Best of Utah 2008 | Media & Politics | Best of Utah | Salt Lake City

Best of Utah 2008 | Media & Politics 

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SLC Random
Local filmmakers Alicia Garcia and David Alder cover more ground in five to six minutes than most documentarians manage with full features—and it’s not just an Internet limitation. Their fledgling SLC Random, true to its name, has produced brisk, entertaining online shorts on topics ranging from Spy Hop Productions to gay Mormons to the Conscientia artists’ collective, as well as a 36-minute doc on X96’s 2007 Big Ass Show. All are pro features produced on the cheap and turned around on a dime.

Powerhouse, KJZZ 14
An AM radio dial spilling over with sports talk should tell you that this market can’t get enough of athletic chatter. But what is on the TV box for those who want a more visual approach to their local sports coverage? Nothing as substantial as this new Monday-through-Friday program, a compendium of conversation, interviews and highlights hosted by Alema Harrington. Jazz, Blaze, colleges and the occasional national story all get attention at the end of your busy sports day.
Weeknights, 9:35 p.m.,

Mike Runge, Fox 13
If it seems like it’s been “Runge Time” on Fox 13 for as long as the network has been broadcasting news … well, that just means you’ve been paying attention. Since 1991, the Salt Lake City native has been part of the KSTU news team. There’s a place for slick guys who grew up watching SportsCenter, and there’s a place for guys who cover local sports with cheerful home-team enthusiasm. Our readers this year picked a dose of the latter.
Weeknights, 9 p.m.
2. David James, KUTV 2
3. Wesley Ruff, ABC 4

Deena Marie Manzanares
At the current rate of exchange in entertainment, 15 minutes could actually be considered a long career in the biz. Thankfully, local actress Deena Marie Manzanares has only used up a portion of her allotted minutes with her short clip “The Joke,” a two-minute ditty that made the front page of YouTube and has since garnered about 250,000 views. Compared to most things that make it onto the Internet these days, Manzanares’ video is very well put-together and darkly comical. (For those who haven’t seen it, it involves cat humor.) Hopefully, Manzanares will continue to crank out her gems so she doesn’t go the way of the “don’t tase me, bro!” guy.

Where else on the dial can you turn to hear Red Hot Chili Peppers’ “Under the Bridge” without hopping in a time machine? We kid! X96 is like your best friend from high school—the one with undying commitment to ’90s artists and the groundbreaking bands of today. Boasting some of the airwaves best DJs, X96 sticks to its vision of alternative by shaking up the format with Todd NukeEm’s iPod, Portia’s Live & Local, Corey O’Brien’s Xposed (way to get Nick Cave on the mainstream radio!) not to mention the fearless and funny Radio From Hell morning crew.
2. KRCL 90.9
3. Movin’ 100.7

KUER 90.1
If it’s news talk—rather than blather—you want, then the University of Utah’s station is locked into your dial. All news during daytimes, KUER boasts Morning Edition host Dan Bammes and news director Jenny Brundin, named 2007 best radio reporter by Utah’s Society of Professional Journalists. KUER’s reporters provide daily coverage of unfolding news, like Utah’s Legislature, while producing thoughtful features. The station is probably best known for the work of Doug Fabrizio and his producer Elaine Clark, whose RadioWest program was syndicated last year on satellite. The wide-ranging program has recently explored the gospel of Judas and American music.
2. KCPW 88.3
3. KSL 102.7/1160

KCPW 88.3’s “Poetry Is Wanted Here,” Lara Jones, Ken Sanders and Alex Caldiero
Every third Thursday of the month, KCPW pipes to its listeners of the Midday Metro program a half hour of poetry presented by wordshaking, sonosopher Alex Caldiero of Utah Valley State College, and Ken Sanders of Ken Sanders’ Rare Books fame. With Sanders reciting Robinson Jeffers “Hurt Hawks”: “The broken pillar of the wing jags from the clotted shoulder, the wing trails like a banner in defeat,” or Caldiero chanting Ezra Pound’s Canto XLV like an angry sermon “with usura hath no man a painted paradise on his church wall …” The duo, reined in (somewhat) by producer Lara Jones excitedly deliver a much-needed injection of fine poetry readings in the midday, making for a pleasant boost to the 9-to-5 drudgery, as well as advertising local poetry events in the community.
KCPW 88.3, every third Thursday, 10:30-11 a.m.

