the most straightforward, best edited and most informative local
daily; they may be suffering under the same economic constraints
as the rest of the business, but at least they don’t seem to be
undergoing an ongoing identity crisis. Their coverage of the Raucci
case and the scandals in the Schenectady police department was exemplary.
And they have the best comics page in town.
still smarting from the departure of Lydia Kulbida, but despite
her unfortunate absence, the Newschannel 13 team is still delivering
top-notch breaking news and in-depth specialized reporting. Their
13-person crew of anchors and reporters includes a strong mix of
veteran reporters and new energy.
Northeast Public Radio
simply has no competition for this award. They mix reports from
their far-flung regional news bureaus, capitol reports from Karen
DeWitt and NPR programming to present the most comprehensive news
on radio (or TV, for that matter). Also worth noting are the interviews
with regional newspaper editors on The Roundtable, and local
political commentary all day long.
was only a couple years ago that the smart money was banking against
The Record, which had long suffered under the relentlessly
poor management strategies of its parent company, Journal Register.
In the past year, however, The Record has fought back against
the odds, and we have been happily surprised. The credit was due,
ironically, to the bankruptcy of JRC, which forced the corporation
to reimagine itself and forge a new approach to reporting local
news. And locally, we have seen the impact of this at The Record,
which has doubled its editorial staff (in this economy!) over
the past year, and now regularly produces the most satisfying
read of any paper around.
Strock is a consummate professional, and year after year he consistently
engages the Capital Region with his intelligent and challenging
journalism. Over this past year, he has performed an exemplary job
with his courageous reporting on the trial of Steven Raucci, and
the mess in the Schenectady school system.
the past year, John McLoughlin has impressed with his mighty important
work in the murky political cesspool of Troy. In October, he broke
the story that Bob Mirch had sneaked a Schenectady jailbird onto
the ballot on the Working Families Party line in Troy as a dummy
candidate (as was his habit); McLoughlin’s footage of Mirch giggling
over the ruse probably cost him his reelection bid. And just this
past month, McLoughlin got on the trail of another Rensselaer County
Republican when he chased down and proved false the tall tales that
Mayor Harry Tutunjian was telling about why Troy missed the opening
date for its city pools. Give ’em hell, John.
meteorologist Bob Kovachick leads a crack weather team at Newschannel
13. With a more than two-decade tenure at WNYT, he knows our local
weather, and he prepares and delivers four, count ’em four,
evening broadcasts each day, all with professionalism we trust and
personality we love. But we implore you Bob, bring back the mustache.
a good man and thorough. When Newschannel 13’s meteorologist Paul
Caiano comes on the box for his “Midday Magazine” regional forecast,
it’s not just a cursory run through the highs and lows or blind
conjecture about precipitation. Dude lays it all out. It
might start with frost warnings and the weekend outlook, but by
the end of his five-minute discourse, Caiano’s spun a full mini-epic
of dew points, cold fronts and barometric pressure.
Weekend Radio Host
Gallagher, aka “weekend boy,” seems to be getting the hang of the
radio show hosting thingy. He seems to have figured out which buttons
to push and how to work the mic, though we question his belief that
most listeners enjoy his ukulele strumming. Gallagher’s weekend
morning shows on WGY are more fun than they have a right to be.
Political Radio Show
From the State Capitol With Fred Dicker
New York Post state political editor
Fred Dicker’s show is a perennial winner. He breaks news, gets interesting
(and powerful) guests, and lets the listener know where’s he’s coming
from. And his “music Friday” segment, where he plays everything
from 1940s pro-Stalinist ditties to 1910s anti-immigrant tunes,
is a hoot.
Political TV Show
Capital Tonight is TV crack for political
junkies; it’s the ultimate show covering state politics. Why? It’s
on five nights a week. (And if your TimeWarner Cable conks out,
you can listen to it on AM radio.) Host Elizabeth Benjamin brings
her print-reporter experience to the nightly newsmaker interviews—and
the show gets quality guests consistently.
to-the-point, and often funny, Jimmy Vielkind has assumed the “top
blogger” perch at the New York State Capitol.
