Cheddar’s Alex Heath is the 2018 Birger Award winner

Alex Heath, 25, a senior reporter for Cheddar, is the 2018 winner of the Larry Birger Young Business Journalist contest, honoring journalists younger than 30. Additionally, the judging panel chose to honor two finalists Dani Burger of Bloomberg News and Robert Hackett of Fortune. 

Made possible by a $7,500 gift from rbb Communications of Miami, the award commemorates Larry Birger, a former Miami Herald business editor who led SABEW as president in 1977. Birger was later a principal in rbb until his death in 1998.

Josh Merkin, vice president of rbb Communications, will present the award to Heath at SABEW’s New York Fall Conference on Oct. 25. “As we mark our fifth anniversary of this award, the importance of recognizing the contributions of journalists has never been more important. We must continue to encourage a free press and do what it necessary to ensure the future of the journalism profession,” said Merkin. “We know Larry would be proud of the outstanding work being done today and it gives us great pleasure to honor his legacy by providing opportunities for the next generation.” Merkin said.   

2018 is the fifth year for the competition, past winners include Jillian BermanWilliam AldenCezary Podkul and Mina Kimes 

Alex Heath is a senior reporter for Cheddar. He regularly breaks news on the biggest players in tech and media. Before Cheddar, he was a senior reporter for Business Insider covering the likes of Facebook, Snap, and Twitter. He first started writing professionally for tech blogs at the ripe age of 15. He’s currently based in New York City and originally hails from Louisville, Kentucky.  

“It’s an honor to be recognized by SABEW in a competitive field that includes many peers who I admire and learn from every day. I want to thank my former colleagues at Business Insider and my current colleagues at Cheddar for giving me the support to pursue the kind of journalism I love to do,” Heath said. 

The judges were impressed by Heath’s thorough reporting of companies such as Snapchat and Facebook that are notoriously secretive. His shoe-leather reporting was evident in the fascinating piece about Snapchat’s purchase of Vergence Labs. Health also writes clearly about complex issues, taking the reader inside businesses that aren’t easy to comprehend.  

A total of 23 young journalists submitted entries. The judging team was made up of SABEW members Jon Chesto (chair), James Madore, Marty Steffens, Robert Barba and Cindy Perman.  

About SABEW: 
SABEW is the largest organization of business journalists in the world. For more information, contact Aimée O’Grady at 

About rbb Communications: 
rbb is an integrated communications firm and four-time U.S. Agency of the Year. As the Champion of Breakout Brands, rbb inspires companies to create customer passion that delivers bottom-line results. rbb’s family of brands offers media relations, marketing, corporate communications, digital/social media and creative services/advertising. Specialty practices include consumer products/services, travel and leisure, health, sports and entertainment, professional services/B2B, and higher education. The firm’s global network extends across more than 50 countries through its partnership in PROI Worldwide, the largest global network of independent public-relations agencies. For more information, visit or call 305-448-7450. 

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