This year’s Greater Pittsburgh Community Media Awards were held on Thursday, Oct. 18 at Alloy 26 in NovaPlace on the Northside. The ceremony recognized local leaders in community access TV.

By Ashlee Green

The second annual Greater Pittsburgh Community Media Awards were hosted by Pittsburgh Community Television (PCTV) on Thursday, Oct. 18, from 7 to 9:30 p.m., at Alloy 26 in NovaPlace on the Northside.

The event celebrated community access TV producers from PCTV, Moon Community Access Television (MCA-TV), Bethel Park Public Access Television (BPTV) and City Channel Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh’s government access TV channel. According to Juan Garrett, PCTV21 Board Chair, the night was a “signature event for the region.”

“Public access is all about free speech,” said Garrett, contrasting it to mainstream and local news stations. “These folks are really, truly hard working. No one was recognizing them.”  

Awards and awardees for the evening were as follows: The Arts Award went to Andy Amrhein for “Around Town” on BPTV, the Community Award to Susan Roberti for “Let’s Talk Tailwaggers” on BPTV, the Entertainment Award to Tony Cherby for “8-Bit Basement” on PCTV, the Health and Lifestyle Award to Andy Amrhein and Kim Adley for “Passport to Pittsburgh Adventures” on BPTV, the Public Affairs Award to Mark Brentley, Sr. for “Pittsburgh Propaganda Alert” on PCTV, the Religious and Spiritual Award to Charles Snowden for “Overcoming Through the Word” on PCTV and the Sports Award to Dakota Lamb for “Robert Morris Hockey” on MCA-TV.

Susan Roberti won the BPTV Lifetime Achievement Award for “Let’s Talk Tailwaggers” and Ralph Watson won the SSB Series Excellence Award for “Classic Events Entrepreneur Network” on PCTV.

The ceremony featured musical entertainment by Jessica Lee Jazz & Blues and food by Fabled Table. The event was sponsored by SSB Bank.

PCTV21 Executive Director, John Patterson, said the annual event “really shows people what community media is all about.”

“It’s giving recognition to people who [give] a lot of time and energy to create community-based programming,” he said. “It’s a feel-good event.”

According to Patterson, the response for the awards ceremony has been positive, and he plans to continue it in the future. Garrett agreed:

“We’re looking to grow it to Heinz Hall.”