SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League announced today that Scott Leber, sports director at WTVO-TV in Rockford, Ill., has been selected as the recipient of the James H. Ellery Memorial Award for the 2021-22 season.
The James H. Ellery Memorial Award is presented annually in recognition of outstanding media coverage of the American Hockey League. It was first presented in 1964-65 and honors the late Jim Ellery, who served the AHL for 17 years as league secretary and publicity director until his death in 1964.
A staple on the local sports scene since joining WTVO in 1989, Leber serves as sports director and is the sports anchor for the nightly newscasts on Rockford’s ABC and Fox affiliates. He has long recognized the Rockford IceHogs’ importance to the local community, and remained committed to covering the club despite limitations and health and safety protocols that were in place last season, attending nearly every video conference session, media day, pre- and post-game availability and IceHogs home game to gather highlights and footage.
“One of my biggest joys working in Rockford sports is covering the Rockford IceHogs,” Leber said. “I’ve always found hockey players to be among the most down-to-earth athletes. The IceHogs organization has been tremendous to work with. Their staff has always been great about providing those of us in the Rockford media with access to players and coaches and accommodating those of us who report on the team.”
Leber has covered events including the Stanley Cup Final, the World Series, the Super Bowl, the Indy 500 and the Masters over his career, and has worked as the studio host for local Hockey Night in Rockford telecasts of IceHogs games.
In operation since 1936, the AHL serves as the top development league for all 32 National Hockey League teams. Nearly 90 percent of today’s NHL players are American Hockey League graduates, and more than 100 honored members of the Hockey Hall of Fame spent time in the AHL in their careers.