Media and Information

your Best of the Chippewa Valley 2010 winners for local news sources

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BEST LOCAL TV NEWS ANCHOR

1st Place: Judy Clark
2nd Place: Sarah Stokes
3rd Place: Bob Gallaher

Delivering the news has to be a pretty dull job. Think about it – for every exciting or controversial or scary headline story, there are weeks and weeks of road construction updates, small festival reports, and weather-related happenings. Seriously, it must take a ton of talent to deliver yet another “some idiot runs into a building with his car” story with any sort of conviction. But the first and second place winners for Best Local TV Anchor manage to do just that. Judy Clark, the most senior member of local television media, wins first (and by senior, we mean “professional with a youthful aura that does not imply the years she’s been working at WEAU”). Sarah Stokes of WEAU wins second, although she may have extra help when it comes to exuding a news glow – she’s pregnant (baby’s due in January). The third place winner is not a news anchor per se. But sports anchor Bob Gallaher’s job is just as difficult – holding back a big old frown when Memorial or North loses the basketball game must take some special gumption. – ER

FAVORITE LOCAL CELEBRITY

1st Place: Matt, The Gordy’s Guru
2nd Place: Bon Iver (Justin Vernon)
3rd Place: Mike Perry

There are a lot of scales on which one can judge a person’s celebrity status. One popular measure of celebrity includes the scope of your work (like, say, having songs featured on national television shows or creating a bestselling album). Another would be if the company you keep is also made up of celebrities (like, say, Kanye West, Wilco, or other major musicians). A third measure, of course, is your exuberance for bratwurst and cheap gasoline. This year’s winner maxes out the third category, handing him the victory. Truly, nothing gets someone excited for grocery shopping like Matt’s beaming mug. Justin Vernon gets high marks in the first two categories with his continued collaborative projects and critically acclaimed albums, and squeaks out second place. In third, with widely known books, undoubtedly famous friends, and a healthy passion for grilled meat, is local author Mike Perry. – ER

BEST LOCAL METEOROLOGIST

1st Place: Nate Larscheid (WEAU)
2nd Place: LeAnn Lombardo (WQOW)
3rd Place: Doug Michaels (WQOW)

Why are we so fascinated with the weather? It’s not like the vast majority of us have crops to worry about, nor do we need to spend a lot of time planning the best day to hook Bessie up to the wagon to trek into town to barter for new shoes. Still, we all huddle around the television for every newscast, because knowing whether we can open our windows or not is important. Or maybe it’s not about the weather. Maybe it’s about the incredibly talented and sexy newscasters we have to ogle. WEAU’s Nate Larscheid’s manly yet adorable visage makes even the nastiest below zero temperatures seem fun. Who wouldn’t want LeAnn Lombardo, the Mistress of WQOW morning weather, to tuck you back in after her perky snow day announcements? And WQOW’s Doug Michaels is friendly, but tough – you just know he could single-handedly kick the crap out of any Alberta Clipper that tries to mess with the Chippewa Valley. – ER

BEST LOCAL NEWSPAPER WRITER

1st Place: Tom Giffey
2nd Place: Mike Paulus
3rd Place: Julian Emerson

Tom Giffey is a journalist, editorialist, columnist, and blogger for the Leader-Telegram. His blog – Giffs Riffs – can be found in the online version of the newspaper, as well as Facebook and Twitter. One of his recent columns describes his becoming a regular on the WAYY-AM radio show “News Talk 790 Today” and that he has a face “made for radio.” He said it, not me. Second place finisher Mike Paulus has a regular column that concludes each and every issue of Volume One (The Rear End), and while obviously not a “newspaper writer” in the usual sense, he apparently has enough fans to miss first place by only a few votes. Julian Emerson also has a regular column in the Leader Telegram but has mostly gained local notoriety as this area’s Woodward or Bernstein (investigative journalist superheroes, for those of you who are unfamiliar). So watch out, you local no-good-niks. – RR

BEST LOCAL RADIO STATION

1st Place: WWIB (103.7)
2nd Place: WHYS (96.3)
3rd Place: B-95 (95.1)

This year’s winner was a surpise due to the fact they’ve never really shown up in the rankings in previous polls. Inspiring quite the comment thread online and pulling out the win this year is 103.7 FM, better known to many as “that Christian station.” With the tagline “The Heart of Western Wisconsin,” WWIB airs loads of talk radio programming (with a religious message) as well as contemporary Christian music (with a religious message). Three-time first place winner WHYS came in second, and for good reason, what with their totally-local status, involvement in the community through organized events, and programming/music that reflects the interests of their listenership (like regional music and alternative news coverage). And just to show how well-rounded  local radio listeners are, third went to B-95 Hot Country, which spins new country acts (read: pop with a twang) like Carrie Underwood, Toby Keith, Lady Antebellum, and Taylor Swift as well as the ever-popular morning duo McKay & Donuts. – TK

BEST LOCAL RADIO PERSONALITY

1st Place: McKay & Donuts
2nd Place: Mark Halvorsen
3rd Place: Matt Schweirzer & Jonny Jukebox

How about we change this category to “Best of the Valley’s Biggest Mouths?” These faces of radio wake you up, crack you up, and spin the tracks that speak to your very essence. Last year’s first place secured their spot at the top of the airwaves again this year – B-95 Hot Country’s McKay & Donuts, which happens to be our longest-running morning show (14 years) and quite possibly the funniest as well. Coming in second is WWIB Front Page’s Mark Halvorsen, who features Christian music, news, weather, and sports. Matt & Jonny of WWIB’s SNA Show, airing every Saturday night with alternative Christian tunes, placed third. – TG

BEST OVERALL CONTENT

1st Place: Volume One
2nd Place: WEAU
3rd Place: WQOW

You like us! You really like us! This comes as a complete surprise, as our completely unbiased readers poll (through a totally unrelated website) yielded a victory for best news source in the Valley. Maybe it’s due to our newsy articles in the bi-weekly print publication in your hands, our vibrant event calendars, those great events we put on each year, and an awesome website chock full of local blogs, photos, and interactive content. Not to be overshadowed, NBC affiliate WEAU (TV-13) scored second place thanks to your favorite married news anchor team, Sarah Stokes and Chris Herzog, while third-place finisher (known as Your Hometown Team) Channel 18’s ABC affiliate WQOW, shines with cool-headed anchor Jamie Paige. – TG

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