Best TV News
Another perennial winner. They have the deepest on-air bench (Benita Zahn, Jim Kambrich, Bob Kovachick, Elaine Houston, Jessica Layton, Kumi Tucker and more), all solid reporters and meteorologists. NewsChannel 13 also has the most technically impressive newscast.
Best Political TV Program
YNN’s nightly window on New York state politics can’t be beat for depth and breadth of coverage, and host Liz Benjamin is, hands down, the best political interviewer in this market.
Best TV Anchor
For knowledge of the area, insight into local issues and authority on camera, anchors don’t come any better than Kulbida. She has an easy thoughtful manner whether the news is heavy or light.
Best TV Meteorologist
There are actually many fine meteorologists in this market, but Caporizzo stands out for his reliable forecasts. (We also enjoy his distrust of computer models, too.)
Best TV Sports Anchor
The Troy native (and Union College grad) knows this market well and it shows, whether reporting on high school sports or the Yankees and Giants.
Best TV On The Radio
When we’re outside or in the car, we often find ourselves flipping over to 900 AM to check on local news or catch the “Weather on the 9s.” We know we’re missing some strictly visual info, but we’re not likely to win the lottery anyway.
Best Radio News
A perennial winner, and for an excellent reason: News director Katie Britton, Brian Shields and the rest of the team do a great job of reporting news from across WAMC’s sprawling coverage area. (Also: David Guistina’s reports during Morning Edition are usually more interesting than what NPR serves up.)
Best Radio Arts Coverage
Theater, literature, indy cinema, dance, music and more: WAMC’s The Roundtable keeps listeners connected to what’s going on across the station’s aforementioned “sprawling coverage area.” Host Joe Donahue and producer Sarah LaDuke are an arts-savvy duo.
Best Independent Radio (Commercial)
WEQX has been leading the way in independent commercial music radio, with few lapses, for as long as we can remember (and some of us actually can remember when the best “new music” station was WQBK). Go here for your fix of artists like Death Cab, MGMT, Florence + the Machine, etc., as well as early EQX staples like Morrissey and the Cure. A nice complement to our public-music-radio winner, WEXT.
Best Independent Radio (Public)
WEXT is five years old and it’s hard to remember what we did before there was a listener-supported indie station in town, sparing us the commercials, treating us to B-sides and deep cuts and playing more local music than anyone else in the region.
Best College Radio Station
Before there were blogs, college radio was the place to go for new, trend-setting sounds and UAlbany student station WCDB is just as vital as ever in giving air-play to brand-new artists who don’t yet have the name recognition for even the indie stations. What’s more, WCDB and Nicole Dellarocca have been behind some of this past year’s best club shows, delivering this cutting-edge stuff in the flesh.
Best Indie Rock Radio Show
Hello Pretty City
Laura Glazer has a mantel full of these awards by now, but that’s not going to stop us from continuing to single out Hello Pretty City as a delightful source of new music. Might be time for WEXT to get her a bigger mantel.
Best Radio DJ
The best thing about WCDB is the variety of genres represented and the personalities of the folks behind the board. Sir Walford might be the most distinctive voice on this or any local station. “The Many Moods of Sir Walford” is an island-tinged mélange of reggae, Latin, gospel and R&B, full of Walford’s manic introductions, interjections, tributes, prayers and platforms. Saturday afternoon wouldn’t be the same without him.
Best Jazz Radio DJ
This spring, the Jazz Journalists Association named WCDB jazz DJ Bill McCann as one of 2012’s “Jazz Heroes.” Since 1985, McCann has hosted a Saturday morning program on the station, spinning everything from the standards to new contemporary artists.
Best Daily Newspaper
The Daily Gazette
The Daily Gazette wins again with all-around solid news coverage of the Capital Region, Saratoga and the regions west and south of here. Great columnist-essayists (including Carl Strock, Stephen Williams and Sara Foss) help, and having the best comics pages in the local dailies doesn’t hurt.
Best Print Photographer
The Daily Gazette
A UAlbany alumnus, Dodson is a talented photojournalist on the rise. While most journalists are scrambling to be “all things media,” Dodson is leading the pack. Forget basic iPhone footage, Dodson doesn’t hesitate to strap a camera on his subjects, even if they are on water skis. Bottom line: He’s going to get the shot.
Best Print Journalist
The Times Union
If you want to know about politics in New York State, Vielkind is your guy. A solid journalist with a background in urban planning, he’s carved out a niche for himself as a primary mover in the world of government officials. Besides his regular digs at the Times Union, pieces of Vielkind can be found on the Capitol Confidential blog, WMHT’s New York Now, and capitalnewyork.com.
Best Print Columnist
James V. Franco
We find ourselves getting a lot of enjoyment (and gleaning much useful info) from James Franco’s Tailspin column. Troy politics are endlessly entertaining, and Franco helps us keep up.
Best Print Arts Writer
Bob Goepfert’s interviews and profiles get at the heart of the subject at hand, and his theater criticism is excellent. He has a lot of ground to cover, and he covers it well. A must read.
Best Slow News
Hill Country Observer
Hill Country Observer’s main office is in rural Cambridge, Washington County, and the monthly publication stakes out a territory from Rutland, Vt., to Great Barrington, Mass., to Hudson to Glens Falls and all the hilltowns in between. But while HCO can’t be a newsbreaker, it’s also far from a sleepy country journal; it tackles issues of substance, takes the long view and “takes time to connect the dots.” It’s thoughtful and informative, with a darn good events calendar to boot.
Best Online Arts News
Nippertown.com, the online venture of Greg Haymes and Sara Ayers, does a lot of things well but when it comes to breaking news in the arts world—show announcements and such—no one is better or faster. Friend or follow these guys if you want to be sure not to miss a show cancellation and be first in the ticket line when the big show is announced.
Best Facebook Fiend
Metroland media columnist Paul Rapp had a, er, rapt online audience for the Saga of the Barber Chair, the for-sale chair being a vintage piece of (apparently) a lot of people’s very personal history. Between the Berkshires today and the Capital Region of yesteryear (those old Blotto photos are a bonus), Rapp’s posts pull no punches, whether it’s home décor, politics, sports, music, or the tangled legalities of cyberspace. And he’s funny. Not LOL funny, but droll funny.
Best Facebook Critic/Comic
It started with a blog, Architecture News and Views by Landmarks and Follies that transferred to Facebook and then spun off with a more sarcastic page called Life in the Troylet where Palmer, an architecture historian, becomes the Don Rickles of urban planning. Mixing academic criticism and photography with social sarcasm, Palmer’s pages form an entertaining hodgepodge of the latest news, the most important issues, and the funniest potshots regarding the built environment of the Empire state. From pedophiles and anti-preservationists in the Church to tacky Trojans, no one who defiles—or legislates—these city streets is safe from his wisecracks.
Best Twitter Feed (Media)
Lydia Kulbida, WTEN
A well-maintained presence on Twitter requires more than links. You have to bring the funny, too, and engage with your followers. Kulbida does both.
Best Twitter Feed (That Dude)
Collins wins again for being a thoughtful smartass about Albany politics.
BEST OF ARTS
BEST OF FOOD & DRINK
BEST OF GOODS & SERVICES
BEST OF PEOPLE & PLACES