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National Entertainment Journalism Award Winners Announced

The LA Press Club held the ceremony to announce the winners of its National Entertainment Journalism awards last night. NBC-LA’s Tara Wallis-Finestone and Dylan Howard of RadarOnline were named  “co-entertainment journalists of the year.”

The Hollywood Reporter and the LA Times largely dominated the print categories. THR was named “Entertainment Publication” of the year, while The Times picked up first place awards in the news, feature and columnist categories.

LA Weekly‘s Steven Leigh Morris picked up the honor for print critic of the year.

Congrats to all!

Full list of winners after the jump.


Tie: Tara Wallis-Finestone, NBC-LA

Dylan Howard,

Judge’s comments: As a Senior Producer for NBC4, Tara Wallis-Finestone organizes and writes unique and compelling stories for NBC4 in a fast-moving and highly visual manner. She is a gifted story-teller who writes for the eye. She also writes enterprising stories for NBCLA’s website.

Judge’s comments: In the world of celebrity and entertainment news, even mainstream media couldn’t ignore exclusive stories broken under Dylan Howard’s tenure as senior executive editor of RadarOnline.

From the hate-filled rants of Mel Gibson, exclusive interviews with Charlie Sheen during his “meltdown,” to the naming of the mother of Schwarzenegger’s “love child,” Howard has become the go-to guy for authoritative show biz news and analysis on cable and over-the air television.

2nd: Ronald Grover, Bloomberg News


Scott Gold, Los Angeles Times, “For Vegas, Luck be a Lady”

Judge’s comments: “Amazingly informative—not only of Dion the performer—but of Dion as an economic force of nature. And in terms of the corporate health of Las Vegas, perhaps even an emissary from the Heavens.”

2nd: Richard Verrier, Los Angeles Times, “Movie fund in Talks to Save Nursing Home”

HM Barbara Gasser, Kleine Zeitung, “Kerstin Lechner: Life is not Sticky and Sweet”


Leslie Bruce, The Hollywood Reporter, “The Split Personality of Chelsea Handler”

Judge’s comments: Leslie Bruce deftly guides the reader through two sides of this talented and sharp-tongued comic—Handler as a writer, a sitcom performer and late night TV host; and Handler as a business woman looking to the future. And she engages the reader equally as she interweaves both stories. Clearly the winner in a heavily contested category.

2nd: Maggie Murphy, Dotson Rader, PARADE Magazine, “Michael Douglas”

HM: Ronald Grover, Tom Lowry and Michael White, Bloomberg Businessweek, “King of the World (Again)”


Leslie Bruce, and Judith Newman, The Hollywood Reporter, “Inside Kardashian Inc.”

Judge’s comments: A thorough, original, well-thought-out and well-written response to the question people didn’t even know they wanted to ask (but recently did):
Who are the Kardashians, anyway – where did they come from and just how big have they strangely become?

2nd: Dawn Chmielewski, Ben Fritz, John Horn, David Pierson and Richard Verrier, Los Angeles Times, “China series”

HM: Gustavo Turner, LA Weekly, “Insane Clown Posse”


Richard Verrier, Los Angeles Times, “On Location”

Judge’s comments: A behind-the-scenes weekly column that readers look forward to – inside stuff that demonstrates the Los Angeles Times’ deep connection to Hollywood.

2nd: Lisa Wolf, Antelope Valley Press, “Critters of the Cinema”

HM: Karina Longworth, LA Weekly, “Wanda Restoration”


Steven Leigh Morris, LA Weekly, “Theater”

Judge’s comments: A quality writer who sees analogies and comparisons out of a rich background of theatrical knowledge.

2nd: Mary McNamara, Los Angeles Times, “TV Criticism”

HM: Lavender Vroman, Antelope Valley Press, “Film Reviews”


James Rainey, Los Angeles Times “What ails local TV news?”

Judge’s comments: James Rainey is always well worth reading and learning from. He takes his observation post on the media seriously. Here, in suitable tones of outrage is original reporting mixed with commentary on a fraudulent practice that few had recognized.

