Log In Registration

Readers Poll: Media & Arts

by The Staff on March 8, 2012 · 3 comments



Best Local TV News

1. WNYT, NewsChannel13


3. WTEN, ABC10

In contrast with last year’s close vote totals, NewsChannel 13 won in a landslide. Only a few votes separated the runners-up.


Best Local TV News Anchor

1. Benita Zahn, WNYT

2. Jim Kambrich, WNYT

3. Lydia Kulbida, WTEN

Once upon a time there were 6 and 11 PM newscasts—and that was that. Now, there are more newscasts, more anchors and a wider distribution of votes. Your taste is excellent, though: Zahn, Kambrich and Kulbida are all talented journalists.


Best Local Meteorologist

1. Bob Kovachick, WNYT

2. Steve Caporizzo, WTEN

3. Paul Caiano, WNYT

Three classy weatherdudes. The first- and second-place finishers were close. If only rescue animals could vote. . . .


Best Local Sportscaster

1. Rodger Wyland, WNYT

2. Andrew Catalon, WNYT

3. Marisa Jacques, YNN

You voted overwhelmingly, again, for Rodger Wyland. Andrew Catalon repeats in second place, but this is YNN favorite Marisa Jacques’ first appearance in our poll.


Best Local News Radio


2. WGY

3. TALK 1300 AM

This was another landslide for WAMC Northeast Public Radio and their extensive regional coverage.


Best Local Music Radio



3. FLY 92

Longtime indie standard-bearer WEQX retakes first place from last year’s victor, public-radio rival WEXT. Pop music juggernaut FLY 92 returns to the top three.


Best Local Radio DJ

1. Laura Glazer, Hello Pretty City, WEXT

2. Jeff Morad, WEQX

3. Marissa Lanchak, FLY 92

Laura Glazer photo by Leif Zurmuhlen

Glazer has great taste and a lovely voice. Morad and Lanchak make listening to the radio a pleasure.


Best Local Publication

1. Metroland

2. Times Union

3. The Daily Gazette

We killed in this category. You’re not just buttering us up, are you?


Best Local Arts Coverage

1. Metroland

2. Nippertown

3. Times Union

Another landslide. Really, you’re too kind.


Best Local Print Journalist

1. Jordan Carleo-Evangelist, Times Union

2. Paul Grondhal, Times Union

3. Carl Strock, The Daily Gazette

Carleo-Evangelist’s Albany coverage is a key to understanding how things work around here. Last year he didn’t finish in the top three; this year he edged out his TU colleague by a single vote.


Best Local TV Commercial

1. Fuccillo

2. Catseye Pest Control

3. Koto Restaurant

A repeat of last year’s top three. Your regard for Billy Fuccillo is HUUUUUUGE.


Best Local Website, News

1. Times Union

2. All Over Albany


There’s no getting around it, timesunion.com is the place on the web for local news—breaking and otherwise.


Best Local Website, Community

1. All Over Albany

2. Metroland

3. Keep Albany Boring

AOA beat us like a rented mule. At least we fended off those punks at Keep Albany Boring again. The war goes on, even if our music editor insists on wearing a KAB T-shirt.


Best Local Website, Arts

1. Nippertown

2. Metroland

3. (TIE) All Over Albany, Keep Albany Boring

This was a close race, but not close enough for the nice people at Nippertown to worry about—though our arts editor worries over it.


Best Local Website, Music

1. Nippertown

2. Crumbs

3. Keep Albany Boring

Those damned KAB punks knocked us out of the top three. Asked for comment, Metroland said, “Get off my lawn!”


Best Local Blog

1. All Over Albany

2. Friday Puppy

3. Table Hopping

After losing to Friday Puppy last year, AOA can savor a clear victory. FP’s Matt Baumgartner will have to be satisfied with being voted a local celebrity our readers would like to hook up with.


Best Twitter Feed

1. @SeanPCollins

2. @patrickdodson

3. (TIE) @jcevangelist, @justkristi

Time for some bird metaphors, Tweeps. On Twitter, Sean Collins is a mockingbird. Patrick Dodson is an owl. Jordan Carleo-Evangelist is a hawk. Kristi Gustafson Barlette is a peacock.




Best Movie Theater

1. Spectrum 8 Theatres

2. Regal Colonie Center Cinema 13

3. Bow Tie Cinemas Movieland

This is Spectrum 8 Theatres’ biggest margin of victory yet: 250 votes. Aside from your entirely justified Spectrum ardor, Regal Colonie Center (which has lovely 4K Sony Digital projectors) and Movieland (which offers a superior moviegoing experience) repeat as runners-up.


Best Museum

1. New York State Museum

2 Albany Institute of History & Art


You heart New York, at least when it comes to museums. We agree the New York State Museum is one of the state’s best bargains: several floors, a spectacular view—and free admission.


Best Art Gallery

1. Albany Center Gallery

2. Marketplace Gallery

3. UAG Gallery

Kudos to Albany Center Gallery, where art first became hip.


Best Local Performing Arts Organization

1. Saratoga Performing Arts Center

2. Capital Repertory Theatre

3. Proctors

Performing arts organizations don’t come any bigger or better than SPAC.


Best Live Theater Venue

1. Proctors

2. Capital Repertory Theatre

3. The Egg

Proctors gets its props for presenting Broadway-quality live theater in a grand old movie palace.


