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NBC5 wins national Edward R. Murrow award for "Overall Excellence;" Tribune's Dallas-originated Eye Opener giving way to new waker-upper


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Fort Worth-based NBC5 is celebrating a treasure trove of four national Edward R. Murrow awards, including the top one for “Overall Station Excellence” in the large market competition.

A companion publicity release says that NBC5 is the only station to receive a quartet of the prestigious awards, which are run by the Radio Television Digital News Association.

Besides the trophy for overall excellence, NBC5 won for its Breaking News Coverage of the July 7th, 2016 police ambush in downtown Dallas; reporter Scott Friedman’s investigative series “Big Buses, Bigger Problems;” and for the sound accompanying a feature story on the Mariachi Sol Azteca band.

In a prepared statement, NBC5 president and general manager Tom Ehlmann praised the station’s journalists for “their commitment to informing and uncovering stories that may impact the communities we serve.”

Vice President of News Mark Ginther said that station is “set apart” from its competitors by a ”relentless pursuit of the truth and an unwavering desire to tell stories that make a difference to our North Texas audience.”

Dallas-based TEGNA8 also won a Murrow for its entire newscast coverage of the police ambush.


Morning Dose hosts Melissa Rycroft, Brandon London, Laila Muhammad. The show launches on June 29th. Tribune photo

Tribune Broadcasting has scrapped the Dallas-originated Eye Opener after a five year-seven-month run and will be supplanting it on June 29th with Morning Dose.

The show likewise will originate from CW33’s Dallas studios, where a new set is being built. Eye Opener holdover Laila Muhammad is joining new co-hosts Melissa Rycroft and Brandon London. A Tribune news release bills Morning Dose as a “first of its kind, live social ‘wake-up’ Show” in partnership with the Dose media agency. The show will air from 5 to 8 a.m. weekdays, as did Eye Opener.

Rycroft, a former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader, gained national fame as a prominent and eventually jilted contestant on ABC’s The Bachelor and as the champion of a 2012 “All-Star” edition of the network’s Dancing with the Stars. She’s also hosted ABC’s Bachelor Pad and CMT’s Redneck Island while serving as a contributor to the syndicated Access Hollywood and ABC’s Good Morning America.

London is a former NFL football player and got a Super Bowl championship ring as a member of the New York Giants’ 2007-2008 practice squad.

Oliver Tull, who had been Eye Opener’s longest standing co-host, and Neeha Curtis, are both being dropped. But Tribune-produced infotainment shows have doubled as revolving doors, so neither should be entirely written off.

For now, though, “it’s been a great run, guys,” Curtis says on her Twitter feed. “Special shoutout to our EO viewers . . . you’ve made waking up at 1 a.m. worth it.”

Tull tweeted, “It was a pleasure. Now, I’m gonna try to make up for 5 years of no sleep.”

Eye Opener had its Dallas launch on Nov. 1st, 2011 after originating in Chicago. The show’s initial hosts were Douglas Caballero, Ellen Fox and Sean Dowling, with Toni Duclottni, Laura Thomas and Tommy Noel as featured contributors.

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