2019 Awards Luncheon a Success

Concord, NC — More than 160 broadcast and digital news professionals gathered on Saturday, October 26th at Charlotte Motor Speedway for the 2019 convention of the Radio Television Digital News Association of the Carolinas.

Keynote speaker was Zackary Kiesch, a correspondent for ABC News, who told a personal story about his challenging journey into the broadcast news business. As for many broadcast veterans, his path to success was punctuated by challenges and setbacks. But focus and determination led to the opportunity to prove himself, eventually earning a place on network TV.

The convention featured a panel discussion on how to get the most out of your efforts on social media. The panelists were Molly Grantham, long time anchor and reporter for WBTV News in Charlotte and Trooper Bob Beres, traffic reporter for WCIV in Charleston and a 24 year veteran of the South Carolina Highway Patrol. Molly has more than 100 thousand followers on Facebook and talked about her years-long path to success. Trooper Bob not only uses social media effectively now as a television news professional, but also had viral success in law enforcement, distributing safety information. 

This convention was a bitter-sweet, as the association marked the loss of two important board members. Haney Howell, was a professor at Winthrop University and an emeritus member of the board. Before education, he had a notable career in television and radio news at the network level. Ken White,  a television news director in many markets, including Charlotte NC, served the RTDNAC for many years and was particularly focused on student members and their advancement. The families of both men were presented with awards of appreciation. Ken’s wife, Jenny, and son, Mack, were on hand to accept the tribute and to present the “Student of the Year Award,” now named in White’s honor.

The highlight of the annual convention was the presentation of professional and student awards at the luncheon. Award winners can be found here.

More about our Keynote Speaker

This year’s keynote speaker was Zachary Kiesch, a correspondent for ABC News based in New York. Prior to joining, he worked as a reporter for WNYW in New York.

A seasoned journalist, he has covered some of the biggest stories in New York from terror attacks in Chelsea and lower Manhattan to Pope Francis’ first visit to America and the 2016 Presidential election.

Throughout his career Kiesch has been drawn to the intersection of class and race, reporting on criminal justice reform, education and housing issues. He’s covered many civil rights protests and, notably, the aftermath of Freddie Gray’s death in Baltimore. His report on the relationship between communities of color and the police was nominated for an Emmy in 2016.

Kiesch, a graduate of Ohio University, is originally from Delano, Minnesota and he began his career in television as reporter and sports anchor in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands.


The RTDNAC/AP awards luncheon recognizes the best of television, radio and website work from July 1, 2018, through June 30, 2019. Learn more about the awards contest.

2019 Finalists

See the complete list here

2019 RTDNAC & AP Convention and Awards Luncheon

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