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Bill Leonard Award

Bill Leonard, W2SKE (SK)

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  • Overview

    The ARRL Bill Leonard Award honors three professional journalists or journalistic teams per year whose outstanding coverage highlights the enjoyment, importance and public service value the Amateur Radio Service has to offer. The award was created as a tribute to the late CBS News President Bill Leonard, W2SKE. He was also an avid Amateur Radio operator and advocate.

    The Award is divided into three categories, based on format:
    a. Audio
    b. Visual
    c. Print and Text

    Nominations are judged by members of the ARRL Public Relations Committee, and the final decision is made by the ARRL Board of Directors at their annual meeting in January. Award winners in each category, either individual or group,will receive an engraved plaque and a $250 contribution will be made in each winning entry's names to the charity of their choice.

  • Rules

    1. Each recipient must be a professional journalist or a professional journalistic team in print, electronic media or multimedia. The term "professional" refers to full time, part time, stringers, freelancers and contract journalists. In the case of a group project, the recipient may be the group, but only one prize will be awarded.

    2. The recipients will receive the award based on their work which appeared in the English language and covers the topics of Amateur Radio in (a) an audio format such as broadcast radio or podcasting; (b) a visual format such as television, movie and other video media; (c) print and text format such as newspapers, news website, magazine or journal. The scope of the work nominated may be a single story or series.


    3. The work must have appeared between January 1, 2021 and December 31, 2021 in a commercially-published book, recognized general-circulation (non-trade) daily or weekly newspaper, general or special interest magazine (except publications predominantly about Amateur Radio), commercial or public radio or television broadcast (including services delivered via cable), Internet World Wide Web site operated by a generally-recognized journalistic organization (e.g. newspaper, magazine, broadcast station or network), or multimedia format (e.g. CD-ROM), intended for and readily accessible to the general public within the United States.

    4. "Amateur Radio" means the activities of licensees, clubs and other organized groups participating in the activity of licensed Amateur Radio or "ham radio," as governed by Part 97 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

    5.  The story must be truthful, clear and accurate, reflecting high journalistic standards. Submission may be by the author of the work, or on his or her behalf by another individual who believes the work merits the award.

    6. The winner will be selected by the Public Relations Committee of the American Radio Relay League, and will be granted to the work deemed the best reflection of the enjoyment, importance and public service value of Amateur Radio.  The award will be approved by the ARRL Board of Directors at its January meeting. Individuals on the committee who may be related to or have a professional relationship with any applicant will excuse themselves from the deliberations.

    7. Only one submission per entrant will be accepted. If a winning project was a team effort, only one award will be granted to the team.


    8. Submission:

    Submit completed application form with appropriate work sample:

    Audio format:
    Submit CD with audio file(s) in mp3 format with name of candidate written on each disk.

    Visual format:

    Submit CD with mp4 file or DVD of the work with name of candidate written on each disk.

    Print article:
    Submit clear, easily readable copy of printed text, any related Web addresses, and 8.5x11 sheets displaying the writing exactly as it appeared to the public.

    9. The ARRL reserves the right to withhold the awards for any reason, to grant duplicate awards, or to disqualify any entry. Incomplete nomination submissions will not be considered. All decisions are final.

    10.  The award winner in each category, whether an individual or group, will receive a plaque and a donation in their name of $250 will go to an Internal Revenue Service 501[c](3) recognized non-profit organization of the recipient’s choosing. A winning group entry will receive a single plaque and donation on its behalf.

    11. Submit entries to: ARRL PR Committee, c/o Executive Manager, American Radio Relay League, 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111.

    Entries must be received at ARRL HQ by 5 pm March 31, 2022.

    For more information about the award, or to obtain a nomination form,
    contact or call 860-594-0242.

  • 2021 Submission Deadline

    All entries must be received at ARRL Headquarters by 5PM on March 31, 2022. No late entries will be accepted.

  • Nomination Form

  • Previous Winners of the ARRL Leonard Award



    Jeff Holland
    The Enquirer Journal (Monroe, NC)
    “Ham Radio Enthusiasts Believe Hobby will Continue to Cast its Magic Spell”

    Marjorie Wertz
    The Standard Observer (Irwin, PA)
    “There’s More to This Hobby Than Meets The Eye”

    Michaelangelo Conte
    The Jersey Journal (Jersey City, NJ)
    “Radio Operators Took to Air; Aided Rescue at Ground Zero”

    Jill Valley (Assistant News Director) & Greg Schieferstein (News Director)
    KPAX-TV (Missoula, MT)
    High School Senior Jenna Rettenmeyer Makes Moonbounce Contact

    Sari Krieger
    Potomac News & Manassas Journal Messenger
    “Negative Effects of BPL on Amateur Radio”

    Randall D. Larson
    Homeland Protection Professional magazine
    Importance of Amateur Radio in Emergencies (July 2004 issue)

    Marilu Lozada
    Coordinating Producer, WPBT-TV (South Florida Public Broadcasting - Miami, FL)
    Coverage of the Role Amateur Radio operators played during 2004 hurricane season, plus coverage on the 2004 ARRL Toy Drive for kids affected by hurricanes in South Florida

    RJ Harris, W3HP
    Operations Manager & Morning Host, WHP-AM Radio
    Professional coverage of Amateur Radio on WHP

