Goods & ServicesFood & DrinkArts & EntertainmentPeople & PlacesMedia
 

 

MEDIA

Best Daily Newspaper

The Daily Gazette

The Daily Gazette is head-and- shoulders above the competition this year with tough reporting on local issues and solid arts coverage—and they accomplished this with fewer staff and resources. And because aesthetics do count, we must add that the Gazette is the best-looking local paper, in terms of layout and use of color.

Best News Reporter

Brendan Lyons

Times Union

His thorough reporting has set the standard for investigative journalism in the Capital Region. His reporting on the ghost-ticket scandal has led to one of the most spectacular shake-ups in recent memory in Albany city politics. His rolodex is filled with the best sources, and his editors have the good sense to let him loose to terrorize the Powers That Be. This is the third consecutive year Lyons has taken this Best Of, and we will be surprised if it is the last time, too.


Best Columnist: Carl Strock.

Photo: Martin Benjamin

Best Columnist

Carl Strock

The Daily Gazette

Carl Strock isn’t a high-on-his-perch bloviator; he’s a reporter who writes a column. That makes all the difference. How many local columnists got called out this year, by name, at a public meeting because their reporting hit too close to home?

 

 

 

 

Best Radio News Reporter

Karen DeWitt

Karen DeWitt is a Capitol mainstay, the voice of news about our woeful state government on public radio stations across New York state. We’re lucky to have her here.

Best Talk Radio Host

Dan Lynch

Talk 1300 AM

Former Times Union editor- columnist Dan Lynch is a talk radio rarity: a moderate. A long career in the news business—he’s a self-described “recovering journalist”—allowed him to stockpile a treasure house of skepticism about politicians and their policies and motives. Every weekday afternoon he turns this hard-earned skepticism on Republicans and Democrats with equal ferocity.

Best News Anchor

Jim Kambrich

NewsChannel 13, WNYT

The other half of our once-favorite TV news team, Jim Kambrich continues to deliver the breaking news with dependable candor, sans Lydia Kulbida, and often solo. We have to admit, since CBS 6 disappeared into the digital television void and we lost our reigning heavyweight champion in this division, the competition is not as fierce as we would like.

Best TV Meteorologist

Steve Caporizzo

WTEN

We’ve given this award to Steve Caporizzo before, and for good reasons: personability and reliability. (Also: You can tell he loves his job.) This year we can add that he and the rest of the News 10 team have developed a solid online presence, too.

Best Local Sports Coverage

The Record

The Record gives a lot of real estate—in newspapers, “real estate” means pages—to sports. And a big share of this is in-depth coverage of local sports: high school, college, minor league baseball and hockey, you name it. Being able to devote your back page to a dynamic sports photo every day doesn’t hurt, either.

Best Radio News

WAMC

With bureaus in Albany, the Berkshires, the North Country, the Hudson Valley, the Pioneer Valley and other places momentarily slipping our mind, the WAMC news staff gives us the kind of reports that provide a “big picture” view of what’s happening in our region. No one can beat them—no one even tries.

Best Media Show That Can’t Discuss The Media

The Media Project

WAMC

Boy, did the real world put a damper on this show’s discussions this year or what? Because of troubles at their respective corporations, Daily Freeman publisher Ira Fusfeld and Times Union editor Rex Smith have almost as many topics they can’t talk about as stuff they can.

Best Nature & Everything Radio Show

In Our Back Yard

WAMC

Whoever thought up the idea, years ago, to put wildlife pathologist Ward Stone in front of a microphone and let him run wild, so to speak, from topic to topic, was a genius. Interviewer-host Joe Donahue may have a task akin to herding cats, but the result is delightful—and insightful.

Best Political Radio Show

Live From the State Capitol

Talk 1300 AM

New York Post columnist and state government editor Fred Dicker’s weekday radio show was the place to turn for the latest news during the recent New York Senate clusterfuck. But all year round, Dicker gets the biggest newsmakers from every level of state government on his show.

Best Music Radio Station (Commercial)

WEQX FM 102.7

This independently owned station has managed to stay true to its mission—providing a real alternative to corporate-programmed music radio—for more than 20 years. With a focus on new “alternative” music and some regular nods to the station’s roots in the ’80s and ’90s—plus a couple of specialty shows including one dedicated to local music—this is the only commercial station on your dial that doesn’t like the product of focus-group research.