Best Children’s Arts Programming

1. Steamer No. 10 Theatre

2. Capital Area Productions

3. Proctors

Ric Chesser and the folks at Steamer No. 10 Theatre can be proud that you have again recognized their fine kids’ programming.


Best Local Visual Artist

1. Samson Contompasis

2. Mike Feurstein

3. Sarah Roberts

This one was close: Contompasis won by one vote.


Best Local Multimedia Artist

1. Best Bytes Media

2. Heidi Philipsen

3. Mike Feurstein

Best Bytes videography vied with indie filmmakers and won by two votes.


Best Local Fiction Writer

1. William Kennedy

2. Abby Hammond

3. Vince Zandri

The Bard of Albany, William Kennedy, is once again your most esteemed prize winner.


Best Local Nonfiction Writer

1. (TIE) Brett Parker, Paul Grondahl

3. (TIE) John Rodat, Nick Flynn

There is something not quite right about a vote that ends with two ties in one category. We’ve decided to blame essayist, critic and Tumblr-er John Rodat and be done with it.


Best Local Poet

1. Colin Halloran

2. RM Englehart

3. Gary Murrow

Englehart is a perennial favorite in this category, joined by newcomers Colin Halloran and Gary Murrow.


Best Local Solo Musician

1. Erin Harkes

2. Sean Rowe

3. Henry’s Rifle

Erin Harkes photo by Julia Zave

Erin Harkes won by a solid double-digit margin.




Best Live Music Venue

1. Valentine’s

2. Northern Lights

3. Saratoga Performing Arts Center

The ol’ beer joint easily trumped all comers with its intimate stage and authentic rock & roll ambience.


Best Dance Club/Dance Night

1. Vapor Night Club

2. Fuze Box

3. Jillian’s

Spacious, mainstream Vapor beat out alternative, edgy Fuze Box by a single vote.


Best Open Mic

1. Hudson River Coffee House

2. McGeary’s Irish Pub

3. Caffe Lena

A dozen votes separated the cozy Quail Street hangout from the hoppin’ downtown Albany hotspot.


Best Trivia Night

1. Bombers Burrito Bar

2. Juniors

3. McGeary’s Irish Pub

The Lark Street hotspot managed a dozen-vote win over its up- and downtown rivals.


Best Art Event

1. Chowderfest

2. 1st Friday

3. Art on Lark

Readers voted with their stomachs for this one; next year, we’ll have a culinary art category.


Best Local Country Band

1. Skeeter Creek

2. Back 40 Band

3. (TIE) Eastbound Jesus, Ramblin’ Jug Stompers

Pickin’ and grinnin’: Skeeter Creek won this category by almost 50 votes.


Best Local Blues/R&B

1. Ernie Williams


3. Tom Healy Band

The dean of Albany bluesmen racks up another win.


Best Local Jazz Musician/Band

1. (TIE) Standard Clams, Bopitude

3. Brian Patneaude

Standard Clams came out of nowhere to tie Michael Benedict’s celebrated project, with local sax great Brian Patneaude grabbing third.


Best Local Punk Band

1. (TIE) Neutron Rats, Slaughterhouse Chorus

3. Bourbon Scum

Not only was this a helluva close race, the winners would make for one solid bill of fast, loud punk.


Best Local Hip-Hop


2. Sinister

3. Dezmatic

It’s been a big year for MIRK and their growing number of fans got their back in this category.


Best Local Rock Band

1. Hair of the Dog

2. Skeletons in the Piano

3. Erin Harkes Band

We expect that this poll running in March—but a week from St. Patty’s Day—gave Hair of the Dog the edge in this esteemed category. Head out any weekend of the year, though, and you’re liable to catch one of these bands in action.


Best Local Indie Rock Band

1. The City Never Sleeps

2. (TIE) Skeletons in the Piano, The Lucky Jukebox Brigade

There appears to be a passing of the generational torch with this category, as longtime reader fave Sirsy dropped to fourth below rising whipper-snappers the City Never Sleeps.


Best Local Cover Band

1. Funk Evolution

2. Skeeter Creek

3. Audiostars

Our readers like to put a glide in their stride and a dip in their hip when they come aboard the cover band mothership.


Best Local Metal Band

1. Armour Column

2. (TIE) Maggot Brain, In the Casket

Thrash prevailed, as Skinless offshoot Armour Column took this category handily.


Best Local Hardcore Band

1. (TIE) Black John Wayne, Brick by Brick

3. Maggot Brain

We may need to introduce a “metalcore” category next year, with Maggot Brain showing in both of the above. No shortage of good heavy music around these parts.


Best Local Club DJ

1. DJ Trumaster

2. DJ Nick Papagiorgio

3. Playground

No contest, Tru is the master of classic hip-hop and theme-based dance parties. He works, like, nine nights a week for this reputation.


Best Comedian

1. Greg Aidala

2. Jay McBride

3. (TIE) Kevin Marshall, Vernon Payne

We’ve often written about Greg Aidala in the context of his entrepreneurial showbiz skills; here, your votes allow us to point out how very funny he is.


Best Art Scene MVP

1. Samson Contompasis

2. Tony Iadicicco

3. Jon Russell Cring

The master of the art “happening,” Samson Contompasis, remains first in your hearts.

Photo of Samson Contompasis by Julia Zave