Local Media Digital Innovation Awards Announced

LMA Press Release | Feb. 25, 2017

More than 80 companies competed for top honors…

Newspapers, TV stations, radio stations and digital news sites all competed in the Local Media Association’s first ever Digital Innovation Contest and the results are now in!

The faculty at the University of Texas at Austin/Engaging News Project judged the 14 categories and were thoroughly impressed with the quality of entries that came from more than 80 different companies. “We at the Engaging News Project were honored to judge this contest and get a first-hand look at the amazing work being done at news organizations across the country,” said Dr. Talia Stroud, director of the Engaging News Project and associate professor of communication studies at the University of Texas at Austin. “It was great to see the variety of ways in which local news outlets are engaging with their audiences, and we were particularly impressed with the overall quality and innovation that many organizations presented.”

The winners will conduct presentations at the LMA Digital Revenue Summit on May 9-10 in Chicago. They will showcase their award-winning work and share details on their strategies and implementation.

“This is a highly competitive contest that recognizes the best of local media when it comes to digital innovation,” said Nancy Lane, president of the Local Media Association. “There is no other contest like it. The bragging rights are huge for the winners.”

In total, twenty-two companies received awards. Deseret Digital Media/Bonneville Broadcast Group, GateHouse Media and Community Impact captured the most awards with four each. The McClatchy Company was next with three awards. Gray Television, Graham Media Group, Advocate Digital Media, Record Journal and Rust Communications had two awards each. Single award winners included Tegna, Sinclair Broadcast Group, Calkins Media, EO Media Group, Capitol Broadcasting Company, 2060 Digital, Shaw Media, Metroland Media, The Conway Daily Sun, The Post and Courier and People Newspapers.

For the first time ever, the best R&D partners were also recognized. Second Street won first place and Simpli.fi took second place honors.

The contest was free for local media companies to enter. This ensured a fair competition with no financial barriers. Ten of the industry’s most progressive R&D partners sponsored the contest including Second Street, Buzzboard, Social News Desk, Guarantee Digital, Simpli.fi, iPublish Media, Leap Media Solutions, UpScribed, CitySpark and Ppi Media.

Local Media Digital Innovation Award Winners:

Best Local Website

Under 250,000 monthly unique visitors:

1st Place – Record Journal – www.myrecordjournal.com

2nd Place – Community Impact – www.communityimpact.com

Over 250,001 monthly unique visitors:

1st Place – Deseret Digital Media – www.deseretnews.com

Best New Digital Initiative

Under 750,000 monthly unique visitors:

1st Place – EO Media Group – local search engine for niche local sellers in the areas of agriculture, livestock and real estate. http://marketplace.capitalpress.com/

2nd Place – SpaceAlabama.com/WAAY TV – Calkins Media – spin-off site dedicated to breaking “space industry” stories with OTT interfaces for Roku, AppleTV and FireTV. www.SpaceAlabama.com

Over 750,000 monthly unique visitors:

1st Place – KGW-TV/Tegna – full live-streaming initiative for their newsroom www.kgw.com

2nd Place – Sacramento Bee/McClatchy – 360-degree video initiative for Sonoma Raceway www.sacbee.com

Best Digital Agency

Under $5 million in annual revenue

1st Place ­­- Advocate Digital Media – www.advocatedigital.com

2nd Place – Digital Elements/Capitol Broadcasting Company – www.cbcelements.com

Over $5 million in annual revenue

1st Place – Propel Marketing/GateHouse Media – www.propelmarketing.com

2nd Place – 2060 Digital – www.2060digital.com

Best R&D Partner

1st Place – Second Street – www.secondstreet.com

2nd Place – Simpli.fi – www.simplifi.com

Best Native Advertising Strategy

All classes combined:

1st Place – Shaw Media – www.shawmedia.com

2nd Place – Deseret Digital Media – www.deseretnews.com

Best Social Media Strategy

Under 250,000 monthly unique visitors

1st Place – Community Impact – www.communityimpact.com

2nd Place – 10/11 News -Gray Television – www.1011now.com

Over 250,000 monthly unique visitors

1st Place – Graham Media Group – www.clickondetroit.com

2nd Place – KFYR-TV/Gray Television – www.yournewsleader.com

Best Native Advertising/Sponsored Content Campaign

Under 750,000 Monthly Unique Visitors

1st Place – Advocate Digital Media – www.victoriaadvocate.com

2nd Place – Southeast Missourian/Rust Communications – http://www.semissourian.com/lifewithout

Over 750,000 monthly unique visitors

1st Place – The News Tribune/McClatchy – www.thenewstribune.com

2nd Place – Metroland Media – www.metroland.com

Best Mobile Strategy

All Classes Combined

1st Place – Deseret Digital Media – www.ksl.com/homes

Best Use of Video

All Classes Combined

1st Place: Star-Telegram/McClatchy – www.star-telegram.com

2nd Place – Semoball/Rust Communications – www.semoball.com

Best Strategy to Grow Digital Audience

All Classes Combined

1st Place – StarNews Media/GateHouse Media www.starnewsonline.com

2nd Place – Community Impact – www.communityimpact.com

Best Contest and/or Promotion

Under 250,000 monthly unique visitors

1st Place – The Conway Daily Sun – www.conwaydailysun.com

250,001 – 750,000 monthly unique visitors

1st Place- Northwest Florida Daily News/GateHouse Media – www.nfwdailynews.com

Over 750,000 monthly unique visitors

1st Place – The Post and Courier – www.postandcourier.com

Best Overall Local News Strategy

Under 250,000 monthly unique visitors

1st Place – Community Impact – www.communityimpact.com

2nd Place – People Newspapers – www.parkcitiespeople.com

Over 250,000 Monthly Unique Visitors

1st Place – WDIV/Graham Media Group – www.clickondetroit.com

2nd Place – Record-Journal – www.myrecordjournal.com

Local Media Digital News Innovator of the Year

Sherry Jones, StarNews Media/GateHouse Media (below left)

Local Media Digital Innovator of the Year

1st Place – Jon Accarino, Bonneville Broadcast Group (below center)

2nd Place – John Peterson, Sinclair Broadcast Group (below right)