WKYU takes home record Emmy count

Caitlin Carter

Over the summer, WKU’s public television service, WKYU-PBS, added more hardware to its trophy case.

WKYU-PBS brought home a station record four Emmy awards for the documentary, “Mammoth Cave: A Way to Wonder” at the 46th Annual Ohio Valley Emmy Awards Ceremony in Columbus, Ohio.

One award in particular was special — it was the first time a WKU student took home an Emmy, said David Brinkley, senior producer, director and writer for Educational Television Services.


Alumnus Brent Boyens, of Brentwood, Tenn., was the crew chief of the project, Brinkley said.

Boyens said the award was an honor, but winning the Emmy wasn’t the true prize.

“I think the most rewarding part was being able to show people an aspect of Mammoth Cave they wouldn’t be able to see on their own,” he said. “You can go and take tours and whatnot, but you won’t be able to see the cave in the light we were able to show people.”

The Ohio Valley region encompasses a large area, including Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio and West Virginia, according to a WKYU-PBS press release.

Bob Owen, vice president for Information Technology, said the region is very competitive, as 119 organizations are represented.

Brinkley said, it’s hard to determine how many, if any,  Emmys will be won in the next year.

“Going into it you never really know,” he said. “It’s not a competition per say. (An Emmy) is awarded on a standard — you can have six nominees and no winner, or six nominees and two winners.”

With six episodes per year, the regular WKYU program “MainStreet” has been nominated for an Emmy five years in a row, Brinkley said. Although it hasn’t won an award yet, it will continue to be submitted for nomination.

“It’s difficult to speculate if anything this year is Emmy-worthy, but we will submit segments,” he said.

Brinkley said the station has achieved great success in the last five years.

Before this success, the station had suffered a drought, not bringing home any trophies since the early 1990s.

It takes a lot of hard work for WKYU to garner Emmys because the station is located in a smaller market than others in the region, Brinkley said.

“We’re in a much smaller market, a much more rural population,” he said. “We’re competing — I hate to say competing — we’re recognized on the same level as the other markets in our region, which are Cincinnati, Columbus, Louisville, Huntington and Charleston — larger market areas.”