2nd: Gendy Alimurung, LA Weekly “Gendy Alimurung”

HM: Patrick Goldstein, Los Angeles Times “The Big Picture”


The Hollywood Reporter, The Legends Issue

Judge’s comments: Eye-catching layout and photography combined with experienced and savvy reporting. The Hollywood Reporter, print edition has it all.

2nd: Drex Heikes, Zachary Pincus-Rotz, Gustavo Turner, Steven Leigh Morris, Karina Longworth LA Weekly, A Hollywood Film Guide 2010

HM: Deadline , The Emmy Issues


George Pennacchio, Cheryl Diano, KABC-TV, “Goodbye, Columbo”

Judge’s comments: Pennacchio weaves in years of past interview with Peter Falk in creating a riveting obituary and tribute to one of TV’s best-loved actors, Peter Falk. This well-crafted piece shows the value of beat reporting, of tapping long-forgotten video and notes to add depth and appeal to a subject. The result shows the arc of Falk’s life, from the early days of film roles in B-pictures to the last days when he was fighting dementia.

2nd: Robert Kovacik, Jeffrey Scharping, KNBC-TV, “Hef Saves the Hollywood Sign”

HM: Dylan Howard and the team,; “Charlie Sheen Uncensored”


Mike O’Sullivan, Voice of America, “Making an album — the way it used to be done”

Judge’s comments: O’Sullivan does a beautiful job telling the story of group of famous jazz old timers coming together for a recording session like it was done in the old days. The piece is well paced with just the right amount of interview mixed in with a variety of good shots.

2nd: Carol Massar, et al, Bloomberg TV, “Wall Street: Hollywood Returns”

HM: Manny delaRosa, Matt Parise, KMIR6/NBC, ”Palm springs — playground of the stars”






Sanden Totten, KPCC, “China Hollywood”

Judge’s comments: This richly-packed report on a $30 million, first-time-ever investment by China into a big Hollywood feature film — an epic love story set in ancient China — has a casual, airy feel that makes for good listening. But it delves into big ideas about how China has not yet perfected the art of the widely appealing blockbuster, so it’s partnering with Hollywood — all with an eye to boosting its influence in the realm of “cultural capital” and eventually assuring that the Western media isn’t the only game in film.

2nd: Carole Zimmer, Bloomberg News, “New Economics of Hollywood”

HM: Alex Cohen, KPCC, “Porn Industry”


Larry Mantle, Airtalk with Larry Mantle, KPCC, “Dick Van Dyke”

Judge’s comments: Dick Van Dyke sure doesn’t sound 84 in this sparkling chat that Larry Mantle, who turns this interview into a laughter-filled talk between friends. The conversation turns Van Dyke’s dozens of TV and movie hits to his lifelong collaborators Morey Amsterdam and Rose Marie. Van Dyke is jovial and fresh, bragging about his new band, with whom he is having a “romp.” Funny, heartwarming stuff.

2nd: Adolfo Guzman-Lopez, KPCC, “East LA Musician”

HM: Alex Cohen, KPCC, “Gay Guru”


Brian Lauritzen and Gail Eichenthal, Classical KUSC, “LA Phil in Europe”

Judge’s comments: A vibrant tale that reports on Dudamel & Co. as Dudamel explores ideas with, and trains, young orchestra students in London. The story is interspersed with fantastic bits of symphonic sound, Dudamel’s high-charged patter, and music students who love the symphony practicing and chuckling at themselves — and at Dudamel. As Lauritzen says “it was intense.”

2nd: John DeSando and Kristin Dreyer Kramer, WCBE, “It’s Movie Time’s 2010 Year in Review”

HM: Carole Zimmer, Mark Mills, Al Mayers, WBBR Bloomberg Radio, “Spiderman Takes a Dive”


Kenneth Turan and Gail Eichenthal, Classical KUSC, “Kenneth Turan’s Art Alive Film Reports”

Judge’s comments: Turan and Eichenthal make a smooth team, with Turan sharing his pearls of wisdom and asides about his favorite and least-favorite moments in the latest movies as Eichenthal asks him pithy questions. Turan’s quirky voice is by no means a natural for radio, but he knows so much — and shares so much in such a short bit of time — that it really doesn’t matter. Engaging and worthwhile.