    Alyssa Ivanson
    WANE-TV (Fort Wayne, IN)
    Highlighting Emery McClendon, KB9IBW’s efforts to promote Amateur Radio Military Appreciation Day

    Ted Randall , WB8PUM
    Host of “QSO Radio Show” on shortwave & podcast
    Long-standing program with interviews with members of the Amateur Radio community

    (first year of three separate awards for Audio, Video & Print)
    Audio: Ted Randall, WB8PUM
    QSO Radio Show
    Consistently high-quality interviews and news about Amateur Radio

    Video: Kim Byrnes
    WDAF-TV (Kansas City, MO)
    Coverage of Raytown ARC’s 2009 Field Day effort

    Print: Vicky Taylor
    “Public Opinion” magazine - Chambersburg, MD
    Coverage of two young girls getting their Amateur Radio license

    Audio: Bill Colley
    WGMD-FM (Rehoboth, DE)
    Interview with Bill Duveneck, KB3KYH - Sussex ARA

    Video: Jennifer Crompton
    “New Hampshire Chronicle” - WMUR-TV (Manchester, NH)
    Contoocook Valley Radio Society’s Field Day effort

    Print: Phillip Lucas
    Washington Post - Loudon, VA
    Virginia Amateur Radio Club’s Field Day effort

    Audio: Joel Rose
    National Public Radio Network
    Story on effect of proposed federal legislation’s impact on Amateur Radio’s ability to communicate during emergencies

    Video: Ken Grimball
    News-12 Long Island (NY)
    Hurricane Irene: Local Amateur Radio club featuring youth as net control ops & Amateur Radio’s response to the storm

    Print: Brad Barr
    “Today in Mississippi” magazine
    Article on Billy Beard, K5FUR’s love and commitment to Amateur Radio and his community

    Audio: Lucy Ann Lance
    WLBY-AM (Ann Arbor, MI)
    Interview with 3 ARES/RACES/SKYWARN amateurs that aided in reporting of an EF3 tornado in Dexter, MI.

    Video: No award winner

    Print: Lynn Anderson
    “The Best Times” (Johnson County, KS)
    “Johnson County Hams: Cruising the Airwaves for Fun and Services”


    Audio: Jim Rash
    WGMD-FM  Rehoboth Beach, DE
    Interview with Sussex Amateur Radio Association (SARA) about their upcoming Amateur Radio license class

    Video: Rich Luterman
    Fox-2 Television Detroit MI
    SKYWARN Recognition Day

    Print: Kim Hoey (writer) and Gary Emeigh (photographer)
    The News Journal - Wilmington DE
    “Calling Fans Of Hams”


    Audio: Steve Kraske and Beth Lipoff
    KCUR-FM, Kansas City, MO
    "Exploring Ham Radio in a Digital World"

    Video: Christine Kim
    KSNV-TV, Las Vegas, NV
    “Local Heroes” profile of the Nevada Amateur Radio Emergency Service.

    Print: Marti Attoun
    American Profile magazine (national)
    “Radio Active”


    Print: Don Keith, N4KC
    American Legion magazine (national)
    "Wave of Popularity"

    Video: Jackie Lukas
    News 12 Long Island, New York
    Coverage of the Great South Bay ARC's lighthouse activation

    Audio: No award winner


    Print: Wayne Rash, N4HCR

    Yahoo Tech article

    "Why Modern Makers Are Bringing Back Ham Radio"

    Audio: Jamala Henderson

    reporter/producer for National Public Radio (NPR) affiliate KUOW-FM, Seattle

    "Ham Radio Operators Could Bew Superheroes When the Earthquake Hits"

    Video: Derek Felton

    videographer/editor for WGNO-TV, Metairie, LA

    Coverage of Jefferson Amateur Radio Club's 2016 Field Day


    Print: No award winner

    Audio: Producers and Staff of "The Takeaway," a jpoint production of Public Radio International (PRI), WGBH, and WNYC
    Coverage of amateur radio's role in Hurricane Maria emergency communications efforts

    Video: Jim Cantore and Jen Carfagno (hosts), and the producers of "AMHQ" on The Weather Channel
    Coverage of the American Radio Relay League's partnership with the American Red Cross to respond to the emergency communications needs of Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria


    Print/Digital: Tom Knapp, reporter, Lancaster (PA) Online
    Coverage of ARRL Field Day 2018 activities by members of the Red Rose Repeaters, operating in Lancaster County, PA  

    Audio: No award winner

    Video: Andrew Schmertz, correcpondent, New Jersey Television (NJTV Online)
    Coverage of a HamSci conference at the New Jersey Institute of Technology that explored the impace of the 2017 Solar Eclipse on Radio Communication


    Print/Digital: Zach Plair, Columbus & Starkville Dispatch, Columbus, MS

    Feature story for the paper describing how amateur radio has proven fulfilling to various participants, including new and experienced radio amateurs

    Video: Jim Altman, Fox 61 News, Hartford, CT

    Feature story on ARRL's demonstration of its preparedness  for assisting the American Red Cross with emergency communications for the 2019 Atlantic Hurricane season

    Audio: Roman Battaglia, Jefferson Public Radio, Ashland, OR

    Feature story produced on amateur radio emergency services in and around the Jefferson Public Radio listening area


    Video: Josh B. Nass, KI6NAZ, creator of the popular YouTube channel Ham Radio Crash Course, for producing outstanding media that advances Amateur Radio.


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