You may have to forgive Ryan Kath, KSHB’s superb investigative reporter, if he has a tough time supressing a smile this week.
Maybe even this month.
After all, Kath did come home from the 36th annual Emmy Awards at the Midland Theatre and was able to show his babysitting parents his five—yes, five—trophies for his stellar reporting. (LINK)
He admits he would have been happy winning one Emmy, and was quick to spread the credit around for his success to others.
“I was very surprised about how things turned out,” Kath told Bottom Line Communications. “Going into the night, I was just hoping to come away with one statue. The one that meant the most was the investigative category. For one, I got to accept the award with (Andy) Pollard, (Michael) Butler and (Melissa) Greenstein–a true team collaboration.”
“Secondly, there was daunting competition in this category from veteran, accomplished journalists like (former KCTV reporter) Dana Wright and (former co-worker) Russ Ptacek,” he adds. “Finally, this is the most pressure and pushback I’ve experienced on an investigation. Remember the press release the District published before the first investigation even aired? That was followed by the “full video” that had the most damaging section of interview edited out, the resignation from the COO, the cancelled contract, and the validation of our investigation from the Missouri State Auditor.”
Having your name called five times in front of co-workers and competitors will stay with him a long time.
“Anyway, it was an incredibly memorable night. More than anything, it showed that I am extremely fortunate to be surrounded by a very talented investigative unit.” Kath notes. “There aren’t two better photojournalists/editors in the market than Andy Pollard and Michael Butler. I rely on Keith King and Melissa Yaeger constantly for advice and feedback on stories and scripts. And executive producer Melissa Greenstein is a top-notch leader.”
Kath was also quick to thank former KSHB News Director Peggy Phillip and former investigative pit bull teammate Russ Ptacek, who is now reporting at WUSA in Washington, D.C., for their help.
“I owe a debt of gratitude to Peggy Phillip for offering me the investigative opportunity two years ago. It’s been a career-changing experience.” he says. “It was also great to have Russ Ptacek back in town. He taught me a ton about investigative reporting in the 18 months we worked together in the unit. And as you know, he quickly becomes the life of the party.
“I would be remiss if I didn’t mention my beautiful wife, Carla (the best-looking lady at the Midland). She’s my in-house editor. I constantly ask her to read scripts and talk through stories. As I mentioned during an acceptance speech, she gives me constructive honest feedback in a southern accent. “Bless your heart” is a lot easier to accept than “this script is terrible.”
Kath, a 2002 graduate of Gustavus Adolphus College with a Master’s degree in broadcast journalist from Boston University, joined KSHB in 2006 and was made part of the NBC affiliate’s investigative team two years ago this month. He now has won seven Emmys.