BYU broadcasters sweep Hearst National Championships



Photo courtesy of Garrett Tenney

BYU became the first school ever to sweep the student broadcaster awards at the Hearst National Championships in the events 51 year history.

Recently graduated Communications majors Garrett Tenney and Natalie Tripp both took top place in their categories. Tenney won the best Television News broadcaster and Tripp won the overall best Radio News broadcaster.

Tenney and Tripp both qualified during their senior years for the Hearst National Championships in San Fransisco by finishing as top five finalists for their respective topics this past year. Tenney went to the National Championships for his second consecutive year, while Tripp made her first appearance.  Tripp said Tenney’s experience helped her going in to the event for her first time.

“Garrett is a good friend of mine, and since he went there last year it made it less scary for me going to the National Championships,” Tripp said.


At the Hearst National Championships, the judges gave each finalist a general topic based on the sustainability and livability of the San Fransisco area and the city’s efforts to go green. Tenney reported on sustainable sushi bars and the efforts of these restaurants to use local fish and avoid the exotic, endangered species most sushi bars use. Tripp reported on an urban chicken farmer that raised bees on the top of its downtown building.

“I grew up in a small town in Grantsville, Utah, so I’m a country girl,” Tripp said. “I knew all about backyard chicken and bee raising. So I decided to go with a fun topic for me … I called it ‘The birds and bees of going green.'”

Tenney said he was grateful to be back at the event and made the most out of the experience his final time.

“In the end I was satisfied with how the story turned out,” Tenney said. “It was a story I was proud of, and I was satisfied with it no matter what the outcome would be.”

Tenney said the judges were pleased with the unique and interesting stories Tenney and Tripp reported on.  The anxiety still built up as the judges announced the winners, Tenney said.

“When it got down to the second place name and they didn’t say my name, I got really emotional,” Tenney said. “It was one of those surreal moments. I had worked so hard for it and I felt it to be a real blessing.”

Tenney gave credit to the BYU program and said what the win meant to him as a BYU graduate.

“This award really speaks volumes about BYU and its broadcasting program,” Tenney said. “It was a real honor to be a part of that, and it brings that type of recognition to BYU.”

The BYU students each took home $5,000 for the win. BYU added another Broadcasting award to its name. Chad Curtis, BYU Broadcasting News Manager, witnessed the victory and was impressed with the former students dedication to broadcasting.

“Natalie and Garrett have worked very hard in our student newsroom and have raised the bar high for future broadcast journalism students,” said Curtis in his news release. “The Hearst judges were very impressed with their style and poise in handling a high-pressure news gathering situation, which speaks to the talent these students have. It is also impressive that, in both cases, they have been able to walk directly from our classrooms to professional newsrooms without missing a beat.”

Tenney is currently working as a Fox News reporter in Jackson, Miss., and Tripp is starting on as a Fox morning news anchor in El Paso, Texas.

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