Union Community Blogs
the sublime to the ridiculous, the Times Union’s community blogs
one, in the legitimate or illegitimate press, can keep up with Theresa
Grafflin. Blogging under the nom de plume Albany Citizen One, Grafflin
has positioned herself as the most insidery and most irritating
insider in the insular world of Albany city politics. No small feat,
to be sure, for a reporter or a blogger. And we appreciate having
her around, even when what she has to write makes us cringe.
Music writer extraordinaire Greg Haymes, musician/programmer Sara
Ayers and phonics-boggling photographer Andrzej Pilarczyk—the team
behind Nippertown—deliver quick hits of local arts and music news,
tips and criticism on an often hourly basis. They’re neck-deep in
the scene, and report about it with savvy enthusiasm and just enough
snark to keep it amusing.
Food Blog: Steve Barnes
up a chair and talk about food,” urges Steve Barnes’ blog Table
Hopping. His comprehensive conversation of all-things gastronomic
will have you not only pulling up a chair but drooling on your keyboard.
He challenges readers to delight in food, to understand the business
behind food, and their consumer choices. And folks love it—Table
Hopping recently celebrated a landmark 50,000 comments.
Everybody now: Awwwww. Restaurateur Matt Baumgartner’s insanely
popular blog begins with readers submitting photos of their cutey-patootie,
fuzzy-wuzzy snoogle-puss every Friday and then voting on the cutie-patootiest,
but that’s just the hook. Friday Puppy also features conversation
regarding preferred breakfast cereal, reader polls for favorite
Real Housewife of New Jersey, and all kinds of “Puppy Prizes.” Just
remember to keep it clean—otherwise, Matt will disem-vowel your
this volunteer community organization came around, if you wanted
to catch a meeting of your city government, you had to show up.
If you wanted to hold a politician to their word, you had to record
it yourself. With an archive of video going back to February 2009,
this minuscule team of civic-minded videographers has captured almost
all of the important meetings—council, committee, caucus, ad hoc,
you name it—in Albany that can directly affect you.
Music Radio Station (Commercial)
The rest of commercial radio may continue to decline, but WEQX stays
true it its mission—and remains a great station to listen to. The
Manchester, Vt.-based mainstay presents “alternative” music in all
its ragged glory, from the Black Keys to Laredo to the Hold Steady.
Keep on doin’ what you’re doin’, EQX!
Independent Radio Station (Public)
Just as independent bands these days survive by the goodwill of
the community that they serve, so do the radio stations that play
them. Having just celebrated its third birthday, WEXT is deeply
committed to the region—not only its local musicians, whom the station
plays more than any other, but its listeners, to whom the station
offers guest DJ spots and relies on for support. Definitely a win-win
College Radio Station
was a stretch there when tuning into UAlbany’s student-run radio
station yielded untzy techno and meatheads from Long Island discussing
who got wastedest last weekend. But this past year or so has seen
a return to the kind of taste-breaking programming that makes college
radio vital, and once earned CDB the reputation of the first area
station to play bands like Jane’s Addiction and Melissa Etheridge.
Indie Rock Radio Show
Glazer is nearly as well-known for her distinctive radio voice as
she is for her excellent taste in contemporary music (and artwork,
and photography . . .), and it’s these two things that make her
weekly two-hour show the best of its kind. Hello Pretty City
used to be the best reason to wake up early on a Tuesday morning
when Glazer started at WRPI, but after a move to Sunday nights on
WEXT, it’s the best way to wind down a weekend and get psyched on
cool new music.
Free-Form Radio DJ
wherever you are, tune into “nifty 91-fitty, W-RRRRRR-P-I Troy.”
Chances are, Hair Man Du is taking you through. The guy doesn’t
sleep. Whenever the station isn’t playing Democracy Now, In the
Spirit, or any number of student-hosted shows, the Hair Man
is manning the booth, spinning playlists that spurn thematic continuity,
performing skits in multiple voices, and improvising public service
announcements about forest fire prevention over abstract John Fahey
tracks. A true master of his art.