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MEDIA

Best Newspaper Reporter

Brendan J. Lyons

Times Union

Although we have the tendency to hate on the TU, Lyons is a prime example of a principled, hard-working reporter who knows what his job is. This year, Lyons broke stories about the Albany Police Department and gangs that have helped move the city toward more responsibility in the APD and a better understanding of crime on Albany’s streets.

Best Breaking News

TimesUnion.com

So we’re on our way to an uptown Albany bank on a recent afternoon, and we spot a helicopter hovering over a neighborhood where, usually, one doesn’t see helicopters. We get back to the office a bit later, and go directly to TimesUnion.com. Reporter Tim O’Brien has posted that the helicopter had been searching for a missing Alzheimer’s patient, and that the woman had been found. Now that’s breaking news.

Best Remedial Reporting

Times Union

It’s cute that the Times Union has finally decided to do in-depth reporting about Albany’s gang and gun problem—cute and a little late to the game. Last year the paper seemed determined to prove that Albany’s gun-violence problem was a figment of the citizens of Albany’s imagination. But lo and behold, this year the TU has even dared call Chief Tuffey and Mayor Jerry Jennings to task on their poor leadership and their general aversion to talking about Albany’s major crime problems. Thanks for taking your head out of the sand TU; hopefully Jennings and Tuffey will join you.

Best Blog Comments

The Albany Amp

Scandal and intrigue in one- sentence posts is the trademark of this anonymous blog, broadcasting (supposedly) from deep inside the Senate majority bunker. In the months leading up to Sen. Joe Bruno’s gigantic announcement, this convincingly in-the-know blog offered the daily titillations of supposed resignation sightings and FBI subpoenas. But the real meat was in the comments section, where other apparent insiders of the Albany chattering class dropped names and rumors like they were hot. And they were.

Best TV News

NewsChannel 13 WNYT

Capital Region stalwarts: Every year we wonder if another newscast will unseat NewsChannel 13—and it never happens. Every time we tune in, we are still treated to 22 minutes of solid, insightful reportage from a well-rounded and intelligent crew.


Best news anchor: Lydia Kulbida.

Photo: Joe Putrock

Best News Anchor

Lydia Kulbida

WNYT

Lydia Kulbida is the indisputable heavyweight champion of the 6 and 11 o’clock broadcasts. Period.

 

 

 

 

 

Best Political TV Show

New York Now

WMHT-TV

Susan Arbetter and company have taken it up a notch, refining the “week in review” format with sharp panel commentary and great interview “gets.” (Hello, new Gov. Paterson!) New York Now is a can’t-miss for political junkies.

Best TV Weatherman

Bob Kovachik

WNYT, Channel 13

Part science, part séance, forecasting the weather is a delicate business. For two decades now, Bob Kovachik has been wooing Capital Region audiences with his meteorological ballets, his mystical Doppler, and his charismatic forecast-flanking patter. And if that weren’t enough, Bob travels regularly to local schools to share his love for meteorology with the kids. Which cumulonimbus crazy tyke will become the next Kovachik? We’ll have to check our Doppler.

Best Channel-Surfing Wipeout

TheGlenn Slingerland Situation

Channel My TV 4

The Glenn Slingerland Situation has a mesmerizing effect on us cable-challenged channel surfers. His homemade music videos feature oddly recognizable, glammed-out women-next-door types wandering with intensity through vaguely interesting places to a soundtrack of the kind of offbeat music Glenn Slingerland has a knack for finding. And it captivates us every time. We are, however, beginning to wonder if the throaty-voiced, perpetually- headphoned host actually has ears. We’ve never seen them. The gauntlet is thrown: Show us your ears Glenn Slingerland!!

Best Public-Information Officer

Sgt. David Dean

Troy Police Department

This veteran officer in the Troy PD keeps the media abreast of all the newsworthy busts with comprehensive and thorough dedication (and a healthy barrage of very detailed e-mails). We wish that every public employee worked this hard.