Best Music Radio Station (Non-Commercial)

WEXT FM 97.7

They just turned 2, and there’s nothing terrible about that. If it weren’t for EXT, we’d probably have to listen to Nickelback all day long. With no corporate headquarters to answer to, the station offers quality programming and more support to local musicians than any other in the area. Furthermore, the My Exit show gives average folks an hour’s worth of airtime. When’s our turn?

Best Political TV Show

New York Now

WMHT

Kudos to Susan Arbetter and company for delivering the best weekly digest of New York state government news in any media. Informative newsmaker interviews and no-nonsense panel discussions with the best print and radio reporters equal great television.

Best TV Sports Coverage

Big Board Sports

NewsChannel 13, WNYT

With more than 20 years of Capital Region sports reporting under his belt, Rodger Wyland knows his stuff. He and weekend sports anchor Andrew Catalon have found the right balance between national sports news and local team coverage, and they offer the same enthusiasm for NBA playoffs and high-school lacrosse. All that plus a comprehensive blog and a Big Board Sports Twitter feed, what more could you ask for?

Best Albany Lifestyles Blog

All Over Albany

We know you read it. We read it too.

Best Political Blogger (News)

Elizabeth Benjamin

NY Daily News

Benjamin’s coverage of state politics is thorough, reliable and often witty. She is a must-read for us.

Best Political Blogger (Opinion)

D.I.A.

Democracy in Albany

The anonymous blogger D.I.A. is threatening us with retirement after this year’s elections. We’ve heard that one before. But, just to be safe, we are going to ask the humorous critic of Albany’s political and media scene to reconsider trading in that keyboard: Come on! You know you don’t want to quit. Are you seriously gonna give up the fight if Jerry wins in November? While the regular media implodes? You need to blog, and we need you to blog. You’ll be miserable if you don’t!

Best Blog Marketplace

Times Union

We gave up trying to count the number of community activists, politicians, retirees, and civic and business leaders that have a bog hosted at blogs.times union.com. Seems like everyone has a blog there now. And as far as we know, there isn’t another media outlet that is even trying to compete with the Times Union on this one.

Best TV Newsroom Suicide

NewsChannel 13 firing Lydia Kulbida

Here was the perfect example of an out-of-touch media parent company wreaking havoc on their own product. Lydia Kulbida was the best, most well-liked news anchor in the Capital Region, and the ratings proved it. Then, inexplicably, the Minnesota-based company that owns the station fired Kulbida (her former colleague Ed Dague guessed on his blog that it was due to her union activities), and now, after being the leader in the market for decades, the station has fallen from the top spot. Good.

Best Media Meltdown

Times Union

The months-long struggle between the Albany Newspaper Guild and the Times Union’s parent company, Hearst Corp., has been an ugly, unfortunate affair. The guild, representing nearly 300 workers, has waged an admirable campaign to retain local jobs and editorial credibility while Hearst has tried to stave off economic catastrophe by employing heavy-handed negotiations to advance its demonstrably bad agenda. And Hearst appears to be winning. We shudder to think of what the TU will look like when the dust settles.

Best Keeping the Faith

Parry Teasdale

In the age of Twitter, who thinks that starting a newspaper is a good idea? Parry Teasdale. His new weekly, The Columbia Paper, is the veteran news man’s gamble that print is not dead, but evolving. This former editor became a publisher after the paper he worked for, the Independent, was shuttered by its parent company. At the time, he told Metroland that, for people of a certain age, being publisher of your own newspaper boasts a certain gravitas. Here’s to hoping that gravitas proves profitable.

Best Radio Teabagger

Al Roney

810 WGY AM

We do our best to avoid Al Roney. But this summer, Roney did his best to get our attention, by hosting a big “Don’t Call Us Republicans” Teabagging rally down at the Corning Preserve. Thousands of the region’s disgruntled not-Republicans gathered to voice their outrage at the high taxes that out-of-touch politicians (Obama) have saddled them with, and Roney was their revolutionary emcee. With or without Fox News’ help (with), Roney proclaimed that a new era of non-Republican Republican revolution was at hand. Say, Roney, how’s that revolution goin’?

 

 

Back to Metroland Online