CityBeat Wins Mad Awards

Recognized by Cincinnati SPJ chapter for design, arts, sports, news and investigative work

CityBeat writers, editors and designers received a variety of awards at last night's Society of Professional Journalists Cincinnati chapter awards banquet and hall of fame induction ceremony. During an event that ended with our designers DRINKING TOO MUCH WINE, BREAKING THEIR SHOES AND RIDING HOME IN THE TINY SEATS IN PICKUP TRUCKS, CityBeat was recognized for a range of work published in 2012, from investigative stories that were finalists for the local chapter's top honor to news stories, design work, special sections and various online categories.

The ceremony, which took place at the office of Frost Brown Todd in Great American Tower, was followed by an informal celebration at the Bar at Palm Court, where our designers SHOWED UP BAREFOOT AND THEN BROKE GLASSES. We look forward to attending next year’s ceremony AND ACTING MUCH MORE MATURE.

Two investigative stories were named finalists for the Cincinnati SPJ chapter’s top honor, the Gerald White Memorial Prize for Investigative Reporting. They were James McNair’s investigation into test-score discrepancies at Taft High School (“Miracle or Mirage,” issue of Feb. 22) and Danny Cross’ explanation of how Western & Southern Financial Group could have purchased the Anna Louise Inn long before entering into a dirty legal battle that ultimately forced the nonprofit to give up its building (“Surrounded by Skyscrapers,” issue of Aug. 15).

CityBeat’s ongoing Anna Louise Inn coverage by Cross, German Lopez and Hannah McCartney won first in the Continuing Coverage or Series category.

CityBeat won first place in two design categories: Julie Hill’s info-graphic illustrating Gov. John Kasich’s claim that the state’s natural gas can produce $1,000,000,000,000 in revenue ("What's Worth $1,000,000,000,000?," issue of Aug. 8) won Best Informational Graphic, and her Afghan Whigs cover illustration (“Rebirth of the Cool,” issue of Oct. 17) won Best Photo or Art Illustration. Hill was also a finalist in the illustration category ("Goodbye Cruel World


" issue of Dec. 12), as was CityBeat Creative Director Rebecca Sylvester in the Page Design category (“ The Great Cincinnati Music Trivia Challenge


” issue of May 9).

McNair and C. Trent Rosecrans took first place in the Sports Feature category for their investigation into Aroldis Chapman’s off-field issues ("Life in the Fast Lane


" issue of July 11), and Maria Seda-Reeder won the Arts/Entertainment Issues category for her feature on local bar/artsy haunt Rake’s End and its relevance to recent history in Brighton and the West End (“ Brighton's Shiniest


" issue of July 25).  Cross, Rosecrans and  Kevin Goheen were finalists in the Sports Feature category for their 2012 NCAA Tournament preview package (issue of March 14).

CityBeat Music Editor Mike Breen was a finalist in the Arts/Entertainment Issues category (“The Great Cincinnati Music Trivia Challenge,” issue of May 9), and he won the Arts/Entertainment Criticism category for a body of work that included an essay on the Afghan Whigs’ relevance to his life during struggles with drugs and alcohol (“My Dark Passenger,” issue of Oct. 17), along with a review of the Music of Change exhibit at the Freedom Center (“Power of Music celebrated in ‘Music of Change,’” issue of Aug. 8). A collection of CityBeat contributing visual arts editor Steven Rosen’s “The Big Picture” columns was a finalist in the Arts/Entertainment Criticism category, as was a collection of CityBeat contributing theater editor Rick Pender’s “Curtain Call” columns. 

CityBeat staff won first place for Special Section (“Best of Cincinnati,” issue of April 4), Online Presentation (“Anna Louise Inn Coverage”), website (“”) and News Blog (“CityBeat Politics/Issues Blog”).

CityBeat writers were also recognized as finalists for news coverage ranging from business and education ("Not So Simple," issue of May 15 and "Miracle or Mirage," issue of Feb. 21, both by McNair) to community issues and developing news ("Losing Fight," issue of April 4 and "If These Walls Could Talk," issue of june 20, both by McCartney), as well as column writing by Kathy Y. Wilson (“(Not) Your Negro Tour Guide)”) and a collection of political commentaries by Lopez.

The contest was judged by an SPJ chapter somewhere in the middle of nowhere in northwestern America. The following is a list of CityBeat’s 10 first-place awards and 15 finalists.

Print: Continuing Coverage or Series

WINNER: Danny Cross, German Lopez, Hannah McCartney

"Anna Louise Inn Coverage"

Print: Sports Feature

WINNER: James McNair and C. Trent Rosecrans

"Life in the Fast Lane"

Print: Arts/Entertainment Issues

WINNER: Maria Seda-Reeder

"Brighton's Shiniest"

Print: Arts/Entertainment Criticism

WINNER: Mike Breen

"Body of Work"

Print: Special Section


"Best of Cincinnati"

Design: Informational Graphic

WINNER: Julie Hill

"What's Worth $1,000,000,000,000?"

Design: Photo or Art Illustration

WINNER: Julie Hill

"Rebirth of Cool"

Digital: Website

WINNER: CityBeat Staff

Digital: Online Presentation

WINNER: CityBeat Staff

“Anna Louise Inn Coverage”

Digital: News Blog

WINNER: CityBeat Staff

"City Beat Politics/Issues Blog”

Print: Gerald White Memorial Prize for Investigative Reporting

FINALIST: James McNair

"Miracle or Mirage?" 

FINALIST: Danny Cross

"Surrounded By Skyscrapers" 

Print: Developing News Feature

FINALIST: Hannah McCartney

"If These Walls Could Talk" 

Print: Sports Feature

FINALIST: Danny Cross, Kevin Goheen, C. Trent Rosecrans

"2012 NCAA Tournament Preview"

Print: Business Feature

FINALIST: James McNair

"Not So Simple"

Print: Education Coverage

FINALIST: James McNair

"Miracle Or Mirage?" 

Print: General Column Writing

FINALIST: German Lopez

"Body of Work"

FINALIST: Kathy Y. Wilson

"(Not) Your Negro Tour Guide"

Print: Community Issues

FINALIST: Hannah McCartney

"Losing Fight"

Print: Arts/Entertainment Issues

FINALIST: Mike Breen

“The Great Cincinnati Music Trivia Challenge”

Print: Arts/Entertainment Criticism

FINALIST: Steve Rosen

"The Big Picture" 

FINALIST: Rick Pender, CityBeat

"Curtain Call"

Print: Special Section

FINALIST: CityBeat Staff, CityBeat

"Annual Manual"

Digital: Page Design

FINALIST: Rebecca Sylvester, CityBeat

"The Great Cincinnati Music Trivia Challenge"

Digital: Photo or Art Illustration

FINALIST: Julie Hill, CityBeat

"Goodbye Cruel World!"