Radio From Hell, X96
We knew it was coming, you knew it was coming, they knew it was coming—X96’s Radio From Hell is omnipresent. Even your snooty NPR friends who “don’t listen to commercial radio” know all about it. Those of us who’ve seen how the show works in the studio, however, know that RFH isn’t quite the free-form four-hour gabfest it seems to be: Bill Allred is the consummate newsreader trapped in the shorts of a rock-radio dude, while Gina Barberi is not at all the dim sidekick she often plays. The show’s starship captain is Kerry Jackson, a persnickety perfectionist who guides the flow and calls up a bottomless array of sounds and comic bits on a dime. But if you think all they do is bitch about their company, that’s cool, too.
Weekdays, 5:30-10 a.m.
2. RadioWest, KUER 90.1
3. Maximum Distortion, KRCL 90.9

Chinese Radio, KRCL 90.9
KRCL’s eclectic daytime programming may be threatened with extinction, but at least there are great unique programs on in the evening—programs like Chinese Radio every Wednesday night from 7 to 8:30 pm. The hour and half of popular Chinese music and Chinese news hosted by Jennifer, Yen and Rachel also takes time out to give a little Chinese lesson to Westerners trying to brush up on our Zhonguo. The adorable hosts will help you master tricky pronunciations like number 2 in Chinese, er, “It’s kind of pronounced like a lion making a little roar—aar!” Jennifer says. It might sound a little silly, but just wait until you find yourself counting to 10 in Chinese alone in your car on the way home from work.
Wednesdays, 7-8:30 p.m.,

Ted McDonough, City Weekly
Hmm. Seems a little convenient. City Weekly hands out media awards and takes home several for itself. (Note “columnist” Bill Frost’s second-place prize.) No one is using the word “fixed” here. Let’s just say McDonough, whose award-wining news and cover features have graced these pages since 2004, lost this year’s office pool. That, and we thought it would be a bit much to have one of our employees win “Best News Hair.” Maybe next year, Ted.
2. Thomas Burr, Salt Lake Tribune
3. Derek Jensen, Salt Lake Tribune

Robert Kirby, Salt Lake Tribune
If you are to believe what he writes about his e-mails, you love Kirby. No, you hate him. No, you really love him. Former Salt Lake Tribune editor Jay Shelledy hired Kirby in the early ’90s because he knew just how badly his newspaper, and more importantly, this state, needed a shot of humor in religion-and-culture coverage. And, why mince words? We’re talking about the Mormon culture and religion. In print three times weekly in the Trib’s feature section, Kirby is the king of self-deprecation and allows people of faith, especially, the freedom to laugh at themselves. And, last we heard, even with all the good-natured barbs he shoots at the abundantly stuffy elements of his religion, Kirby’s Mormon membership card has yet to be revoked.
2. Bill Frost, City Weekly
3. Rebecca Walsh, Salt Lake Tribune

The Provo Daily Herald
Most newspaper polls are borrrrring. “Which candidate do you think would …” “Do you agree or disagree that …” “Should gays be allowed to …” blah, blah, blah. But, in May 2007, the Herald asked its readers a question which, in all its daffy earnestness, made us ponder all kinds of strange and metaphysical questions:
Which statement best describes your view on cremation?
[ ] Makes resurrection difficult; cremation should be avoided;
[ ] Cremation should be encouraged; God doesn’t care.

Making a Scene, SLUG Magazine
The roots of Salt Lake City’s current music scene aren’t completely gone, much less forgotten. SLUG Magazine went the extra mile to ensure that the next generation of punks, rockers and free thinkers recognizes its predecessors with Making a Scene, a 30-minute documentary which only failed in its brevity. The film, shot around SLUG’s 18th anniversary show featuring four reunited SLC legends—Clear, Iceburn, The Stench, The Corleones—includes trips down memory lane with local musicians, fans, members of the media, and of course Brad Collins of now-defunct Raunch Records. Scene also features cool footage from old concerts and the Club Vegas reunion gig. It’s one lesson you don’t want to miss.

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