Best Newspaper Reporter
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
news anchor: Lydia Kulbida.
Kulbida is the indisputable heavyweight champion of the 6 and 11
o’clock broadcasts. Period.
Political TV Show
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.
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.
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!!
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.
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.
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.
Talk Radio Empire
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
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.
Radio Panel Show
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.
Music Radio Station (Non-Commercial)
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.
Music Radio Station (Commercial)
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.