CBS3 led the way with 49 nominations for Mid-Atlantic Emmys, it was announced yesterday. Fox29 and NBC10 followed, with 30 and 23 nominations, respectively. (6ABC traditionally does not participate.)

The awards, now in their 27th year, recognize excellence in television news, programming and individual achievement in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. This year's nominations are for work done between April 1, 2008, and March 31.

Winners will be announced at a ceremony Sept. 26 at the Philadelphia Loews Hotel.

Philadelphia TV stations dominated the nominations, which were culled by panels of judges from 630 entries submitted in 70 categories by 18 stations, nine cable operations, two online publications and more than a dozen independent producers. Individuals also are permitted to nominate themselves.

Nominees for the best evening newscast in a larger market include Fox29 News at 10 for coverage of the Phillies' world championship and the fire at the Riverwalk complex in Conshohocken, KDKA-TV News at 5 in Pittsburgh for covering the killing of an FBI agent, and CBS3 for coverage of the Riverwalk blaze and the emergency landing of a US Airways plane in the Hudson River.

Nominations for best morning newscast went to Fox29 Good Day Philadelphia, NBC10 News Today and CBS3 Eyewitness News This Morning.

Three local channels, WHYY TV12, Fox29, and Comcast SportsNet, are in the running for the Station Excellence award, along with Pittsburgh's WQED Multimedia.

Nominees for the News Excellence award include CBS3, Fox29, NJN Public Television, WHP CBS21 in Harrisburg and KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh.

In the running for best news anchor are Kerri-Lee Halkett of Fox29 and Kim Lemon of WGAL-TV in Lancaster.

Weather anchor nominees include CBS3's Kathy Orr, Fox29's John Krasting and Tom Russell of WHP CBS21.

Bill Vargus is among the nominees for best sports anchor, although Fox29 recently declined to renew his contract after 12 years at the station.

Other sports anchor nominees include John Boruk of Comcast SportsNet and Jason Bristol of WHP CBS21.

Former CBS3 anchor Larry Mendte garnered three nominations - for his role as host/writer/producer of a human interest special, for features-human interest reporting and for writing.

CBS3 fired Mendte in June 2008 after federal charges were filed accusing him of hacking into fellow anchor Alycia Lane's e-mail. He pleaded guilty to those charges, but has since asked that the court alter or vacate his sentence on grounds of "ineffective" counsel.

In addition to Mendte, nominees in the Reporter-Features/Human Interest category include Sean Murphy of CBS3, Wendy Bell of WTAE-TV in Pittsburgh, Shannon Davidson of WHP CBS21, and Janet Zappala, formerly of CN8 (now the Comcast Network).

Nominations for the Community Service award went to NJN Public Television for "Su Salud Primero/Your Health First," to NBC10 for "Switch to Digital TV," and to CBS3 for "A Stand for Hope 2008" and "Fight for a Cure."

In the investigative reporting category, nominations went to WHP CBS21, Fox29, CBS3 and NBC10, which got two nominations.

Nominated in Advanced Media-Arts/Entertainment were philly.com ("Outdoor Philadelphia - Skydiving"); Center City Film & Video/Comcast Cable Corp. ("Paranormal TV- Haunts", "Something Weird News", "Activity TV Jr. Pretends: Beach"; "Activity TV Jr. Yoga: Up in the Air") and NBC10 ("Save the Date).