Montana Public Radio, PBS Programs Named Finalists for Statewide Awards

April 09, 2019

UM News Service

MISSOULA – A number of MontanaPBS and Montana Public Radio programs are finalists for this year’s E.B. Craney Awards from the Montana Broadcasters Association and the Greater Montana Foundation.

“Backroads of Montana: Speed of Sound” and “Safe Enough?” are the two finalists in the Television Non-Commercial Program of the Year. William Marcus, Gus Chambers, John Twiggs and Ray Ekness produce the popular “Backroads” program that took viewers on trips to Baker, Vida, Conrad, Arlee and Glendive.

“Safe Enough?” took viewers through the evolving debate over seat belts on buses with interviews from crash experts, lawmakers and school officials. The program was produced by Anna Rau DeVolder of MontanaPBS in Missoula.

MTPR’s website,, is a finalist for Radio Website of the Year. MTPR online editor Josh Burnham and his staff have won the past two awards in this category.

“Alex Not Amy: Growing Up Transgender in the Rural West,” produced by Denise Dowling, University of Montana School of Journalism dean, is a finalist in the Radio Non-Commercial Program of the Year category. The radio documentary took listeners on a 10-year-old’s journey to change his gender legally and socially. It aired on Montana Public Radio last spring.

The E.B. Craney Awards recognize excellence in local news, production, promotion, programs and public service in both radio and television station across the state. The awards will be presented on June 22 at the MBA annual convention in Big Sky.

Montana Public Radio and MontanaPBS are part of the UM 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


Contact: Ray Ekness, director, UM Broadcast Media Center, 406-243-4154,; Denise Dowling, dean, UM School of Journalism, 406-243-4001,