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Seattle Channel named best municipal TV station in nation

Seattle Channel was named among the best municipal television stations in the nation when it received the prestigious Excellence in Government Programming award last night from the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (NATOA), which held its annual national conference in Seattle this week.

Additionally, the city-operated TV station won nine government programming awards, including five first-place wins for programming.

NATOA is a national association representing the needs and interests of local governments in the areas of communications, broadband and technology. NATOA’s annual government programming awards honor excellence in broadcast, cable, multimedia and electronic programming produced by local government agencies. This year, NATOA received more than 900 entries submitted in 65 categories by local governments across the country.

“I congratulate the Seattle Channel staff on its dedication to the station’s continued excellence. Everyone on our talented team shares in these awards,” said Shannon Gee, Seattle Channel interim general manager. “Through in-depth programming we strive to provide transparency in city government and deepen understanding of local issues, our changing city and its diverse communities.”

This is Seattle Channel’s eighth NATOA win in the past decade for programming excellence. Seattle Channel competed against other government-access TV stations in large U.S. cities. The station was recognized with the top government-programming award in 2007, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2016.

Seattle Channel won first-place awards for CityStream, a feature magazine show; a special on aging in Seattle; and a story about a Boy Scout troop for youth with special needs. The station also took the top spot in the video journalism category and won in the public health category for a CityStream show with a focus on health resources, from fighting the opioid epidemic to extreme sports therapy.

In July, NATOA also recognized the Seattle Information Technology department (of which Seattle Channel is a part) with two national awards for digital equity. Seattle IT’s Strategic Plan for Facilitating Equitable Access to Wireless Broadband was awarded the 2017 Community Broadband Strategic Plan of the Year. The Technology Matching Fund was awarded the 2017 Community Broadband Digital Equity Project of the Year. The Community Broadband Awards recognize and highlight the efforts to bring the benefits of technology to communities across the country.

“Our staff is committed to making Seattle a more digitally equitable community and to building strong, engaged and inspired communities through compelling programming,” said Seattle’s Chief Technology Officer Michael Mattmiller. “It’s an honor to receive this recognition from our national peers in local government.”

Also recognized at the NATOA conference was Tony Perez, director of Seattle’s Office of Cable Communications. Perez, immediate past president and longtime member of NATOA’s Board of Directors, received NATOA’s 2017 Member of the Year award for his contributions to the field, including his leadership, policy development and strategic advice to ensure that communities benefit from the transformational nature of broadband technology.

Ed Escalona, Seattle Channel’s production manager, received a 2017 Ovation Award for his production contributions to NATOA’s annual meeting held in Seattle.

Here is a listing of Seattle Channel’s 2017 NATOA awards:

Overall Excellence in Government Programming

First Place
Seniors: Living Longer, Living Well special
Special Audience: CityStream – Troop 419
Public Health: CityStream – Recovery and Discovery
Magazine Format Series: CityStream
Video Journalism: Seattle Channel production staff

Second Place
Interview/Talk Show: Art Zone with Nancy Guppy interview with Mike McCready

Third Place
Election Coverage: City Inside/Out – Restroom Rights
Public Education: Community Stories – An American Hero: Frank Nishimura
Government Access Station Website

Honorable Mention
Arts and Entertainment: Art Zone with Nancy Guppy – Benaroya Hall
Partnership Production: Community Stories – An American Hero: Frank Nishimura
Use of Social Media: Seattle Channel