Jenson Bland of Glennville, News Photographer for WSAV television station in Savannah, was awarded an Emmy Saturday night, June 17, 2023, for his reporting, along with Brett Buffington, for the "Little Boy Lost: The Quinton Simon Investigation" under the Continuing Coverage category. Although Buffington is no longer with WSAV, Bland accepted the Emmy award at the prestigious event held at Buckhead in Atlanta.
This was also the only award received by WSAV, although the station and its staff were nominees in several other categories. Only five nominees are listed in each category of reporting.
The award is especially elite in that the Regional Southeast Emmy Chapter is one of 19 chapters throughout the U.S. This chapter represents television professionals from all disciplines of the industry and from each of the markets of Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Asheville, North Carolina.
The Quinton Simon investigative story revolves around the finding of body parts of a child, Quinton Simon, in a landfill. It is alleged that the mother of the 20-month-old little boy left her home and tossed the child inside a dumpster. That dumpster was dumped into a trash truck that brought Quinton to the landfill. Leilani Simon, the 22-year-old mother of Quinton, has been charged with malice murder. Bland and Buffington were one of the first on the scene when the child was first reported missing.
"I am extremely proud of the work we put into this story! On my first day working with Brett, this was our story. From the second we stepped out of the vehicle, we poured everything in us to make sure baby Quinton got the justice he deserved. I will forever be grateful for all the valuable skills Brett taught me during our time together," said Bland, upon receiving the honor.
"Thank you to the entire WSAV team. This story couldn't have been told to our audience without every single person in the station. We win together and we lose together, and last night we won," said Bland on Sunday.
"At the end of the day, it's not about the awards we receive, but the stories we are able to tell every single day," he added.
Bland shared that this is the first Emmy that WSAV has earned in many years and the only station in the Savannah area that earned an Emmy at the 2023 Southeast Emmy Awards gala this past weekend.
Bland, the son of Derek and Jennifer Bland of Glennville, earned a degree in Multi-Media Film and Production from Georgia Southern University in May 2022. He became employed as a News Photographer in August of 2022 and has served in investigative reporting and news photography for the Savannah based station.
Others from WSAV attending the Emmy Awards event in Atlanta were News Director Kathy Wideman; Anchors Tina Tyus-Shaw and Ben Senger; and Weekend Anchor/Reporter Kaley Fedko.