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City’s ‘Burbank Channel’ earns praise and awards from radio and television news community

The Burbank Channel

The Burbank Channel, led by city spokesman Drew Sugars, far right, won two Golden Mikes during the Radio & Television news Assn. of Southern California’s annual awards ceremony.

(Courtesy of the city of Burbank)

Burbank’s public information office prides itself on finding creative ways to generate information about the city’s services and residents.

Whether it is a State of the City address or a four-minute video on food-waste prevention, city spokesman Drew Sugars and his team are constantly creating videos to air on Burbank’s government TV channel called the Burbank Channel.

On Saturday, the city channel was awarded two Golden Mike Awards during the 67th annual ceremony sponsored by the Radio & Television News Assn. of Southern California.

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Sugars and his staff earned an award for “Best News Public Affairs Program” for their show “Burbank on Demand.” The quarterly show features stories about various city services as well as businesses and residents.

The winning entry was from the show’s summer episode, which talked about the effects of the Porter Ranch natural gas leak, programs provided by the Parks and Recreation Department and how to prevent food waste.

Sugars said the Burbank Channel won the same award in 2015 and that he and his staff were honored to be recognized again this year.

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“It’s a testament to our staff that they do a good job,” Sugars said. “We all work on this together. This is not just an individual award. This is a team award.”

Walter Lutz, senior video production associate for the Burbank Channel, also took home a Golden Mike Award for “Best Light Feature Reporting” for the piece on food-waste prevention that appeared in its “Burbank on Demand” summer episode.

Sugars said that Lutz was able to humorously tell residents about how much food is wasted each day.

“He took a serious but important topic that touches virtually every one of us in our community and made it relevant and entertaining,” Sugars said. “For a lot of people, they don’t realize how much food they waste.”

Despite continually winning awards for their informational pieces, Sugars said that the Burbank Channel may start moving away from traditional government news stories and move toward something more along the lines of social media to convey messages.

“We’re facing a time where storytelling techniques are changing, so these longer-form pieces that you see that we’re winning awards for, we’re not going to be doing as much of them,” he said.

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Anthony Clark Carpio, anthonyclark.carpio@latimes.com

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Twitter: @acocarpio


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