Best Food Blog

Table Hopping

Steve Barnes, timesunion.com

When a local celebrity chef recently decided to leave his marquee job for a new restaurant, Steve Barnes was the first to break the shocking news to the local foodies and industry people who faithfully read his blog, Table Hopping. This is typical of Barnes, who is well-connected to the restaurant scene (and also gets plenty of anonymous tips). But it’s not just the breaking industry news that makes his column fun; it’s also the give-and-take on food subjects that interest his readers. Fielding questions on anything from where to find a po’ boy to what to do when your 7 PM table isn’t ready until 7:45, Barnes answers thoughtfully and then plays the well-tempered moderator as readers go back and forth with their own often-entertaining comments.

Best News Radio

WAMC Northeast Radio

WAMC-FM

A peerless operation, with reporter-editors in Albany, the Hudson Valley, the Mohawk Valley, the North Country/Vermont, Western Connecticut, Northampton, Mass., and the Berkshires. The most comprehensive view of the region available, and it’s available all day. Plus, the interviews with newspaper editors on The Roundtable often give an extra dimension to what we read in print.

Best Talk Radio Empire

Talk 1300

WGDJ-AM

When Paul Vandenburgh left his old AM station to start Talk 1300, there were doubters. But Vandenburgh assembled an old-school “dream team” of radio vets, including Dan Lynch and Fred Dicker on weekdays, and John Graney’s Sportstalk on Sunday evenings. The station is, ahem, considerably more conservative than we are, but it’s also much more Capital Region- oriented (and savvy) than its competition.

Best Comprehensive Weather

Paul Caiano

WAMC-FM

We were worried when Mike Landon retired from reporting WAMC’s epic morning forecasts. Who would tell us, every weekday, what the weather would be like in the Nunavut Territory? Happily, NewsChannel 13’s Paul Caiano has taken over this duty with skill and aplomb.

Best Radio Panel Show

The Media Project

WAMC-FM

The Media Project is officially back, after a slump. (We imagine Alan Chartock muttering, “Don’t call it a comback!”) The rotating panel features even-tempered Daily Freeman editor Ira Fusfeld and incisive WTEN-TV anchor Elisa Streeter, balancing out the fierce rants of WAMC’s Chartock and the MSM talking points from the Times Union’s Rex Smith. Example: Smith regularly dismisses the assertion that NPR covers the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan more thoroughly than other mainstream media. Well, guess what? They do.

Best Music Radio Station (Non-Commercial)

WEXT 97.7 FM

What seemed like an experiment has the potential to become an empire: Exit 97.7, as the station is colloquially known, has cemented its spot on the Capital Region dial with an great mix of music (technically “Triple A,” or Adult Album Alternative, according to radio- formatting standards, though that classification spans the divide between Radiohead and Dylan), a strong commitment to the local music scene (they’re playing roughly two regional acts per hour by our count), and interesting syndicated programming (everything from the Putamayo Radio Hour to Nic Harcourt’s Sounds Eclectic). The listener-supported station was recently nominated for a R&R Triple A award for Best Non-Commercial Radio Station in a small(er) market. We’re just going to go ahead and say they’re the best around.

Best Music Radio Station (Commercial)

WEQX 102.7 FM

Not every station relies on the public for funding. And usually the ones that don’t, suck. But WEQX doesn’t suck, and it’s managed to avoid sucking for more than 20 years. (We’re overlooking the gray, Hootie-filled mid-’90s.) The Manchester, Vt.-based station has stayed true to its brand, presenting the latest “alternative” music in whatever form that might take this week. That can be good and bad—right now the station is spinning new tracks from Black Kids, the Hold Steady, and Bauhaus (!), which is almost enough to make us forget that they’re also playing Flobots—but at least there’s one station around that doesn’t feel the need to “get the Led out” three times a day.

 

 

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