Nov. 7, 2011—Chicago ABC 7 News anchor/reporter John Garcia will join John Madormo, general manager of North Central College’s nationally acclaimed WONC-FM 89.1, on Nov. 19 to honor the best of high school radio broadcasters for 2011.
Garcia will address nominees and announce winners for the ninth annual John Drury High School Radio Awards at a ceremony beginning at noon on Saturday, Nov. 19, in the College’s theatre at Meiley-Swallow Hall, 31 S. Ellsworth St. The event is hosted by North Central College and WONC radio.
Finalists in the competition, which recognizes the nation’s most outstanding high school radio talent, include students from Glenbrook North, Glenbrook South, Downers Grove North and Lyons Township high schools in the Chicago area. Other nominees come from across the United States, from Connecticut to California to Ohio and Tennessee.
Since 2002, WONC has sponsored the national competition to recognize achievement in 12 categories, including Best Newscast, Best Sportscast and Best High School Radio Station. First-, second- and third-place winners in each category will receive awards. All nominees will also be offered a $1,000 scholarship to attend North Central College.
Radio professionals selected the winners from a record number of entries from across the country. Awards are presented to radio stations affiliated with a high school and licensed as an AM or FM facility and registered with the Federal Communications Commission, as well as online radio stations.
“These radio awards recognize excellence at high school radio stations from across the country and the Drury Awards competition has indeed become a national event,” said Madormo, a former WGN-AM director and producer who is also assistant professor of broadcast communications at North Central.
WONC established and named the awards in honor of Drury, the legendary Chicago broadcaster who passed away in 2007. “We named the awards for John because we wanted someone who was not just a professional journalist but whose name would invoke the highest standards of character and integrity,” Madormo said.
Drury personally presented the awards to the winning high school students in 12 categories during the competition’s first two years, before ALS forced him to curtail his appearances, Madormo said. Since then, ABC 7 Chicago journalists who have carried on Drury’s tradition to help present the annual awards have included Alan Krashesky, Phil Schwarz, Stacy Baca, Chuck Goudie and Ben Bradley.
Garcia, now a general assignment reporter for ABC 7 News, is a longtime television reporter and joined ABC 7 Chicago in 1994. He previously worked at stations in Dallas, Midland and San Antonio, Texas; Albuquerque, N.M.; and Sioux City, Iowa. He has received recognition for his work by the Associated Press and the Northwest Broadcasters Association. Also an avid runner, Garcia has run in several marathons including a Chicago Marathon and maintains a blog for ABC called “Running News Guy” where he provides advice for other runners.
WONC-FM 89.1, known for years as “the voice of Naperville,” is one of the most honored collegiate radio stations in America. With a 30-mile listening radius and three state-of-the-art studios, WONC broadcasts a mix of news, sports, traffic, music and public affairs programming 24 hours a day. No other college or university radio station in the country has won more Marconi College Radio Awards than WONC, which has captured 20. The station has also been recognized by College Media Advisors and garnered multiple Silver Dome Awards from the Illinois Broadcasters Association. Its alumni are employed at top radio stations around the country.
For more information about the John Drury High School Radio Awards, contact John Madormo, assistant professor of broadcast communication and general manager of WONC, at 630-637-5960.