ILBA Award Winners Include Greek Americans

NBC5's Kim Vatis

The Illinois Broadcaster’s Association (ILBA), who according to its mission, “is the leading advocate for the broadcast industry in Illinois,” recently held their annual conference in Normal, Ill. There, they announced the recipients of the annual Silver Dome Awards, recognizing top talent in the local television and radio markets.  Several Greek Americans were among the honorees.

In the Television-Large Market category, “Best Reporter” was awarded to Kim Vatis of NBC5. This is the second award this year for Vatis. The Illinois Associated Press Broadcasters Association bestowed the “Best Reporter in Chicago and St. Louis” award upon her this past March. The Emmy-nominated anchor/reporter joined the station in 1997.

In the Radio-Large Market category, “Best Public Affairs Program” was awarded to WGN-AM host Dean Richards for his special report on breast cancer. His program “”Dean Richards’ Sunday Morning” airs every week and covers Chicago’s entertainment and lifestyle scene. Richards joined the station in 1994. The reporter, who is the recipient of numerous awards and accolades, also appears on WGN-TV as an entertainment reporter and critic. He began appearing on television broadcasts as a guest reviewer in 1998.

WGN-AM colleague Andrea Darlas was recognized for “Best Local Newscast,” along with Ron Hart, for a February 4, 2009 show. The Chicago native, who joined the station in 1998, is a multi-year recipient of ILBA awards, and has received dozens of other top journalism awards. Darlas is also a green correspondent and features reporter for Lou Manfredini’s nationally syndicated home improvement TV show “House Smarts,” which airs in Chicago on NBC 5.

WGN Radio's Andrea Darlas

“Best Humorous Commercial” was awarded to WILV-FM, for a spot about the legendary Billy Goat Tavern, a Chicago landmark owned by Sam Sianis that was immortalized on Saturday Night Live in the 1970s.

Finally, David Kaplan, a Greek by marriage, was awarded “Best Local Show” for his program, “Blackhawks Confidential,” a sports program on WGN-AM.