Pignanelli & Webb, Deseret Morning News
In a May 28, 2006, Deseret Morning News column, Frank Pignanelli and LaVarr Webb sized up Salt Lake City’s print media, eventually pegging City Weekly as “read by spiky-haired Utahns with nose rings who fervently believe the LDS Temple should be dismantled and all LDS active members carted off to another desert location (preferably on Mercury). These readers are convinced Utah offers no place to get a drink, but they eagerly anticipate the Weekly’s annual ‘Best of Utah’ to read about the best watering holes.” Guilty!
BEST ANIMATED RADIO VOICE
RadioWest’s Doug Fabrizio (KUER 90.1)
The man’s peerless interview skills aside, listening to Fabrizio’s broadcast voice is almost akin to riding an amusement park roller coaster—except for the fact that the thrill of all those peaks and valleys rests inside his vocal box. Where other radio personalities experiment with volume, timing and tone, Fabrizio is the master of letting his voice ride over hill and dale at the gracious clip of a thoroughbred pony. Just hang on and enjoy the ride. Weekdays, 11 a.m.
BEST PREMATURE PLUG-PULL
Talk Less than a year and an advertising blitz consisting of maybe a couple of billboards into the FM talk-radio game, Simmons Media shut down 97.5 FM Talk in August due to (shocker) nonexistent ratings. Why didn’t it catch on? For one thing, with the exception of the Howard-Stern-lite Mancow morning show, the station programmed the same old conservative blowhards you can get all over AM and dared label it “younger” and “smarter.” For another, the only local host, Utah radio vet Tom Barberi, was relegated to two less-than-prime-time hours. Too bad, FM talk was a good idea—one that KSL grabbed and ran with on 102.7.
BEST TV ANCHORMAN Readers’ Choice
Dick Nourse (KSL 5)
Back on top after barely losing the ratings war to KUTV 2’s newscast in 2006, square jawed, silver fox Nourse showed he’s not done yet. He’s been behind the KSL anchor desk so long, he’s become part of cultural landscape. In February, a local oil painter chose Nourse as the subject for a live painting demonstration. KSL may have lost Mark Eubank, but it still has Nourse, the man with the golden baritone. Weeknights, 10 p.m.
2. Mark Koelbel (KUTV 2)
3. Dan Evans (Fox 13)
BEST RADIO PROMO GIMMICK
Blaze O’ Glory (94.9 The Blaze)
It may not be as effective as a colorful van parked outside of a concert blaring louder obnoxious tunes than the colorful van next to it, but rock station 94.9 The Blaze has a built-in promotional vehicle that no other local FM outfit can claim: a “tribute” band made up almost entirely of on-air personalities—and they don’t totally suck. Blaze O’ Glory (which plays only tunes you’ll hear on The Blaze, natch) features morning DJ Marcus on drums and weekenders Doug Wylde and Fish on guitars; sadly, the band recently lost DJ/vocalist/lead tambourinist Marci to a Phoenix radio station. But Blaze O’ Glory will likely carry on … wayward son. Sorry. BlazeOGlory.com
BEST NEWSPAPER COLUMNIST Readers’ Choice
Bill Frost (City Weekly)
While inconsequential media has called Frost a cynical bully, his readers know differently. He’s Salt Lake City’s conscience, plain and simple. As much as he’d probably refer to his three-weekly-column output as no big fucking deal, the amount of crackling wit, venom and ego-puncturing precision he works into a few lines is never less than impressive. But arguably it’s The Ocho that’s his greatest achievement. In eight scintillating lines of deadpan humor, he shoots at the heart of whatever is this city’s obsession of the week. Frost captures SLC’s seedy pulse in a way that deserves awe—unless you’re the one he has in his sights.
2. Robert Kirby (Salt Lake Tribune)
3. Holly Mullen tt(formerly Salt Lake Tribune)
BEST IN-YOUR-FACE TO J-SCHOOL
New Deseret Morning News Editor Joe Cannon
When Joe “No Longer Just Chris’ Brother” Cannon was named John Hughes’ successor as the new editor of the Deseret Morning News in December, head-scratching ensued over how a guy with zero newspaper experience beyond recognizing one in a street rack could be put in charge of guiding the editorial department of one of Utah’s Big Two newspapers. Leave it to D-News Chairman Ellis Ivory to lay all concerns to rest: “He may not be a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer that John Hughes is, but he is a Pulitzer Prize-winning reader,” Ivory told The Salt Lake Tribune. “He’s just with it.”
BEST LOCAL BLOG Readers’ Choice
Atropos (X96 Radio From Hell)
Since Radio From Hell listeners are a famously loyal lot, did show-recap blogger Atropos win this on his own merits, or because Kerry, Bill and Gina pushed for it? One read answers that: Atropos’ blog is as funny as RFH itself; sometimes it’s “better than the actual show,” Bill Allred has admitted. Atropos is a ninja master of brevity and punctuation, sculpting down rants and stories to sharp sentences that retain and even enhance their original ridiculousness: “Gina walked the three blocks to the mall. Mid-trip, a big black pick-up truck pulled up alongside Gina. The man rolled down the window and asked Gina if she wanted a date … No! The man just drove away. Bill was curious as to whether the man should be driving with such poor eyesight.” X96.com
BEST LOCAL POLITICS BLOG
Jokes about Utah’s unique political climate might seem to write themselves, but there’s a unique wit to Ethan Millard’s SLCSpin.com. The unapologetically left-leaning site weighs in seriously on matters like last fall’s U.S. Senate election but also has featured such clever touches like an up-to-the-second running clock of Orrin Hatch’s time in D.C. (more than 11,000 days, in case you’re curious). And how priceless was his note on the change in classifying a planet—”has sufficient mass for its self-gravity to overcome rigid body forces so that it assumes a ... nearly round shape”—followed by photos of Sandy Mayor Tom Dolan and Salt Lake City Councilman Randy Horiuchi? SLCSpin.com