Press Releases

  • Insider Newsletter – May/June 2012

    Written by

    Insider Newsletter – May/June 2012

    This is the May/June 2012 issue of witf's new donor newsletter, witf Insider.  The witf Insider publishes 6 times a year.

    Click on the image to see the full newsletter.


    Published in Press Releases

    Friday, 27 Apr 2012 18:39

  • witf honored by Pennsylvania Associated Press Broadcasters Association with 13 awards for excellence in broadcast journalism

    Written by

    witf honored by Pennsylvania Associated Press Broadcasters Association with 13 awards for excellence in broadcast journalism

    (Harrisburg) -- witf's Multimedia News Department and witf TV have been honored by the Pennsylvania Associated Press Broadcasters Association (PAPBA) with 13 awards for excellence in broadcast journalism. PAPBA groups witf in the Medium Market Radio and Medium Market Television Categories. Judging was conducted by the North Carolina Associated Press Broadcasters Association.

    The news department garnered four first-place awards out of a total of 11, the most among medium market radio stations. Among the honors was the Joe Snyder Award for Outstanding News Service, the premier award given by The Pennsylvania Associated Press. It's named in memory of the late Joe Snyder, longtime bureau chief of the Pennsylvania AP who was instrumental in founding the PAPBA. It is the second time since 2008 that witf has been recognized with the Joe Snyder Award.

    "The entire staff appreciates such wonderful recognition," Multimedia News Director Tim Lambert said. "To be recognized for outstanding news service is a tremendous honor."

    Several of witf's major initiatives -- Facing Cancer Together, StateImpact Pennsylvania, and Real Life | Real Issues -- were recognized and the department swept the series category for the second consecutive year.

    witf TV received two awards, including Smart Talk in the News or Sports Talk Show category.

    The winning entries:


    2nd Place – WITF, Harrisburg

    “Drilling Puts A Strain On County 911 Centers” - Scott Detrow

    Judges’ Comments: This story highlights some of the problems that can accompany economic progress. By focusing on the emergency response to these problems, the listener gets a truer sense of the impact in human and financial terms.

    3rd Place – WITF, Harrisburg

    “Real Life | Real Issues: Rural Homelessness” - Tim Lambert

    Judges’ Comments: A well-narrated description of some of the problems facing people without a real home in one rural area of Pennsylvania. How they've fallen through the cracks and how they manage to survive.


    1st Place – WITF, Harrisburg

    “That Day in September -- 10 years Later” - Tim Lambert, Mary Wilson, Megan Lello, Joe Ulrich, Scott LaMar & Craig Layne

    Judges’ Comments: Very hard not to be captivated by the stories of those who, through no fault of their own, were thrust into the painful history of 9/11.


    1st Place – WITF, Harrisburg

    “Sneak Preview of Flight 93 National Memorial” - Mary Wilson

    Judges’ Comments: A fitting description of the dedication of a monument in an unlikely location to an event that touched the national psyche, and continues to do so.

    3rd Place – WITF, Harrisburg

    “Walking Flight 93 Crash Site Helps Family Member Heal” - Tim Lambert, Reporter; Joe Ulrich, Producer

    Judges’ Comments: A respectful look at the behind-the-scenes preparation of the site now set aside for the Flight 93 Memorial, with descriptions provided by those intimately involved with the project, either as survivors, landowners or others.


    1st Place – WITF, Harrisburg

    “Fiscal Woes for the Capital City” - Craig Layne

    Judges’ Comments: This series jumps right into the issue of the incinerator's failure to be able to pay for itself, and effectively takes the listener through the mess that resulted. Great writing and presentation. A lot of time and effort went into this and it shows.

    2nd Place – WITF, Harrisburg

    “Facing Cancer Together” - Craig Layne, Tim Lambert, Megan Lello & Joe Ulrich

    Judges’ Comments: This series takes a look at what cancer does in terms of making sufferers, family members and friends take a good hard look at life, and what it means when the end is solidly in view. Some very poignant material is the result.

    3rd Place – WITF, Harrisburg

    “Ten Septembers Ago” - Craig Layne, Tim Lambert, Mary Wilson & Megan Lello; Joe Ulrich, Producer

    Judges’ Comments: There are many ways the WITF news staff could have looked at a 10th Anniversary of 9/11. Each one of these presentations is a very listenable and thought-provoking response.


    1st Place – WITF, Harrisburg

    “Real Life | Real Issues: Mentoring Through Handball” - Tim Lambert

    Judges’ Comments: Every now and then, a story comes along that captures some of the really innovative activity in the community that can help make life better for people. This is one of them, and it's very well reported.


    2nd Place – WITF, Harrisburg

    “Hunting on Sundays in PA” - Scott LaMar & Megan Lello

    Judges’ Comments: A very interesting discussion of an issue – hunting, and hunting on Sundays – that airs some of the very cogent points for and against. It was a very interesting presentation.