2nd: John DeSando and Kristin Dreyer Kramer, WCBE (Columbus), “Nights and Weekends”


Nikki Finke, Deadline Hollywood, “The Conan O’Brien/Jay Leno Tonight Show affair”

Judge’s comments: Nikki Finke raises the bar on 24/7 Internet reporting of showbiz… tirelessly filing multiple real-time updates of behind-the-scenes details with knowledgeable analysis on the Conan O’Brien/Jay Leno Tonight Show affair.

2nd: Jen Heger & The Team,, “Lindsey Lohan’s Legal Troubles”

HM: Pete Hammond, Deadline Hollywood, “Melissa Leo Goes Rogue with Her Own Personal Campaign Ads”


David Margolick, Vanity Fair Magazine, “No Comfort for Old Men”

Judge’s comments: An insightful, beautifully written account of the grassroots battle to save the Motion Picture Home, the beloved hospital and long-term care facility for industry elders run by the Motion Picture & Television Fund.

2nd: Keith Plocek, Josh “Curious Josh” Reiss, Lina Lecaro, Wendy Gilmartin, Drew Tewksbury, Jena Ardell. LA Weekly. “Coachella” series.

HM: Philip Boroff, Jeremy Gerard and Manuela Hoelterhoff, Bloomberg News. “Opera Money Blues.”


Maureen Ryan, AOL TV, The Huffington Post Media Group. “Stay Tuned With Maureen Ryan.”

Judge’s comments: Ryan displays intelligence, passion and rapier wit as she dissects the daily triumphs and follies of TV offerings. Original and memorable.

2nd: Mark Dujsik, Mark Reviews Movies. “Mark Reviews Movies.”

HM: Luke Y. Thompson, “LYT’s Fast Food Reviews.”


Judge’s comments: This lively, jam -packed, well-designed site draws in the reader immediately with exclusives, interesting photos, grabber headlines, and off-beat insider peeks at Hollywood stars and wannabe stars. Once you click on an item you often find fun writing or surprising information. This is a talented team that understands it’s fun to cover Hollywood.

2nd: Deadline Hollywood

HM: The Envelope, Lisa Fung, Scott Sandell and Los Angeles Times’ Web Entertainment Staff


Richard Stellar,, “Hollyblogs” Title: “The Wrap’s Hollyblogs by Richard Stellar”

Judge’s comments: Richard Stellar shows a willingness to take on hard issues and powerful figures in Hollywood in a way that’s accessible to the lay reader. Hollywood is not exactly filled with courageous journalists but Stellar overcomes that problem and tells it like it is. His work on the Motion Picture Television Home is truly “stellar.”


Peggy Sirota (with Jennifer Laski, Shanti Marlar, Jenny Sargent, Carrie Smith), The Hollywood Reporter, “Barrier Breakers: Sidney Poitier and Halle Berry.”

Judge’s comments: This image transcends its pose, its historical context and its symbolism of the evolution of film and entertainment. It arrives at a deeper place where the uniquely individualistic and the iconic blend seamlessly.

2nd Place: Al Seib, Los Angeles Times, “Oscar Crown”

HM: Place: Joe Pugliese, The Hollywood Reporter, “Studio Legends: Paramount”

Keith Plocek, LA Weekly, “Are you having sex outside of El Cid? The neighbors would like you to stop.”

Judge’s comments: The winning tweet had us in stitches and compelled us to click on the link to the blog itself. And he did it all with 84 characters to spare.

Ben Westhoff and Rebecka Haithcoat, LA Weekly

Judge’s comments: With more likes than any other SoCal general weekly, LA Weekly’s Facebook page uses clever messaging to drive traffic back to its blogs.

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