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Ellery Award winners named for 2010-11

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League announced today the 2010-11 recipients of the James H. Ellery Memorial Awards, presented annually by the league in recognition of outstanding media coverage of the AHL in three categories.

This year’s winners are sportswriter Tim Leone of the Harrisburg (Pa.) Patriot-News (in the newspaper category); Binghamton Senators director of broadcasting Grady Whittenburg (radio); and sports director Jamie Staton of WMUR-TV in Manchester, N.H. (television).

On the AHL beat in Hershey since 1995, Tim Leone continues to provide outstanding coverage for the Bears and the American Hockey League in the Harrisburg Patriot-News print edition while expanding his reach to on-line media. Leone wrote more than 180 stories for publication during the 2010-11 season, posted an additional 100-plus entries to his blog at, and provided his more than 1,500 Twitter followers with frequent breaking-news updates. Additionally, Leone authored a special 16-page season-preview section at the beginning of the year, produced in-depth coverage of the 2011 AHL All-Star Classic in Hershey and also took his expertise to the airwaves, co-hosting a 10-week radio show on ESPN-1400 in Harrisburg to help promote the event.

Well-respected throughout the American Hockey League for his knowledge, dedication and passion at the microphone, Grady Whittenburg recently completed his eighth season as the Binghamton Senators’ radio play-by-play voice by calling the city’s first-ever Calder Cup championship. Whittenburg produced all aspects of Senators game-night broadcasts along with “Sens Game Day,” a two-minute preview which aired on game days, and “Sens Rewind,” a 60-second highlight piece for the following morning’s drive time. At the beginning of the season, Whittenburg spearheaded the creation and production of a weekly audio highlights package which aired on radio broadcasts across the league as well as on SiriusXM satellite radio’s NHL Home Ice channel. Whittenburg also provided the radio call of the 2011 AHL All-Star Classic and coordinated the addition of TEAM 1200 in Ottawa to the Senators Broadcast Network for the 2011 Calder Cup Playoffs.

Jamie Staton, the sports director and weekday sports anchor at WMUR-TV in Manchester, N.H., has ensured outstanding coverage of the Manchester Monarchs and the American Hockey League since the team began operations 10 years ago. Staton and his crew are regularly on hand at the Verizon Wireless Arena for live shots before Monarchs home games, and WMUR’s cameras have followed Monarchs players, coaches and staff in the community at schools, charity events and other appearances thanks to Staton’s commitment to the team. The Monarchs also benefit from coverage on WMUR’s web site, where team releases and photos are frequently posted.

The James H. Ellery Memorial Awards, which were first presented in 1964, honor the late Mr. Ellery, who served the American Hockey League for 17 years as league secretary and publicity director.

In operation since 1936, the AHL continues to serve as the top development league for all 30 National Hockey League teams. More than 87 percent of today’s NHL players are American Hockey League graduates, and for the 10th year in a row, more than 6 million fans attended AHL games across North America in 2010-11.