February 2, 2017
Nicholson School of Communication alumni, students and adjuncts were in the spotlight quite a bit at the 2016 Suncoast Regional Emmy Awards on Dec. 3. Five alumni won regional Emmy awards of excellence for their work in television this past year, with one of them bringing home two awards. In addition, two members of WUCF-TV contributed to nominated entries. And several NSC students were on hand to work at the Emmys, serving as trophy bearers as well as “traffic cops.”
Four of the award winners were recognized for their work in news, with much of the recognition for excellence in news coverage of the tragic shooting at the Pulse Nightclub. Ashley Krohne, a 2009 alumna, was a producer on the award-winning team from WFTV Orlando for its daytime newscast, the first full newscast after the shooting.
“My job was to get viewers the facts and pull at their heartstrings while also highlighting how people came together in the wake of these tragedies,” said Krohne. “I think most news producers just take things one day at a time. You just try to put together the best newscast possible.”
Alix Comings, UCF class of 2014, served as a producer for WESH Orlando’s team that was recognized for its “Spot News” coverage of the shooting. NSC Alumni Hall of Fame member Marla Weech, UCF class of 1979, was part of the team at Central Florida News 13 that was honored for its “Special Event Coverage” titled “Orlando United.” Ryan Ernde, who also graduated from UCF in 2009, was part of a team at WFTS in Tampa – St. Petersburg that put together the award-winning program “The Yellow Dress-2015,” a “Community Service” honoree.
“It is an instant reward to see my product on TV and know that I am giving the community the information they want,” Comings said.
The Emmys ceremony was the first for Krohne, Comings and Ernde. The big winner of the night may have been Suzanne Clavette, who won her first two Emmy awards. Another 2009 UCF graduate, she was part of the award-winning campaign for the Tampa Bay Lightning Hockey Team and then followed that up with an individual award for directing a promotional spot for the Orlando Magic.
Clavette said her favorite thing about working in the field is “witnessing a final product on television that I had the opportunity to conceptualize, write, direct on a shoot and then finally edit before going on-air. It’s a rewarding feeling to come up with an idea and work diligently toward making it come to life to share with viewers. I like to have my hand in every part of the production process. Working with professional athletes isn’t so bad either.”
The Nicholson School connections don’t stop there. Occasional adjunct instructor Tom Johnson from WOFL-TV took home a trophy for a human interest story, “Danny Happy.” Tricia Connelly and Tiffany Gentry were part of the group from WUCF-TV nominated for two Emmys; Gentry was a student intern when she contributed to the nominated piece. Although WUCF-TV didn’t bring home a trophy this time, this year’s nominations continue the station’s streak of being nominated for a Regional Emmy every year of its five-year existence.