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By Mallory Schnell
Blaze Radio, ASU’s student-run radio station, took home numerous top awards at the Intercollegiate Broadcasting System (IBS) Media Awards on March 6, including “Best Streaming Station with More Than 10,000 Students.”
Blaze Radio Station Manager Jordan Spurgeon won a Golden Mic award for “Best Sports Talk Program” and Gareth Kwok also won for “Best Baseball/Softball Play-by-Play.”
“I was shocked to hear that I won,” Spurgeon said. “I was a nominee last year for my community college and I was just glad to be nominated again. I’ve learned a lot from working in radio in the past and have been able to apply those skills to my show every week. I’m thankful to Cronkite and of course Blaze Radio for the opportunity to do what I love everyday. The award is just icing on the cake for me.”
IBS announced the award winners at its 81st annual conference, which was held virtually this year.
In addition to the winners, Blaze also had student nominees:
Gabby Ducharme was nominated for “Best Sports Interview” for her interview with Bob Bowman on her show “Beyond the Rings.”
Ranjani Venkatakrishnan received a “Best Foreign Language Program” nomination for her show “Desi Tunes.”
Caroline Smyrk was nominated for “Best News Feature Story” for her work on the 2020 President Trump Rally in Phoenix.
In addition to winning “Best Baseball/Softball Play-by-Play,” Gareth Kwok was also nominated for “Best Men’s Basketball Play-by-Play.”
Jim Jacoby, director of studio production and the television and graphics lab at the Cronkite School, joined Blaze as its faculty adviser at the beginning of the Spring 2021 semester.
This award is a testament to the students’ hard work and perseverance during a difficult year, Jacoby said.
“These awards mean so much to the station,” he said. “It’s an acknowledgement of the determination and hard work put in by all the students involved to make Blaze Radio the best it can be, especially during a challenging year.”
Due to challenges in the beginning of the Fall semester, Blaze Radio’s programming was not able to start until the end of September.
“It’s truly amazing to see our members be recognized for all the hard work they put in,” said Spurgeon. “It’s been a tough year for all of us and to see it capped off by being named best station is really awesome. I feel fortunate to be around the best every day.”
Below is a list of the awards.
Best Streaming Station with More than 10,000 students - Blaze Radio
Best Baseball/Softball Play-by-Play - Gareth Kwok
Best Sports Talk Program - The Spurge - Jordan Spurgeon
Best Sports Interview - Beyond the Rings ft. Bob Bowman - Gabby Ducharme
Best News Feature Story - President Trump Phoenix Arizona Rally 2020 - Caroline Smyrk
Best Foreign Language Program - Desi Tunes - Ranjani Venkatakrishnan
Best Men’s Basketball Play-by-Play - Gareth Kwok