    3rd Place – WITF, Harrisburg

    “Remnants of Tropical Storm Lee Hit Central PA” - Scott LaMar, Megan Lello, Scott Detrow, Craig Layne, Mary Wilson & Tim Lambert

    Judges’ Comments: Interesting and informative presentation of the impact of the effects of the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee. People were presented with good information on flooding and closures.


    2nd Place - WITF-TV, Harrisburg

    “Smart Talk: Penn State Scandal” - Al Bonilla, Nell McCormack Abom, Scott LaMar, Mitch Mathias, Cara Williams Fry, Tim Lambert & Scott Detrow

    Judges’ Comments: WITF-TV's “Smart Talk” provided viewers with powerful coverage of the Penn State Scandal. The program had excellent dialogue and purposeful use of audience participation.


    2nd Place - WITF-TV, Harrisburg

    “Facing Cancer Together” - Mitch Mathias, Katie Carpenter, Cara Williams Fry, Megan Lello & Keira Maguire

    Judges’ Comments: A solid and thoughtful look at cancer's effects on a variety of individuals. This series really spoke in a unified voice of how the individual and those around them all face the illness together. Great job!

    Published in Press Releases

    Tagged under Radio, TV

    Friday, 20 Apr 2012 17:47

  • DCNR, TreeVitalize to assist with tree plantings at Flight 93 Memorial

    Written by

    DCNR, TreeVitalize to assist with tree plantings at Flight 93 Memorial

    Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Richard Allan today announced that DCNR and TreeVitalize will be assisting with a large tree planting effort over the next two weekends at the Flight 93 National Memorial in Somerset County.

    “In addition to their many environmental benefits, trees are a symbol of life and growth, so important at a site that requires reflection on the brave sacrifice made by the 40 passengers and crew of Flight 93,” Allan said.

    DCNR will join the National Park Service, many partner agencies and hundreds of volunteers on April 20-21 and 27-28 as they plant more than 13,800 seedlings at the site.

    DCNR’s Bureau of Forestry is providing a total of 2,000 native white and pitch pine, and quaking aspen seedlings grown at the department’s Penn Nursery in Centre County.

    In addition, 100 American red pine and 100 red maple seedlings donated by listeners last fall in a partnership between TreeVitalize and witf public radio in Harrisburg will be planted. TreeVitalize is a DCNR partnership effort to plant one million trees across Pennsylvania to address the loss of tree cover.

    Twenty DCNR foresters will be on site during the four days acting as team leaders and providing information on how to plant seedlings. witf volunteers and staff members will be on hand to assist with the planting.

    Construction is ongoing at the Flight 93 National Memorial, which marks the spot where the plane went down in a field near Shanksville after the crew and passengers thwarted a plan by terrorists to crash in to the U.S. Capitol. The memorial’s first features were dedicated last September to mark the 10th anniversary of the 2001 terror attacks.

    Published in Press Releases

    Tagged under Flight 93

    Thursday, 19 Apr 2012 17:53

  • Chronister Internship Award at witf Announced

    Written by

    Chronister Internship Award at witf Announced

    witf has announced the latest recipient of the Chronister Internship Stipend, which recognizes excellence in a student working on an internship at witf. Brandon Tymous of Highspire, a 2008 graduate of Cheyney University currently enrolled in the Masters of Public Administration program at Penn State Harrisburg, was selected in April.

    Tymous, who worked in witf’s Human Resources department, was selected on the basis of his performance in the department and his essay summarizing his work experience, professional aspirations and personal goals.

    The Chronister Internship is made possible by a generous endowment gift from the Chronister Internship Endowment and assists a student to further his/her education in a way that is meaningful and relevant to their career and educational goals. The endowment is named in memory of the late Carl F. Chronister, Esq. and Martha Jane Herman Chronister. The endowment was established by Karen (Chronister) Leader and G. Michael Leader, and by Judith Chronister and Thomas Lupkie.

    Growing up as the oldest of three boys in a single parent household, Tymous said in his essay that “my career aspirations have always been built on the foundation of being a role model that inspires others to follow.”

    “Brandon is an exemplary student and shows every promise to be an exemplary HR professional,” said witf president Kathleen Pavelko. “Brandon’s organizational and personal skills were evident from the start of his time with us.”

    While at witf, Tymous organized the annual Wellness Fair for employees, a day-long event featuring multiple health care providers and wellness organizations—and screenings for diabetes, hypertension, cholesterol and other conditions. Employees also enjoyed chair massages, acupuncture and yoga.

    “I look forward to the future. I am glad to have the opportunity to connect and grow as a Human Resources professional at witf,” Tymous said. “With such a welcoming staff that exemplifies the organizational brand, you almost never want to leave because you feel right at home.”

