The Steamboat Pilot & Today and the Hayden Valley Press were named Colorado's best newspapers in their circulation categories Saturday by the Colorado Press Association.
Also on Saturday, the CPA named Pilot & Today reporter Christine Metz the state's top young newspaper journalist.
The awards were presented during the annual Colorado Press Association Better Newspaper Contest Banquet at the Brown Palace Hotel in Denver. The Pilot & Today won the General Excellence Award as the best daily newspaper with a circulation of less than 10,000. The Hayden Valley Press won the award for the best weekly newspaper with a circulation of less than 1,750.
Metz was honored during a luncheon Saturday with the Rising Star Award, given annually to one reporter in the state with five years of experience or less. Editor Scott Stanford nominated Metz for the award. "Christine is everything an editor wants in a reporter," Stanford said. "She is smart, passionate, enthusiastic, energetic, curious and skeptical. She never turns down a story and always fights for the best ones."
In her three years with the Pilot & Today, Metz has won more than 20 writing and reporting awards in categories ranging from sports reporting to business writing. She led the Pilot & Today's award-winning agriculture series, "Changing Times: Ranching in Routt County."
"I am surprised and humbled," Metz said. "I appreciate the support of the staff at the Pilot & Today. It is a great place to work."
In the Better Newspaper Contest, the Pilot & Today and Hayden Valley Press won the sweepstakes awards in all three divisions -- advertising, editorial, and photo and design.
The Pilot & Today won 12 first-place awards. Individual winners included Melinda Mawdsley, best sports event story; Nick Foster, best business story; Susan Cunningham, best agriculture story; John F. Russell, best news photo; Meg Wortman, best news page design; Wortman and David Taylor, best feature page design; Wortman, best informational graphic; Deb Proper and Taylor, best small space ad; and Bryna Larsen and Taylor, best circulation promotion.
The Pilot & Today staff won first-place awards for best public service, best editorial layout and design, and creativity.
The Pilot & Today won six second-place awards. Individual winners included Cunningham, Metz and Autumn Phillips for sustained coverage; Russell, sports column wiring; Taylor, headline writing; Tyler Arroyo, feature photo; and Larsen and Taylor, best black and white ad. The staff took second place for advertising layout and design.
The Pilot & Today won 12 third-place awards. Individual winners included Mawdsley, best sports story; Metz, Russell, Wortman and Melissa Roddy, best series and best special section; Russell, sports photo; Allison Miriani, news page design; Taylor, informational graphic; Larsen and Ana Anglada, use of color in an ad; Kevin Olsen and Taylor, small-space ad; Proper and Taylor, advertising campaign; Suzi Mariano, Taylor and Ben Rudolph, newspaper promotion; Larsen and John Boyan, circulation promotion; and Jen Tonk, classified page or section.
The Hayden Valley Press won 12 first-place awards. Individual winners included Phillips, feature story; Mawdsley, sports story; Russell, sports event story; Tamera Manzanares, business story; Foster, agriculture story; Arroyo, photo essay; Roddy, news page design; Roddy, editorial layout and design; Taylor, informational graphic; Whitney Stansbery and Taylor, advertising campaign; Matt Windt, circulation promotion; and Glenn Davis, Gina Cadrecha and Elizabeth Flaharty, best classified page or section.
The Hayden Valley Press won nine second-place awards. Winners included Foster, sports story and deadline news reporting; Roddy, headline writing, news page design and feature page design; Russell, news photo; Proper, small-space ad; Windt, advertising campaign; and Kevin Olsen, classified page or section.
The Hayden Valley Press won three third-place awards including Russell, news photo; Arroyo, sports photo; and Jill LaCourse and Boyan, black and white ad.