The Board of the Florida Associated Press Broadcasters is proud to announce the finalists for this year’s Florida AP Awards Contest. This year we received a record 536 entry submissions from 38 broadcast organizations. Entries feature news, sports, and weather stories from 2016.

Finalists are listed below at random based solely on category and broadcast medium. Awards will be given April 8, 2017 based on category, market size, and broadcast medium.

Join us for this year’s Florida AP Awards Gala on Saturday, April 8, 2017 in Orlando, Florida. You can find registration information and purchase tickets here:


Feature | Hard News
Valerie Boey, Jody Powers and Melissa Medalie | WOFL-TV | "Sugar Babies Tuition Money"
Bridgette Matter and Joel Lotz | WJAX-TV/WFOX-TV | "From Tragedy to Redemption"
Jennifer Holton | WJHG-TV | "A Tuskegee Thank You"
WTXL-TV News Team | WTXL-TV | " A Night on the Streets."
Laurie Davison and Timothy F. Kania | Bay News 9 | "A Father's Fight."
Rachel Polansky, Andrea Hubbell and Tiffany Myers | WBBH-TV | "Babycakes."

Feature | Light News
Wally Lurz and Israel Balderas | WPEC-TV | "Prison Break: Felon Start-Ups"
Corey Beckman | WTVT-TV | "Eternal Reefs"
Garin Flowers | WTSP-TV | "Grieving Mom Receives Free Car From Stranger."
Julie Montanaro and Charles Roop | WCTV-TV | "Bo Paske Story"
Haley Wade | WCJB-TV | "Halloween Soldier Surprise."
Andrew Scheinthal and Justin Cubbage | WINK-TV | "Fort Myers Brewery Hops into Cans."

Feature | Cultural / Historical
Erin Maloney and Kalvin McClure | Bay News 9 | "Family Bible"
Lauren Pastrana | WFOR-TV | "The Death of Fidel Castro: Family Facebook Reflections."
Shantel Middleton, Jamil Donith and Wally Lurz | WPEC-TV | "Illegal Ivory"
Jodi Mohrmann and Joe Drumm | WJXT-TV | "Saving the Fort."

General Assignment
Mariel Carbone | WCTV-TV | "Pons Campaign Attack Ad"
Samantha Read | WJHG-TV | "Water Rescues."
Sachelle Saunders and Justin Potter | WKMG-TV | "Return to Pulse";
Dave Elias and Scott Reilly | WBBH-TV | "Refusing to Talk"
Saundra Weathers and Eddie Jackson | Bay News 9 | "Honey Bee Burglars."
Jesse Pagan and Scott Reilly | WBBH-TV | "Simply Rotten."

General Assignment | Long Format
Nadeen Yanes, Jeff Segers and Tara Evans | WKMG-TV | "Inside Pulse: Before Hate Hit."
Leanna Scachetti | WJHG-TV | "Funeral Home Employee Interview."
Lindsey Sablan and Justin Cubbage | WINK-TV | "Training for an Active Shooter."

Breaking News | Station
News Team | WFLA-TV | "Killer Tornados"; WFTV-TV, "Terror Attack."
Adam Henning and Staff | WPEC-TV |"Hurricane Matthew"
WJXT-TV News Team | WJXT-TV | "Hurricane Matthew."

Breaking News | Individual
Jenese Harris | WJXT-TV | "Manatee Rescue"
Stewart Moore | WESH-TV | "Pulse Shooting."
Leanna Scachetti | WJHG-TV | Alton Mills Shooting Investigation."
Matt Kinzig | WJXT-TV | “Hurricane Hermine."
Carla Bayron | WCJB-TV

Breaking News | Long Format
Stewart Moore, WESH-TV | "Pulse - Extended live report"
Lynnsey Gardner | WJXT-TV | "Hurricane Matthew."
Erik Sandoval | WKMG-TV | "Pulse Nightclub Shooting."
Michael Buczyner and Wally Lurz | WPEC-TV | "Hurricane Matthew: Stuart Coverage"

Continuing Coverage
Stephen Andrews and Gordon Dempsey | WFLA-TV | "Crater Contamination"
Asher Wildman | WCTV-TV | "BJ Johnson Story."
Allison McGinley and Staff | WKMG-TV | "The Attack At Pulse."
Samantha Read | WJHG-TV | "James the Cake Man"
Jenna Bourne | WJAX-TV/WFOX-TV | " Where'd the Money Go?"
WJAX-TV/WFOX-TV | "Hurricane Matthew."

