ABC21 honored with Emmy Awards for Newscast, Investigative Reporting

CLEVELAND (WPTA21) – ABC21 has been honored with the 2019 regional Emmy Award for Evening Newscast and the Emmy for Investigative Reporting (series).

The awards were presented Saturday night at the 50th annual gala sponsored by the Lower Great Lakes Chapter of the National Association of Television Arts and Sciences. The event took place at the Renaissance Hotel and was attended by about 550 people.

ABC21 was nominated in five categories this spring. The winners, according to the organization, are entries that demonstrate “excellence and promote the highest standards in television professionalism.”


Producer Daniel Beals and Director Jamie Till

The award-winning newscast aired in July 2018, during a week in which coverage focused largely on the arrest of a suspect in the 30-year-old murder of a young Fort Wayne girl, April Tinsley. The 11 p.m. newscast was produced by Daniel Beals and directed by Jamie Till.

Brien McElhatten, Alexis Shear, Matt Leach and Zach Groth anchored the broadcast.

In the newscast categories, ABC21 competes in a group including entries from broadcast markets across several states, including stations in Fort Wayne, Toledo, Youngstown, Erie, Lafayette and Lima. Indianapolis and Cleveland entries are judged separately.

For the Investigative Reporting category, all stations compete in one grouping. ABC21’s entry was the only nominee from outside Indianapolis and Cleveland.

Digging Deeper: Dying on the Job” exposed weaknesses in Indiana’s workplace safety system and grew from an investigation into the death of a 23-year-old plant worker in Fort Wayne. The series prompted a change in state law and an increase in the penalties that may be levied on companies under some circumstances.

Alexis Shear reported the story, Jonathan Shelley produced and Beals photographed and edited the content.

The series of reports has also received recognition from the regional Edward R. Murrow Awards competition, the National Headliner Awards, the Indiana Society of Professional Journalists and the Associated Press.

ABC21’s sister station, Fort Wayne’s NBC, was honored with the awards for Overall Excellence and for Weekend Newscast.

Members of the ABC21 and Fort Wayne’s NBC news teams pose together at the 2019 Lower Great Lakes Emmy Awards.



Jonathan Shelley

Jonathan Shelley

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