Best Miss Manners
Did you know that etiquette calls for a woman to take off her baseball hat when being introduced, but if it’s a fashionable hat, it’s OK to keep it on? You probably didn’t. Thankfully, Utah has a patron saint of dos and don’ts of etiquette in the form of Ellen Reddick. She gives seminars and sends out a free weekly newsletter, “You Are the Message,” packed with tips and tricks to help people navigate the subtleties and nuances of business etiquette and protocol. You’ll never text during a meeting or make a bad first impression again.
Best Music Television
BYU TV's Audio-Files & The Song That Changed My Life
A few years back, nationally renowned rock bands might have wanted to be on BYUtv about as much as they wanted to be on C-SPAN. But “video guy” Matt Eastin and executive producer Sam Cardon are changing that. They launched Audio-Files, a music documentary series, which has featured Billboard chart-toppers like Neon Trees and Imagine Dragons, in addition to music stalwarts like Low. The docs were so successful that BYUtv launched another, shorter music series, The Song That Changed My Life, where rock stars talk about that one song that changed everything.
Best Utah County Video Series
The Angel Murkurker
It all began with a tickle fight. “It’s where the business ends and the fun begins/ It’s your average tickle fight,” sang comedians Chris Duce, James Alexander and Jeremy Warner in their first comedy short, in 2011. Since then, the funny trio has produced all manner of wry, awkward skits in The Angel Murkurker series, like “People Who Drink,” “Skate Park Bullies” and “A Death in the Family,” ranging from musical anecdotes to the silent and sassy. It’s the lighter side of Utah County ... and it’s as strange as you might assume.
Best Weather Reporter
Brett Benson, Fox 13
Welcome Park City native and BYU grad Brett Benson to the Best of Utah first-timers club: We’ve singled him out before, but this is the lanky Fox 13 meteorologist’s debut at the top of the vote. Maybe it was Benson’s easygoing charm and humorous patter that swayed our readers this year—anything to make Utah’s recent Wintergeddon even a little more bearable. Or it could have been the “Frankenweather” nickname that he now, in retrospect, probably wishes he’d never played along with—it’s going to stick, Brett, best accept it. We can even inscribe it on your award, if you’d like.
Fox 13, 5 p.m. & 9 p.m., weeknights, Fox13Now.com, Twitter: @BensonWeather
2. Debbie Worthen, KUTV 2
3. Jim Kosek, ABC 4
Best Wrestling Organization
Who needs the WWE or TNA when we’ve got our own growing organization throwing its own shows every week? UCW-Zero showcases some of the top wrestling talent in the city, putting on monthly spectaculars as well as weekly showcases for live audiences, which then find their way to local TV. With its own school on the west side of town, talent who have received local press over the past year and a growing audience that shows up in droves to watch, it’s only a matter of time before Utah creates its first professional-wrestling territory.
47 Orange St., Salt Lake City, 801-699-7977, UCW-Zero.com
Best Sports Reporter
David James, KUTV 2
We’ve called KUTV 2’s David James the hardest-working man in local sports news before, as he pulls double duty on 2’s Talkin’ Sports and KFAN 1320 AM’s morning show, but is it really work when it looks like you’re having this much fun? Scoreboard says yes—you don’t win our Best Sports Reporter award five straight years by just showing up and running your mouth. There’s nary a pro, college or otherwise sport that James can’t speak authoritatively on (or at least fake it—which takes even more skill), even though we’re still anxiously awaiting his take on local women’s roller derby. Get on that, DJ.
KUTV 2, 10 p.m., weekends, KUTV.com, Twitter: @DavidDJJames
2. Dave Fox, KUTV 2
3. Wesley Ruff, ABC 4
Best Bobby Flay Slayer
Chef Viet Pham
It takes a lot to be an Iron Chef—a combination of ingenuity, creativity, skill and grace under pressure. So it was amazing to watch Viet Pham, local chef and co-owner (with Bowman Brown) of the award-winning restaurant Forage, slay Flay with utter calm and culinary flair on a recent episode of Iron Chef America. Considering that Pham had won the coveted Food & Wine’s Best New Chef award in 2011, it wasn’t too much of a surprise to see his innovative dishes (beef-fat ice cream?!) beat Flay’s prosaic fare of burgers and skewered meats.
370 E. 900 South, Salt Lake City, 801-708-7834, ForageRestaurant.com
Best Local on Twitter
Ben Winslow, Fox 13
A fan of Ben Winslow tweets: “If you aren’t following @BenWinslow, you should be ... outstanding #utleg coverage.” With more than 8,000 followers and a tally of 57,000 tweets, it’s obvious the Fox 13 journalist owns a mansion in the Twitterverse, engaging with his followers at a level few reporters can achieve. From his blow-by-blow accounts of breaking news to photos of himself driving through a snowstorm to sublime newsroom chatter (“Just got told in the @fox13now newsroom my laugh sounds slightly evil... ), well, we just know this guy. And we like him.
2. Bill Frost, City Weekly
3. Scott D. Pierce, The Salt Lake Tribune