Election Coverage
WCTV-TV | "Election Night 2016" | WJHG-TV | "November Election Night Coverage."
News 13 | "Florida Decides: Election 2016."
News Team | WFLA-TV | "Your Vote Counts 2016."
WJXT-TV | "Election 2016"

Mike Deeson, Amy Marinec and Paul Thorson | WTSP-TV | "Hospice Dying to Get Patients."
Stephen Andrews and Gordon Dempsey | WFLA-TV | "A Trust Violated"
WTXL-TV | "Hospital Security Cameras."
Terri Parker, Joel Waldmann and Kevin Sinicki | WPBF-TV | "Playing Doctor."
Tarik Minor, Travis Anthony and Jodi Mohrmann | WJXT-TV | "Criminals' Gold Mine"
Mariel Carbone | WCTV-TV | "City Water vs. Bottled"

Investigative Series
Michelle Kingston, Justin Cubbage and Andrew Miller | WINK-TV | "Faces of Addiction"
Lynnsey Gardner, Jodi Mohrmann and Eric Wallace | WJXT-TV | "Saving Baby Liberty."
Telemundo 51/WSCV-TV | "Mercado Negro De Armas."
Jenna Bourne, Rob Born and Joel Lotz | WJAX-TV/WFOX-TV | "Mysterious Deaths in Police Custody";
Kelly Baumgarten and Special Projects Staff | WJHG-TV | "Dr. Kitts Retires From Bay Haven Charter, Inc.."

Series / Franchise Reporting
Abby Walton | WCTV-TV | "Beyond the Fences."
Michael Egger and Mark Douglas | WFLA-TV | "You Paid For It!"
News 13 | "On The Town."
Lindsey Sablan and Katie Cribbs | WINK-TV | "A Costly Choice: Hiring Unlicensed Contractors."
WTXL-TV | "From Star Wars to Your Doors"
Jodi Mohrmann, Kent Justice and Joe Drumm | WJXT-TV | "Veteran Owned Businesses"

Public Affairs / Documentary / TV Magazine
Jason Balthazar and Autumn Jones | WFTV-TV | "Pulse: Stories of Orlando Strong"
Angel Blazquez, Paul Giorgio and Staff | WKMG-TV
Mike Dorfman, Paige Kelton and Joel Lotz | WJAX-TV/WFOX-TV | "El Faro: Lost at Sea"
WTXL-TV | "Hurricane Special: What If?"
Staci Spanos, David Waters and Jason Payne | WJXT-TV | "The Insider's Story of How Jacksonville Won the Jaguars."

Weather Reporting
Rob Nucatola | WCTV-TV | "Hurricane Matthew."
News 13 | "The Weather Experts: Hurricane Matthew."
Cristina Mendez and Derek Kemp | WBBH-TV | "Hurricane Matthew"
News Team | WFLA-TV | "Killer Tornado Outbreak"
Lenny Smith, Chris Cifatte and Staff | WINK-TV | "Cape Coral Tornado."

Sports Feature
Christian Bruey | WFTV-TV | "From the Battlefield to the Football Field"
Ricki Vann, Ryan Beard and Dan Shugart | WEAR-TV | "Gloves Off: From Champ to Coach."
Samantha Read | WJHG-TV | "Sharks Super Fan"
Asher Wildman | WCTV-TV | "BJ Johnson Story."
Joy Purdy and Jodi Mohrmann | WJXT-TV | "Blackmon's Other Side"

Website / Digital
Adriana Mocciola, Guillermo Gonzalez, Javier Uriza, Patricio Muñoz, Raul Dopico and Ana Rosa Thillet | Telemundo 51/WSCV-TV | "En Tierras De Pablo Escobar"
Digital Team | WFLA-TV

Digital Programming
Matt Lincoln, Jason Probel and Wallace Zaccagnino | WPEC-TV.

Adrian Mauceri | WJAN-TV
Wally Lurz | WPEC-TV
Timothy F. Kania | Bay News 9
Scott Reilly | WBBH-TV

Timothy F. Kania | Bay News 9.
Justin Cubbage | WINK-TV
Scott Reilly | WBBH-TV.

Bryan Karrick | News 13
Mike McCall | WCTV-TV
Amy Sweezey | WESH-TV
John Gaughan | WJXT-TV
Cody Murphy | WZVN-TV
Chris Smith | WJHG-TV

Jamie Hale | WJHG-TV
Asher Wildman | WCTV-TV
Joe Girvan | WBBH-TV

Multi-Media Reporter (MMJ)
Ryan Raiche | WFTS-TV
James Sparvero | WKMG-TV
Erin Lisch | WCTV-TV
Chris Parenteau | WJXT-TV
Brooke Shafer | WCJB-TV
Heather Leigh | WJXT-TV

Jade Bulecza | WTXL-TV
Greg Fox | WESH-TV
Lynnsey Gardner | WJXT-TV
Yuniesky Ramirez | Telemundo 51/WSCV-TV
Jenna Bourne | WJAX-TV/WFOX-TV

News Anchor or Anchor Team
Sheli Muñiz and Eric Harryman | WTVJ-TV
Amanda Hall | WINK-TV
Marla Weech | News 13
Malcolm Hornsby | WTXL-TV
Abby Walton | WCTV-TV

Television Newscast | Evening / Night
To be announced at awards ceremony

Television Newscast | Morning / Midday
To be announced at awards ceremony

Overall | Station of the Year
To be announced at awards ceremony


Feature | Hard News
Brendan Byrne | WMFE-FM | "Dispatchers Answer The Call During The Pulse Shooting"
Robin Sussingham | WUSF-FM | "Cupcakes and Prizes for Filling Out FAFSA."
Sascha Cordner | WFSU-FM | "Worst Mass Shooting In Modern U.S. History Impacting Florida Legislative Agendas."

