selects its award recipients based solely on the quality of the work submitted for consideration. There are no set number of awards handed out each year.
The Peabody Awards are the oldest honor in the electronic media, including television, radio, networks, cablecasters, Webcasters, producing organizations and individuals. The Peabody Awards are overseen by the University of Georgia's Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. The 16-member Peabody Board is comprised of television critics, broadcast and cable industry executives, academics and experts in culture and the arts.