ABC21 received top honors in the annual Indiana Associated Press Broadcast Awards, announced Saturday night at a ceremony in Indianapolis.
Among the station's four awards: the honor of being named Outstanding News Operation. Stations in Fort Wayne, South Bend, Terre Haute, Lafayette, Bloomington and Merrillville compete against each other in the annual contest. A separate competition is held for four stations based in Indianapolis.
ABC21 anchor Brien McElhatten was named Best Reporter in the statewide competition. In the past year, McElhatten's reporting included a series of broadcasts from Washington during the inauguration of Pres. Donald Trump and Vice Pres. Mike Pence, coverage of severe flooding in northeast Indiana and the remarkable story of a local World War II veteran reunited with something he lost halfway around the world in combat more than 70 years ago.
Judges noted: "Impressive reporting! McElhatten's writing and storytelling stand above."
ABC21 anchor Alexis Shear received first place honors in the category of Continuing Coverage for her "Digging Deeper" reports on the trial of a Huntington doctor and the fallout from what some considered a lenient sentence. Sports Director Zach Groth finished second in the competition for Best Sports Report.
First place in the Sports Report category was awarded to Rex Smith for a report that aired on ABC21's sister station, Fort Wayne's NBC, in 2017. Smith now anchors weekend morning newscasts for ABC21, a role he assumed early this year.