KMIH student broadcasters make an impact on the community

Students win 13 awards in national competition.

Joe Bryant proudly states that he learns more than he teaches while in the vicinity of the Mercer Island High School (MIHS) student radio broadcasters.

The general manager and adviser of the school broadcast media program enjoys seeing students at KMIH 88.9 The Bridge find their voices, grow and improve during their time in front of the microphone.

MIHS students continued their winning ways by notching 13 national grand prizes in the 82nd annual Intercollegiate Broadcasting System awards that were revealed on May 6. MIHS broadcasters received accolades for spot news, radio drama, comedy show, sports interview and more.

“It’s always a thrill to win, and it’s always a thrill to win awards that are community related. We had an ‘I Wish…’ campaign about what our students were thinking. Things like that I’m really proud of,” said Bryant, who has a background in commercial radio and participated in a morning show in Seattle for 25 years.

Senior program director Audrey Sadlier won awards for best celebrity interview with NBC’s John Calmus regarding him helping organize the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in pandemic times; spot news on how the Delta variant affected the high school; and a KMIH merch giveaway.

Sadlier reflected on her KMIH experience: “It’s grown so much just in four years and it’s so awesome to see just the impact in how everyone in the community is listening.”

Gabe Gottesman, senior student general manager, led the way with the station’s best promo series victory spotlighting the “I Wish …” campaign. The MI Parent Edge campaign features elementary, middle and high school students anonymously sharing their thoughts on what they wish their parents, teachers and peers knew.

“I’d say one thing I’ve learned a lot over my four years in radio, I think we all have, is that we have the power of being a part of this program to use our voice a lot to kind of make change and have impact on our community,” Gottesman said about the “I Wish…” feature and other vital KMIH programs.

On the sports front, Will Pellerin took home the best interview award for his in-depth chat with Seattle Kraken hockey announcer Everett “Fitz” Fitzhugh, the first Black broadcaster in NHL history.

It’s been a learning experience for Pellerin during his four years at the station.

“I think it’s been a lot of fun, but it’s also helped me with my speaking and learning to reach out to people, kind of organize that sort of stuff and being part of a team,” he said.

In the comedy realm, Jackson Hegarty, Nick Neyhart, McLean Hopkins and Fenway Rowland snagged an award for their show, “The Rutabaga.”

One of their favorite segments is “News You Can’t Use,” which features the hosts cracking jokes about what they feel are useless articles, such as a man wrestling an alligator in Florida, Neyhart said with, of course, a laugh.

“It took a few tries, but we got there,” Hegarty said about finally winning an award. “It’s a surreal experience, kind of. It’s definitely nice to know that people are out there and they’re enjoying it.”

Added Neyhart: “Winning it our senior year is kind of a really great sendoff for our graduation and everything.”


* Best celebrity interview – NBC’s John Calmus – Audrey Sadlier

* Best radio drama – “The House at Cyprus Canyon” – Sadie Jensen and cast

* Best comedy show- “The Rutabaga” – Jackson Hegarty, Nick Neyhart, McLean Hopkins and Fenway Rowland

* Best giveaway – KMIH merch – Audrey Sadlier

* Best spot news – Delta variant – Audrey Sadlier

* Best promo series- “I Wish…” campaign – Gabe Gottesman and staff

* Best sports update – Sophia Azzano

* Best sports interview – Seattle Kraken announcer Everett “Fitz” Fitzhugh – Will Pellerin

* Sports pre/postgame – Football Senior Night – Scott Pirak

* Sports program (video) NFL preview – Gill MacDonald, Azad Khan and Ajay Manhas

* Sports report (video) – Kraken inaugural game – Gill Macdonald and Dylan Shobe

* Best use of graphics (video) – Power predictions – Gill MacDonald and Azad Khan

* Best commercial/promotion (video) – 889 app promo – Jonathan Aggar

KMIH, which garnered 40 nominations for the awards, features more than 100 students. People can listen to KMIH locally at 88.9 FM, stream it live on the station’s website at or download the KMIH app in the Apple or Google Play Store.