The National Arts Medal

In recognition of its ongoing mission to preserve the American art form known as jazz and its commitment to producing exceptional and timely programming content, WBGO has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors.

In 2004 WBGO received the National Arts Club Medal of Honor for the station’s 25th anniversary of “outstanding and pioneering public radio.”

For the past 20 years, the New Jersey State Council for the Arts has designated WBGO as being a “Major Arts Impact” organization, and in January of 2011, WBGO received the Council’s “Citation of Excellence” for a “long history of artistic excellence, substantial programming, broad public benefit and a superior review through the panel (of peers) process.”

Other recent awards include:


  • Rhonda Hamilton, host of Midday Jazz was honored by the New Jersey Jazz Society for her lifetime commiment to jazz.


  • Awilda Rivera, host of Latin Jazz Cruise and Evening Jazz, won a People's Hall of Fame award from City Lore for her work bringing Latin jazz to the New York area airwaves.
  • Josh Jackson, host of The Checkout, is named winner of Jazz Journalists Association’s Willis Conover-Marian McPartland Award for Broadcasting
  • WBGO won more awards than any other station in Division B at the PRNDI Awards:

    First Place – Breaking News for “Hurricane Irene” – WBGO news team

    First Place – Continuing Coverage for “Hurricane Irene and its Aftermath”

    First Place – Writing for Andrew Meyer’s “Whole Lotta Shakin’Going On

    Second Place – Public Affairs ProgramWBGO Journal

    Second Place – Call-in ProgramNewark Today

    Second Place -  News Feature – for Monica Miller’s “Roll Call” about the Newark Police Department

  • WBGO News' Monica Miller won an Ippies Award for her piece "Newark Roll Call." The Ippies Awards are given to the ethnic and community press by the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. It is the only New York-area competition that recognizes excellence amongst journalists, photographers, graphic artists, editors, and publishers from the ethnic and community media.

New York Association of Black Journalists Awards:

  • First Place in the Spot General News Radio Category: "Newark Shootings" Reporting from Newark City Hall, WBGO’s Monica Miller spoke with Newark Mayor Cory Booker and Police Director Samuel DeMaio about a targeted shooting spree by drug dealers which left a 15-year-old dead
  • First Place in Public Affairs/Radio Category: "Conversation with Allan Wolper - Frank Lucas"   Host Allan Wolper had a candid conversation with former Harlem drug king Frank Lucas, who at one time was smuggling massive shipments of pure heroin to the United States from Southeast Asia on military transports. Now, Lucas counsels teenagers to remain in school and stay drug free. Conversations with Allan Wolper airs on WBGO Wednesday nights at 7:30, alternating each month with SportsJam with Doug Doyle
  • First Place in Arts & Entertainment/Radio Category: "Ailey Camp Newark" WBGO News Director Doug Doyle reported on the final concert in the inaugural season of Ailey Camp Newark. Through funding of the Prudential Foundation, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater held summer camps in Brick City. Doyle took listeners through a magical night of dance, music, skits and fun at NJPAC in this in-depth feature that aired on the WBGO Journal


  • Rhonda Hamilton, host of Mid Day Jazz, honored by the International Women in Jazz
  • Sheila Anderson, host of Late Night Jazz, wins Shirley Chisholm Award
  • Duke Markos, engineer for JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater, wins a Grammy for his work on the Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album, Mingus Big Band Live at Jazz Standard, which was recorded during WBGO's Toast of the Nation broadcast in 2008-2009.
  • Jazz radio station WBGO received nine awards for news coverage from Public Radio News Directors Incorporated (PRNDI), the most of any public radio station in the United States.  WBGO took six first place and three second place awards for its news programming and coverage of local news in the New York metropolitan area.  

    First-place - Best Newscast - “The Quake in Haiti”

    First-place - Best Spot News - “Jazz 88 Evening Update”

    First-place - Best Use of Sound - “Festival in the Desert

    First-place Best Commentary - “Online and Out Of Touch

    First-place Best News/Public Affairs Program - WBGO Journal

    First-place Best Interview - “Bringing a Legend of the Gridiron to the Stage

    Second-place – Call in Program Newark Today (two awards)

    Second-place Breaking News - “Post Christmas Blizzard”

New York Association of Black Journalists Awards:

  • Reporter Lanette Espy and producer Doug Doyle win first place in the General Feature – Long Category for Underground Railroad
  • Host Doug Doyle and reporters Andrew Meyer, Gary Walker and Michael Bourne win first place in the Radio Public Affairs Category for WBGO Journal – Porgy and Bess
  • Reporter Joseph Capriglione and producer Doug Doyle win first place in the Education Category for Books and Beyond
  • Doug Doyle’s interview with ESPN’s Chris Broussard took second place in the Sports Category
  • Reporter Monica Miller was recognized in two categories: Arts & Entertainment and Spot NewsNewark Cold Case and Remembering Lena Horne


  • WBGO named Jazz Week magazine’s Major Market Station of the Year
  • Josh Jackson, host of The Checkout, is named winner of Jazz Journalists Association’s Willis Conover-Marian McPartland Award for Broadcasting
  • WBGO receives PRNDI (Public Radio News Directors, Inc.) Award and is named first-place winner (Division B) in the Best Newscast category for morning newscast and second-place in the Breaking News Category for coverage of the corruption raids in New Jersey
  • Thurston Briscoe, Vice President of Programming and Production is named recipient of the 2010 Don Otto Award by Public Radio Program Directors Association

New York Association of Black Journalists Awards:

  • Doug Doyle and the WBGO Staff win in the Radio Business/Technology Category for The Dollars and Sense of Blackness
  • Andrew Meyer wins in the Radio Science/Health Category for Brick City Urban Farms
  • Andrew Meyer, Terry Sheridan, Doug Doyle, Gary Walker and Steve Adubato Jr. win in the Radio Public Affairs Category for WBGO Journal - President Obama
  • Allan Wolper, Joanna Wolper and Doug Doyle win in the Online/New Media Arts & Entertainment Category for Conversations with Allan Wolper – Annette Gordon Reed

WBGO’s belief in the vibrancy of jazz as a cultural art form, its dedication to educational outreach and its commitment to creating and producing programs that provide entertainment and information while fostering public interest in the arts, has enabled the station to become the premier jazz source in the greater tri-state area.