Campus News

Lexington’s NPR news station WUKY-FM shows up strong in national and statewide contests

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 20, 2023) — The longtime Lexington radio news leader has received nine Kentucky Broadcasting Association nominations, along with two sought-after honors from the Radio Television Digital News and Public Media Journalists associations this year.

As the Commonwealth worked to bounce back from the pandemic amid another round of punishing extreme weather in Eastern Kentucky, WUKY's news team continued to deliver consistent award-winning coverage of topics ranging from flood relief to highly-charged legislative debates.

WUKY captured KBA nominations in diverse categories, with assistant news director and morning anchor Karyn Czar garnering five nods for her coverage of everyday heroes guiding a region through historic flooding and the latest legislative blow-by-blows in the General Assembly. Reporter Josh James was recognized for his breaking news coverage of a gun scare at a Lexington high school, along with reporting on Kentucky’s fight over abortion access and a citywide vigil for Ukraine. The “Cocaine Bear” phenomenon also won the station’s equine reporter, Samantha Lederman, notice in the Long Light News feature category.

WUKY will even see some of its own go head to head — with both Karyn Czar and Josh James battling it out for Best Radio Reporter.

In other contests, WUKY cemented its status as a national player with Karyn Czar’s "Reporter's Notebook: Everyday Heroes of Eastern Kentucky” that brought home an Edward R. Murrow regional award in 2023 for feature writing. The story also won a second place nod in the national Public Media Journalists Association awards.

Finally, for the first time ever, WUKY’s midday report with news director Alan Lytle, assistant news director Karyn Czar and reporter Josh James was judged the best short newscast (Division C) by the PMJA.

Full KBA award nominations

  • Radio Short Public Affairs: Karyn Czar, WUKY-FM, "Signs of Hope"
  • Short Serious News Feature: Karyn Czar, WUKY-FM, "Woodsongs Delivers Donated Instruments to Storm-affected Kentuckians"; Josh James, WUKY-FM.
  • Political Coverage: Karyn Czar, WUKY-FM, "General Assembly 2022”
  • Breaking News: Josh James, WUKY-FM
  • Long Light News Feature: Samantha Lederman, WUKY-FM, "Kentucky Folk Anti-hero Cocaine Bear's Exploits to get Hollywood Treatment"
  • Long Serious News Feature: Karyn Czar, WUKY-FM, "Reporter's Notebook: Everyday Heroes of Eastern Kentucky"
  • Radio Reporter: Karyn Czar, WUKY-FM; Josh James, WUKY-FM

The winners will be announced at a special KBA awards event Sept. 24 at Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati.

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

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