MTPR, MTPBS Programs Receive Prestigious Statewide Recognition

MISSOULA – Two MontanaPBS television programs and two Montana Public Radio programs received E.B. Craney Awards from the Montana Broadcasters Association and the Greater Montana Foundation.

The E.B. Craney Awards recognize excellence in local news, production, promotion, programs and public service in both radio and television stations across the state. The awards were presented this past weekend during an online presentation from the MBA.

“Keeping the Barn,” produced by John Twiggs, was named Television Non-Commercial Program of the Year. The program celebrated the rich heritage and stories connected to the barns of Montana. Twiggs also was a finalist for Television Broadcaster of the Year.

Paul Zalis, co-producer and writer of “Charlie Russell’s Old West,” received the E.B. Craney Award for Television Writer: News and Long Form Programming. The program explored Russell’s art and life as he witnessed and documented the end of the Wild West open range and America entered the 20th century. “Charlie Russell’s Old West” also was named runner-up for Program of the Year.

For Radio Non-Commercial Program of the Year, Montana Public Radio took the prize for the program “Shared State.” The program co-produced by MTPR, Montana Free Press and Yellowstone Public Radio gave listeners a deeper look at the most important issues on the 2020 ballot.

MTPR news reporter Edward O’Brien took home the E.B. Craney Award in the Radio News Story category for his story, “New Mental Health Emphasis a Lifeline for National Guard Soldiers.” O’Brien introduced listeners to a career Montana military officer who, during one of her life’s darkest chapters, reached out for help and was thrown a lifeline. MTPR’s Nick Mott was runner-up in the category for his story on mine waste cleanup on the Clark Fork River.

Additionally, the MTPR podcast “Richest Hill” was named runner-up in the Podcast category.

Montana Public Radio and MontanaPBS are part of the University of Montana Broadcast Media Center.

Montana Public Radio airs across much of western and central Montana at 89.1 and 91.5 in Missoula, 91.9 in Hamilton, 89.5 in Polson, 90.1 in Kalispell, Whitefish and North Valley, 90.5 in Libby, 91.7 in Kalispell, 101.3 in Swan Lake, 91.3 in Butte, 91.7 in Helena, 89.9 in Great Falls, 91.7 in Dillon and online at

MontanaPBS (KUFM-TV in Missoula, KUSM-TV in Bozeman, KUKL-TV in Kalispell, KBGS-TV in Billings, KUGF-TV in Great Falls and KUHM-TV in Helena) is a service of UM and Montana State University. For more information visit



Keeping the Barn:

Charlie Russell’s Old West:

Shared State:

New Mental Health Emphasis Provides a Lifeline for National Guard Soldiers:

Montana Begins New Round Of Clark Fork Mine Waste Cleanup:

Richest Hill:

Contact: Ray Ekness, director, UM Broadcast Media Center, 406-243-4154,