Feature | Light News
Sammy Mack and Wilson Sayre | WLRN Public Media | "We Spent The Night On A Nuclear Submarine." Mark Schreiner | WUSF-FM | "USF Health Students Strike A Match On Match Day."
Jessica Meszaros | WGCU-FM | “Floridians Turn Nuisance Pigs Into Profitable Pork"
Jessica Meszaros | WGCU-FM | "Talking About Death Over Dinner In Southwest Florida."

Feature | Cultural / Historical
Nadege Green | WLRN Public Media | "Robert Battle and His Mom"
Bobbie O'Brien | WUSF-FM | "Silent Heroes Of WWII Brought To Life."
Topher Forhecz | WGCU-FM | "Gladesmen, Everglades National Park At Odds Over Airboats."

Public Affairs
News Team | WOKV-FM | "Community Policing Roundtable."
Tom Hudson, Bridget O'Brien and Alicia Zuckerman | WLRN Public Media | "The Zika Virus In South Florida"
Julie Glenn, Matthew Smith and Richard Chin Quee | WGCU-FM | "Cubans Contemplate Past, and Future, After Castro's Death"
Jessica Meszaros, Richard Chin Quee and Amy Tardif | WGCU-FM | "Transgender Floridians."

Use of Sound for Radio
Sammy Mack and Wilson Sayre | WLRN Public Media | "We Spent The Night On A Nuclear Submarine." Mark Schreiner | WUSF-FM | "USFSP, Elementary School Students Pair Up On The High Seas."
Nick Evans and Kate Payne | WFSU-FM | "Branch Street: The Line Between Two Districts."

General Assignment
Jim Ash | WFSU-FM | "Trump Blasts Obamacare At Tallahassee Rally"
Amaury Sablon and Caitie Switalski | WUFT-FM | "Haiti Devastated."

General Assignment | Long Format
Gina Jordan | WLRN Public Media | "The Tug Of War Over Florida's Affordable Housing Fund"
Bobbie O'Brien | WUSF-FM | "Island Estates Neighbors Sue To Stop Aquarium Expansion."

Breaking News | Station
News Staff | WLRN Public Media | "Fidel Dies"
News Team | WOKV-FM | "Community First Credit Union Robbery."
WUFT-FM | "16 Year Old Robert Dentmond Shot and Killed."

Breaking News | Long Format
News Team | WOKV-FM | "The Body of Lonzie Barton is found."
Alexa Lorenzo and Chase Drayer | WUFT-FM | "Superintendent Resigns"
WGCU-FM | "Club Blu Teen Shooting Leaves 2 Dead, 18 Wounded."

Continuing Coverage
Ryan Benk | WJCT-FM | "5 JEA Employees File Federal Discrimination Charges"
Sammy Mack and Kate Stein | WLRN Public Media.

Briana Erickson | WUFT-FM | "A Life of Heroin."

Investigative Series
Rowan Moore Gerety and Christina Viega | WLRN-Miami Herald News | "Ending Out of School Suspensions."

Series / Franchise Reporting
Sammy Mack and Tom Hudson | WLRN Public Media
WUSF-FM Staff | WUSF-FM | "Florida Matters: Public Art Around Tampa Bay."
WUFT-FM | "Food Desert Problem in North Florida."

Election Coverage
WMFE-FM and WUSF Newsroom Staff | WMFE-FM | "Florida's I-4 Corridor"
News Team | WOKV-FM | "Election Night 2016."
Topher Forhecz | WGCU-FM | "Election Year In Southwest Florida"
Kate Payne | WFSU-FM | "Blue And Red Voters."

Weather Reporting
News Team | WOKV-FM | "Hurricane Matthew Arrives."
Ryan Roberts | WUFT-FM | "Hermine Hits Cedar Key."

Sports Feature
Abe Aboraya | WMFE-FM | "Never Give Up: A Paralyzed Surfer Rides The Waves"
Robin Sussingham | WUSF-FM | "Headgear for High School Girls Lacrosse: Worth It?."
Sascha Cordner | WFSU-FM | "Will Summer Olympics Impact Fla. Zika Cases?."

Breaking Sports News
Luis Hernandez | WLRN Public Media | "Muhammad Ali In Our Backyard."

Website / Digital
Teresa Frontado, Katie Lepri, and News Staff | WLRN Public Media
News Team | WOKV-FM | WUFT-FM.

Digital Programming
Teresa Frontado, Katie Lepri, and News Staff | WLRN Public Media | "Zika in South Florida."
News Team | WOKV-FM | "Hillary Clinton Emails & the FBI Podcast."

Samantha Jordan | WDBO-FM
Darrell Moody | WDBO-FM.

News Anchor or Anchor Team
Christine DiMattei | WLRN Public Media.

Radio Newscast
To be announced at awards ceremony

Overall | Station of the Year
To be announced at awards ceremony