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JULY 16, 2019

Bates: KBTC Public Television’s Northwest Now programs win big awards at industry competitions

JULY 16, 2019

TACOMA, WASH. – KBTC Public Television’s Managing Editor Tom Layson won first place in the General News Reporting category of the Society of Professional Journalist’s (SPJ) annual Excellence in Journalism competition for region 10, spanning Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana. KBTC is a service of Bates Technical College.

The winning program, titled Shorelines of Stone, focused on the challenges surrounding Puget Sound restoration efforts. Layson shot, wrote, narrated and edited the program.

“Shorelines of Stone was a labor of love, and it feels great to be recognized for all the work that goes into the specials I shoot,” Layson said. “Without the support of leadership at Bates Technical College and KBTC, programs like Shorelines wouldn’t be possible. We promote a culture of excellence and storytelling, and we have a great opportunity to do meaningful work.”

Without the support of leadership at Bates Technical College and KBTC, programs like Shorelines wouldn’t be possible.

In addition to the SPJ’s Excellence in Journalism award, Shorelines of Stone was also awarded a bronze Telly Award in the organization’s 40th annual competition, which fields more than 12,000 entries from the United States and five continents.

Another Northwest Now special earned a silver Telly Award, titled Earthrise. Earthrise is Apollo 8 astronaut General Bill Anders’ account of his 1969 mission to orbit the moon. He captured a photograph that changed man’s perspective on his place in the universe.

To learn more about Northwest Now, go to . To watch Shorelines of Stone and Earthrise, go to


Contact: Chris Anderson
Phone: 253-680-7719

KBTC special documentary Of Race and Reconciliation also gets a nod

Tacoma, WA – April, 2017 – The Northwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) has nominated two Northwest Now specials for recognition in this year’s Emmy awards competition.

The program, The North American Eagle, features a small team of privateers seeking to set the world’s land speed record. The team is self-funded and is one of only three teams actively seeking to break the record of 763mph currently held by the British.

The program, This is Me, features the work of two brothers who are doing groundbreaking work in the area of prosthetics. The brothers design and make their own creations helping high performance athletes achieve their goals despite their amputations.

“It’s nice to be recognized in a contest that’s judged by one’s peers,” said Northwest Now producer/host Tom Layson. “Northwest Now has the luxury of ‘Taking a Closer Look’ at a wide variety of topics and it was an honor to highlight two small, local groups of people making a worldwide impact with what they create.”

In addition to the Northwest Now programs, KBTC Public Television is also nominated for the station’s Of Race and Reconciliation program. The hour-long documentary chronicles the Chinese experience in American during the latter half of the 19th century including the expulsion of the Chinese from Tacoma in 1885. Producer Forrest Burger traveled through six states to take an unflinching look at this period in time, and also document how the tensions between American citizens and immigrant populations provide relevant lessons in today’s political climate, and in Tacoma’s case, how far efforts toward reconciliation have come.

The Emmy awards take place in Fremont on June 3rd. To find out more about the Emmy awards, go to

About KBTC Public Television
As a PBS affiliate, KBTC serves more than 3 million viewers from Southwestern Washington to Southern British Columbia. Bates Technical College has owned and operated KBTC since 1992. In 1980, KBTC launched its satellite station KCKA in Centralia serving the Southern region of the state. KBTC was originally licensed in 1961 to Tacoma Public Schools, broadcasting under the call letters KTPS-TV. For more information, visit, or call 253.680.7700.

About Bates Technical College
Founded in 1940, Bates Technical College offers certificate and degree opportunities in 53 career education programs, and serves approximately 3,000 career-training students and 10,000 more community members annually in extended learning, distance learning, high school, and other programs. For more information, go to, or call253.680.7000.


JUNE 22, 2016

Tacoma (June 22, 2016) – The Telly Awards has named KBTC’s Northwest Now and Managing Editor Tom Layson as the winner of the Bronze award for Saving the Salmon in association with the organization’s 37th annual contest.

“It’s nice to be recognized in a contest that’s judged nationally,” said Northwest Now producer/host Tom Layson. “Northwest Now has the luxury of ‘Taking a Closer Look’ at a wide variety of topics and the existential threat to the region’s salmon stocks is an important one.”

Tom traveled more than 1,200 miles all across the Puget Sound region to shoot the story which features the ongoing salmon restoration efforts of five Native American tribes.

The Telly Awards was founded in 1979 and is among the premier awards honoring outstanding local, regional, and cable TV commercials and programs, the finest video and film productions, and online commercials, video and films. Winners represent the best work of the most respected advertising agencies, production companies, television stations, cable operators, and corporate video departments in the world.

A prestigious judging panel of more than 500 accomplished industry professionals, each a past winner of a Silver Telly and a member of The Silver Telly Council, judged the competition, upholding the historical standard of excellence that Telly represents. The Silver Council evaluated entries to recognize distinction in creative work – entries do not compete against each other – rather entries are judged against a high standard of merit.

About KBTC Public Television

KBTC is the South Sound’s Public Broadcasting Station. Operating out of Tacoma, Washington, KBTC is the only television broadcaster in Pierce County. KBTC is committed to telling local stories that aren’t being told anywhere else, serving underserved and diverse audiences, and connecting viewers with the people and ideas that shape western Washington. KBTC is available to 1.8 million TV households and 4.3 million viewers in western Washington, British Columbia, and Oregon. Over 900,000 viewers tune in weekly. KBTC is a viewer supported community service of Bates Technical College.