Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
ALTOONA — The Iowa Broadcasters Association has announced their Broadcaster of the Year award for a pair Z102.9 hosts: Claire Duffy and Washington native Eric Hanson. The announcement marks the first time the award has been given to two winners in the same year.
“Our morning show wasn’t even two years old when we had to adapt to the pandemic, safely separating studios and using Zoom just to see each other while hosting our four-hour show,” said Duffy, co-host of The Morning Scramble Morning Show on Z102.9. “Then, the derecho hit and we had to recalibrate again to bring urgent information to our listeners while also serving as an escape.”
The Iowa Broadcaster of the Year has been awarded annually since 1975 by the IBA, honoring the “best of the best” in Iowa’s broadcast industry. The award recognizes an Iowa broadcast professional for their excellence in broadcasting.
Hanson, who started his career in Washington, says the immediacy and impact of radio broadcasting rang true the past few years.
“During the derecho aftermath I was doing shows in my house after it was hit by a tree, and from my brother’s basement relaying up-to-the-minute information on open gas stations, food and clothing drives, and emergency city services,” said Hanson. “Through the pandemic, Clare and I started creating video content to help our listeners, and us, adjust to the new balance of work, life, and school, all safely separated in our homes.”
The Morning Scramble show debuted Sept. 2018 as the third morning show since KZIA’s launch in 1998. Both hosts are well known in the community for hosting events like a free prom dress pop-up shop and KZIA’s annual Wedding Show.
Chris Jackson, KZIA’s operation manager, said the pair’s chemistry was impressive.
“Their growth and evolution in under four years is not typical in this industry,” he said. “They were a young morning show that was quickly shaped through disaster and now they continue to provide a daily balance of normalcy, levity, positivity, and community love to an ever-growing and loyal audience.”