Best TV News
The overall excellence of NewsChannel 13 makes it the winner, again. And we’re recognizing both news content and technical excellence. Benita Zahn, Jim Kambrich, Jessica Layton and company still do it best.
Best Political TV Program
Day in, day out, Liz Benjamin and company continue to deliver the political and policy news we crave. We’ll admit it, we’re actually sorry when the legislature isn’t in session. Is there something wrong with us?
Best TV Anchor
WTEN/Fox 23 NewsCenter
Lydia Kulbida is still the best. Experience, insight, connnection to the community . . . Kulbida has it all.
Best Morning TV News
Honestly, we’re not the Good Morning America/Today type. We like a faster pace. We like a newsroom, not a living room atmosphere. That’s why we like YNN in the morning, with anchors Julie Chapman, JoDee Kenney and—of course—Weather on the 9s.
Best TV News Experiment
WTEN/Fox 23 NewsCenter
You could call it downsizing, but the combining of the news operations of WTEN and Fox 23 has led to concentration of on-air talent that’s fascinating to watch. They’re moving in a promising direction, and we look forward to seeing what’s next.
Best Radio News
The wide-ranging excellence (and depth of coverage) of WAMC’s multi-bureau news department is even more impressive when you ask yourself a simple question: Who the hell else even tries anymore? And the station’s sprawling coverage area is an asset, giving listeners a picture of the entire region.
On air, Garett Argianas sounds like a serious student of weather—and that he is, having graduated from UAlbany with degrees in meteorology and mathematics, and having done forecasting continuously for a decade in both New York state and Connecticut. (In addition to his regular gig with WAMC, he is also on WVIT-TV in West Hartford.) Weather geeks love hearing his meticulous enunciation as he breaks down what’s happening in the Northeast—divided into four distinct regions, of course.
Best Talk Radio Show
The Paul Vandenburgh Show
Talk 1300 AM
Agree or disagree with him—and God knows we agree with him only about 25 percent of the time—you can’t be a serious political junkie in the Capital Region without listening to Paul Vandenburgh. He may sound like he’s going to blow a gasket, but he never loses his focus.
Best Radio Arts Coverage
The Roundtable wins again, both for the variety of arts that they cover and the insightful artist-actor-director-author-musicians interviews by host Joe Donahue, producer Sarah LaDuke and the show’s other fine contributors.
Best Media Breakup
Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Fred Dicker
For the first happy years of Andrew Cuomo’s administration, there was no one in the press the governor talked to more than the New York Post’s Fred Dicker. He was also a regular guest on Dicker’s daily radio show on Talk 1300 AM. But hydrofracking (specifically the lack thereof) and the SAFE Act tore apart what politics had joined together—in a really nasty way. (Dicker lost a book deal.) And everyone thought they’d be best bros forever.
Best Media Rebound
Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Susan Arbetter
Goodbye Freddie, hello Susan! Gov. Cuomo quickly found a new radio hangout on WCNY’s Capitol Pressroom, where he is happy to be interviewed by our old pal Susan Arbetter.
Best Independent Radio Station (Commercial)
Competition is a good thing in the radio market and it’s helped WEQX and WEXT stay on-point in their effort to beat one another to the fresh goods. Don’t worry about what “independent music” means any more, EQX consistently delivers the good uptempo stuff that Clear Channel stations somehow pass by.
Best Independent Radio Station (Public)
Meanwhile in public radio land, WEXT is celebrating six years of excellent original programming, including hourly Local 518 segments and Hello Pretty City, along with awesome syndicated content like The World Café and Echoes.
Best College Radio Station
WCDB is doing what college radio stations should be doing: playing the absolutely freshest stuff before even the indie stations can get their hands on it. Special props this year for some of the best EDM mixes this side of BBC Radio 1.
Best Jazz Radio Show
Tim Coakley Jazz Show
A Saturday night radio fixture, musician Tim Coakley’s show reflects an interest in a wide range of jazz and is a pleasure to listen to. His roundup of local jazz shows is a great resource, too.
Best Daily Newspaper
The Daily Gazette
We like the news content, the photographers, the reporters, the columnists, the arts coverage and the comics pages. We like pretty much everything about The Daily Gazette.
Best Print Journalist
The Times Union
Vielkind knows his way around the Albany maze, and helps make the news from the Capitol one of the TU’s most dynamic (and splashy) reads.
Best Print Columnist
The Daily Gazette
Foss’ Saturday column is refreshing because she covers a wide range of topics and engagingly connects them to her personal experiences, and a must-read because it’s entertaining.
Best Print Arts Writer
A repeat winner, for excellence in both feature writing and criticism. Goepfert’s one of many reasons you should be reading The Record.
Best Print Photographer
The Daily Gazette
Is he really drinking chocolate milk? Or is he eating tacos? We don’t know Facebook, and we don’t care. It’s his photos that we’re cyberstalking. Whether they’re in print, or on social media, Dodson’s pics are consistently amazing. The fact that he’s also entertaining is just a bonus. And let’s not forget that he’s besties with Ryan Gosling. What more do we need?
Best News Via Twitter
Carleo-Evangelist doesn’t just tweet the news, if you live in the Capital Region and use Twitter to catch up on local happenings, he is the news. This guy is on top of everything and is a master of fitting in tons of accurate info into tiny tweets. Bonus: He isn’t annoying. Can’t get enough of his tweets from his Times Union work? Follow him during his off hours too (@JCEvangelist).
Here’s the deal: If you have a hand in government, media, or social action—especially on the local level—don’t eff up. Collins has a sharp wit and will unleash it in a heartbeat, in a very honest and usually funny way. Loyalties only go so far in the Twittersphere, screw up, and get a Collins’ Twitslap.
Check out the rest of this year’s Best Of issue: