KCET's 'Socal Connected' Wins Seven Golden Mike Awards - More Than Any Other TV News Outlet In Southern California For The Second Consecutive Year

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The winning streak continues for KCET's weekly news program, SoCal Connected, with seven Golden Mike Award wins - more than any other television news outlet in Southern California for the second consecutive year. Described by the award committee as a "powerhouse," SoCal Connected's Golden Mike wins include: Best News Public Affairs Program, Best News Special, Best Business and Consumer Reporting and Best Original News Commentary.

Formally announced at the award ceremony on January 22, the Radio & Television News Association of Southern California's (RTNDA) Golden Mike Award honors excellence in broadcast journalism. Last year, KCET's SoCal Connected received eight Golden Mikes - more than any other station. In 2011, the hard-hitting program once again surpassed other local stations.

SoCal Connected, winner of the Peabody and duPont-Columbia awards, has also won 11 Emmy® Awards, a total of 15 Golden Mikes, including two for Best News Public Affairs Show, 18 LA Press Club Awards for journalism, the Edward R. Murrow Award for Best News Documentary and Los Angeles Magazine's "Best New Local TV Program" of 2009.

Below is a complete list of SoCal Connected's 2011 Golden Mike Award wins, along with links to segments, descriptions and names of the individual winners in each category: 

Best News Public Affairs Program

"Cannabis Cowboys/Up In Smoke" 

Correspondent John Larson

In Cannabis Cowboys, SoCal Connected Correspondent John Larson joins officers from The Campaign Against Marijuana Planting (C.A.M.P.) as their strike forces descends upon illegal marijuana farms in Riverside County.  In a 36-hour sting operation, C.A.M.P.--the largest law enforcement task force in the United States--seeks to destroy five separate marijuana-growing operations worth nearly $90 million. Executive Producer: Bret Marcus; Senior Producer: Justine Schmidt; Anchor: Val Zavala; Producers: Rick Wilkinson & Karen Foshay; Correspondents: John Larson & Judy Muller; Commentator: Marcos Villatoro; Editors Alberto Arce & Michael Bloecher; Associate Producer: Alexandria Gales; Supervising Producer: Linda Burns; Broadcast Producer Kathryn Keeney; On-Line Editor: Gregory Katz.

Link (Cannabis Cowboys):


In "Up in Smoke," SoCal Connected asks if some clinics are taking advantage of loopholes in the law; Are city officials unwilling or unable to enforce their own ban

Correspondent Judy Muller

 on new medical marijuana clinics? And why are city officials so unwilling to talk about the issue? Reported by Correspondent Judy Muller and produced by Karen Foshay. Bret Marcus is executive producer of SoCal Connected; Val Zavala serves as anchor.

Link (Up In Smoke): http://www.kcet.org/shows/socal_connected/content/in-the-news/up-in-smoke.html

Best News Special

"Protected or Neglected"

A six month SoCal Connected investigation of California's workplace watchdog - Cal-Osha (The California Occupational Safety and Health Administration) - exposes a state agency that critics charge is understaffed, overwhelmed, and jeopardizes the safety of California's 16 million workers. Executive Producer: Bret Marcus; Senior Producer: Justine Schmidt; Producer: Karen Foshay; Correspondent: Vince Gonzales; Associate Producer: Lata Pandya; Editor Alberto Arce; Anchor: Val Zavala; Supervising Producer: Linda Burns; Broadcast Producer: Kathryn Keeney.

Link: http://www.kcet.org/shows/socal_connected/content/politics/protected-or-neglected-workplace-safety-r-1.html

Best Serious Feature Reporting

"Separated By War"

SoCal Connected Correspondent and Los Angeles Times Columnist Steve Lopez profiles a family at Camp Pendleton separated this week by deployment overseas. Married for ten years and a father of three young children, Tim Gallagher, a U.S. Marine, is on his second tour - first in Iraq, now in Afghanistan- and he and his family are dealing with the toll that long periods of separation from one another takes on their daily lives. Executive Producer: Bret Marcus; Senior Producer: Justine Schmidt; Producer: Angela Shelley; Correspondent: Steve Lopez; Editor: Michael Bloecher; Associate Producer: Christal Smith; Videographer: Brett Wood.