    Published in Press Releases

    Wednesday, 18 Apr 2012 19:04

  • Win a VIP tour of Highclere Castle, as featured in 'Downton Abbey'

    Written by

    Win a VIP tour of Highclere Castle, as featured in 'Downton Abbey'

    Follow in the footsteps of great British drama in the MASTERPIECE Classic Sweepstakes. Enter daily between February 7, 2012, and April 27, 2012 for the chance to win a 5-day, 4-night trip for two adults from the US to Britain, including VIP tours of Highclere Castle (as featured in Downton Abbey), Leeds Castle and more!

    In collaboration with VisitBritain, Britain's national tourism agency, MASTERPIECE offers this chance at a once-in-a-lifetime experience including airline tickets on British Airways, hotel accommodations at a Radisson Edwardian hotel in London, two Hudson's Heritage Explorer Passes and more!

    While in Britain, you'll enjoy a VIP tour of Highclere Castle with Lord Carnarvon, and afternoon tea with Lady Carnarvon, author of Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey. You'll also have lunch and a VIP tour of Leeds Castle, and afternoon tea at the May Fair Hotel with Jessica Fellowes, author of The World of Downton Abbey and Mud & The City: Dos and Don'ts for Townies in the Country.

    Travel to Britain must be from September 17-22, 2012. No purchase necessary; winner will be selected by random drawing. The MASTERPIECE Classic Sweepstakes is open only to legal residents of the 48 contiguous United States and the District of Columbia. To enter and read the official rules for full details, visit the MASTERPIECE Classic Sweepstakes entry page.

    Published in Press Releases

    Tagged under Promotions, TV

    Wednesday, 18 Apr 2012 13:37

  • Mobile App Makes Pennsylvania’s Historical Markers Come Alive!

    Written by witf

    Mobile App Makes Pennsylvania’s Historical Markers Come Alive!

    witf announces the launch of a new mobile app named PA Markers, the first mobile app associated with the award-winning website,

    PA Markers is the mobile tool for anyone interested in learning more about American history, Pennsylvania history and the people, places and stories that helped shape our nation.

    The PA Markers app reveals the story behind many of Pennsylvania's famous blue and gold historical markers.  Search for a marker by name or set the app to show you all the markers within a set distance from your phone.  Select a marker to see the marker text, then read the full story behind that marker, complete with images and links to other related markers, all on your mobile device. PA Markers even offers additional resources to check out.  No more guessing about town names (Burnt Cabins?)  or historical figures (Daniel Boone).  It’s all on the app!

    The PA Markers application can find and map historical markers from all over Pennsylvania along with directions and travel time from your current location.

    PA Markers features only official Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) historical markers that have been listed on

    App Features:

    • Nearly 1000 markers from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission's Historical Marker program.
    • Full marker information on your device includes marker name, location details, dedication date, marker text, Behind the Marker story, and a Behind the Marker resource list.
    • Mapping utility to show markers near your current location
    • Mapping types include standard, satellite and hybrid views
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         Markers by location      Full marker information      Behind the Marker story


    For more stories about Pennsylvania history and a link to the mobile app go to

    PA Markers is free, available on iTunes and is compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation) and iPad. Requires iOS 3.2 or later.  An Android version is not available at this time.

    Published in Press Releases

    Tagged under Carlisle, Civil War, Gettysburg, Harrisburg, Lancaster, Lebanon, Reading, York

    Wednesday, 18 Apr 2012 12:32

  • witf earns six Edward R. Murrow Regional awards

    Written by Tim Lambert, witf Multimedia News Director

    witf earns six Edward R. Murrow Regional awards

    (Harrisburg) -- For the second year in a row, the witf Multimedia News Department has been honored by the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) with six 2012 regional Edward R. Murrow awards in recognition of the best in broadcast and digital journalism. RTDNA groups witf in a region that includes all of Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey. witf competed against all radio stations in markets 51 and smaller in the three state region. The six awards were the most in the region among radio and broadcast outlets in both the large and small market categories. witf was also the only midstate broadcast organization recognized in the region.

    Among the stories cited are witf's coverage of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal and the Flight 93 crash site in Somerset County 10 years after the September 11th attacks.

    "2011 was a year that saw major stories like the Sandusky scandal and record flooding put Pennsylvania center stage, nationally." witf's Multimedia News Director Tim Lambert said. "We, as a department, are gratified to have our stories recognized by RTDNA as some of the best work in the country. It just highlights witf's dedication to providing the best public service possible to our audience."

    witf captured regional Murrow awards in the following categories: Audio Feature, Reporting, Audio Sports Reporting, Audio Continuing Coverage, Audio News Series, Broadcast Affiliated Website and Audio Writing.

