WLRN Public Television Wins Suncoast Emmy Award

Dec 5, 2016

WLRN Public Television was honored with an award recognizing one of its original productions during the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences' 2016 Suncoast Regional Emmy Awards on Saturday. 

The WLRN original production "Plight of the Plume Birds" was acknowledged as one of five winners in the environment category. The 14-minute documentary was written and directed by former WLRN Director of Television Production and Programming Alan Tomlinson and produced by Francesca De Onis.

The story explores how millions of birds were taken at the height of the feather-tread years by plume hunters, decimating Florida’s shore bird population. Today, the birds still struggle to recover in the face of new man-made threats. 

A moment of silence was held for  Tomlinson, who passed away unexpectedly exactly a week  before the award ceremony. 

“I have mixed emotions as I congratulate Francesca for her producing role and important partnership in creating Alan's last short film. It was magnificent,” said John LaBonia, general manager of WLRN.  “Alan was a talented producer who would often spend per capita as much time crafting his short films as he did working on his feature-length documentary's and I would often ask him why does he spend so much time on a 8–10 minute film.  His reply was always the same, ‘…it’s all about the story and how it's told...everything has to be perfect.’"  

You can watch “Plight of the Plume Birds” online.


The Suncoast Regional Emmy Awards recognize excellence in television and the regions' leadership for their artistic, educational and technical achievements within the television industry. Entries are submitted from all over the region including Alabama, Louisiana, Florida, Georgia and Puerto Rico.

Winners were announced at The 2016 Suncoast EMMY® Awards on Saturday, December 3, 2016 at The Rosen Centre Hotel in Orlando, Florida.