Link: http://www.kcet.org/shows/socal_connected/content/culture/military-families-separated-by-war.html

Best Light Feature Reporting

"Putting on Ayers"

SoCal Connected Correspondent and Los Angeles Times Columnist Steve Lopez catches up with his friend, cellist Nathaniel Ayers, subject of Lopez' acclaimed novel The Soloist and a movie by the same name, at a recording session for "Putting On Ayers", his debut CD. Executive Producer: Bret Marcus; Senior Producer: Justine Schmidt; Producer: Rick Wilkinson; Correspondent: Steve Lopez; Editor: Alberto Arce; Videographer: Kenny Gioseffi.

Link: http://www.kcet.org/shows/socal_connected/content/culture/the-soloist-putting-on-ayers.html

Best Individual Writing

"The Doctor Is In"

Award-winning Los Angeles Times columnist and author Steve Lopez investigates what it takes to legally obtain medical marijuana in Southern California, visiting "Mary Jane" physicians who offer consultations and assist Los Angeles area residents in granting permission to buy medical marijuana- despite the concerns the Medical Board of California have over this practice. Writer/Correspondent Steve Lopez; Producer Rick Wilkinson.

Link: http://www.kcet.org/shows/socal_connected/content/culture/the-doctor-is-in.html

Best Business and Consumer Reporting

"The Price of Power"

SoCal Connected Anchor Val Zavala looks into how the DWP stays immune from L.A.'s fiscal problems, examining the controversial salary increases they have received in the midst of the current financial crisis, and why some L.A. residents' utility bills might soon exceed their monthly mortgage. Executive Producer: Bret Marcus; Senior Producer: Justine Schmidt; Producer: Karen Foshay; Correspondent: Val Zavala; Editor: Alberto Arce.

Link: http://www.kcet.org/shows/socal_connected/content/economy/dwp-the-price-of-power.html

Best Original News Commentary, News Analysis, Station Editorial, or Series of Editorials

"My DWP Bill" and "Filling the Gaps," Marcos Villatoro, "States of California" and "Hollywood's Award Season" Brian Unger.

Marcos Villatoro's commentaries include "My DWP Bill," in which he adds up his own electric rates in a discussion of the LADWP, and "Filling the Gaps" in which Villatoro shares the emotional journey he took with his adopted daughter back to the village of her birth in Guatemala. Brian Unger's commentaries include "States of California," in which he offers a humorous solution to California's fiscal and political problems: divide the state into five governable entities, and "Hollywood Award Season" in which Unger explores Hollywood's fascination with lapel ribbons, as well as whether their ubiquity ultimately undermines our ability to be "aware" of them. Marcos Villatoro, "My DWP Bill" (March 18, 2010); Brian Unger "States of California" (April 1, 2010); Marcos Villatoro, "Filling the Gaps" (December 17, 2009); and Brian Unger, "Hollywood's Award Season" (February 11, 2010). Commentators: Marcos Villatoro and Brian Unger; Executive Producer, Bret Marcus; Senior Producer, Justine Schmidt; Broadcast Producer Kathryn Keeney; Kenny Gioseffi, Videographer.

Link (My DWP Bill): http://www.kcet.org/shows/socal_connected/content/opinion/villatoro-my-dwp-bill.html

Link (States of California):


Link (Filling the Gaps/My Adopted Daughter):


Link: (Hollywood Award Season):


SoCal Connected offers viewers a uniquely SoCal blend of hard-hitting journalism and thought-provoking commentary that focuses on issues of importance to Southern California residents. New episodes of SoCal Connected, which airs exclusively on KCET, premiere each week on Thursdays (9:00 - 9:30 p.m.) with encores on Fridays (8:30 - 9:00 p.m.), Saturdays (6:00 - 6:30 p.m.), and Sundays (6:30 - 7:00 p.m.) For more information, to view episodes online or to post comments, please visit www.kcet.org/socalconnected.

SoCal Connected is made possible through the generous support of The Ahmanson Foundation, serving the Los Angeles community since 1952; Jim and Anne Rothenberg; The Maddocks-Brown Foundation; The Elizabeth Hofert-Dailey Trust; The John Randolph Haynes & Dora Haynes Foundation; The City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, UCLA and U.S. Bank.



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