    Two of witf's major initiatives were honored. StateImpact Pennsylvania, a collaboration among witf, NPR and WHYY in Philadelphia to cover energy issues, was recognized for its unique digital journalism in the Broadcast Affiliated website category. Scott Detrow was one of the honorees. Facing Cancer Together, an interactive, multimedia effort to connect the stories and lives of people touched by cancer, was cited in the Audio News Series category. The entry featured work by Craig Layne, Megan Lello and Lambert.

    "Facing Cancer Together (FCT) is witf’s most ambitious community education partnership to date," according to Cara Williams Fry, Senior Vice President and Chief Content Officer of witf. "FCT is a partnership of WellSpan Health, Lancaster General Health, Pinnacle Health and witf--four non-profits working together to raise awareness of cancers, cures and treatments for patients and their families. The strong commitment from our news and content teams, our hospital partners and multiple other non-profit awareness organizations makes FCT a model for community engagement," Fry says.

    The entire News Department was recognized for its continuing coverage of the Sandusky case. The entry included work by state Capital Bureau Chief Mary Wilson and Radio Smart Talk Host Scott LaMar. "For witf to be recognized for its work on the biggest news story to hit Pennsylvania in arguably a decade, is a testament to a tremendous team effort in a high-pressure situation, where news was breaking seemingly every 15 minutes."

    Lambert was honored in three different categories. His story of walking the Flight 93 crash site with Ken Nacke, who's brother was killed when the hijacked jetliner crashed in Somerset County during the September 11th attacks, was cited in the Audio Feature and Audio writing categories. The story is a personal one for him. His family formerly owned land that was a part of the crash site in Somerset County. It's also the second time in five years, Lambert's coverage of Flight 93 has been recognized by RTDNA. In the Audio Sports Reporting category, his story was cited for its portrayal of a midstate mentoring program that reaches out to children through handball.

    Audio Engineer Joe Ulrich was also honored for his contributions to the award-winning stories.

    "witf is committed to quality journalism and its importance in for a civil, civic society. We are grateful for RTDNA’s continued recognition of our efforts and I am personally and professional proud of the witf multimedia news team," says Kathleen Pavelko, president and CEO of witf.

    The latest regional Murrow Awards brings witf's total number it's received since 2006 to 24 and marks the third straight year it has been honored in the Feature Reporting and Series categories.

    The winners will now be considered for the prestigious National Edward R. Murrow award. Those honorees will be announced in June. witf has been cited with three National awards since 2007.

    Published in Press Releases

    Tagged under 9/11, Energy, Facing Cancer Together, Flight 93, Jerry Sandusky, Radio, StateImpact

    Thursday, 12 Apr 2012 13:48

  • BARAK’s Annual Art and Jazz Event Comes to witf Public Media Center

    Written by

    BARAK’s Annual Art and Jazz Event Comes to witf Public Media Center

    The cause? Raise funds so BARAK can continue to bring arts education, opportunities, and guidance to under-served youth across the Capitol Region.

    The planners and supporters? Artists. A great jazz band. A terrific location at witf’s Public Media Center.

    This year’s BARAK Art and Jazz event will be held at the witf Public Media Center on Thursday, April 12, 2012 from 6 to 9 p.m. Co-chairs are Bill Lehr, Chairman and CEO Capital BlueCross (and a member of the witf Board of Directors); Sheila Dow-Ford, Dow Ford Strategies; and Nadine Neidich, owner of Mount Hill Tavern (and wife of witf Board chair Doug Neidich).

    Special guest MC is Valerie Pritchett of abc27-WHTM, along with members of the board of directors of BARAK, Inc. and Wendell C. Murray, Founder and CEO.

    With music from the Curtis Andrews Project and art contributed by nationally acclaimed artists Dane Tilghman and Gretchen Bierbaum, the evening is set for the live auction.

    And food? Hors d’oeuvres and desserts by JDK Catering!

    Tickets ($65 per person or $70 at the door) are available at or call 717-695-9466.

    About BARAK

    BARAK, Inc. is a Central Pennsylvania-based nonprofit community organization whose mission is to use the arts as a platform to mentor youth and revitalize communities. BARAK, Inc. offers culturally under-served, at-risk youth, a professionally structured arts education program on an outreach basis across the Greater Harrisburg region. Our intent is to provide opportunity, education, and guidance to youth of all races, cultures, ethnicities and, socio-economic status.

    BARAK, Inc.’s programs have touched the lives of thousands of children and youth who are discovering the arts as a way to explore their intellectual, emotional and artistic identities. Whether teaching drama and performance skills, visual arts, or just spending time listening and talking, we have always recognized the importance of building relationships as a means of helping young people to navigate life’s challenges.

    Published in Press Releases

    Wednesday, 4 Apr 2012 17:40