KCLU was the biggest winner among radio stations in Division B, the category for those with five or fewer news staff members, at the Radio & Television News Association of Southern California’s 63rd annual awards ceremony Saturday at the Universal Hilton. Broadcast newsrooms in a region stretching from San Luis Obispo and Bakersfield to the Mexican border competed.
News Director Lance Orozco received the top award for Best Original News Commentary, Analysis, Station Editorial or Series of Editorials among all large and small stations for “My Cancer,” a story chronicling his 2012 battle with kidney cancer that included recordings from his surgery and the appointmentwhere he received the biopsy results. The story also received the small-station award for Best Individual Writing.
Orozco also won three other Golden Mikes in the small-station category. He received the Best News Reporting award for “The Long Goodbye,” a story about a Santa Barbara woman coping with her Alzheimer’s diagnosis. “The Hidden Household Danger,” his story about a University of California, Santa Barbara, student who survived a monthlong coma after carbon monoxide poisoning, received the Best Business and Consumer Reporting award. Orozco was also honored forBest Entertainment Reporting for “The Rat Pack is Back,” which was about a show that ran at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza.
John North, special projects reporter for KCLU who died of congestive heart failure in December at the age of 81, received the Best Documentary award among all stations for “Bullying: Kids in Crisis” and the Best News Special award for small stations for “Medical Marijuana and the Cannabis Controversy.” North’s broadcast career spanned more than five decades including work at KNX and KFWB. He was one of the original anchors at XTRA Radio, which is considered the world’s first all-news radio station, in the 1960s. His daughter, Theresa, accepted his Golden Mikes on behalf of North and KCLU.
Jim Rondeau, the morning anchor and director of operations and programming, received the small-station award for Best News Broadcast Under 15 minutes, beating out finalists KVTA and KABC-AM.
Also during the ceremony, longtime TV anchor Steve Edwards received a Lifetime Achievement Award.
KCLU provides NPR and local news programming in Ventura County at
88.3 FM, Santa Barbara County at 102.3 FM and 1340 AM, and online at http://www.kclu.org. The station is a community service of California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks.