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

Best of Utah 2008 | Media & Politics




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Mark Koelbel, KUTV 2
Well, certainly, you love his hair. It’s hard not to, what with that silver rush of a ‘do going on. (Remember: Gray hair makes men on TV look distinguished; women with gray hair simply look old.) The reason readers picked KUTV 2’s Mark Koelbel goes deeper than coiffure. He has that all-important rich baritone voice. He speaks and delivers the news each evening with authority and confidence, in the nearly forgotten Walter Cronkite style. Besides all this, Koelbel moonlights on the skins, sometimes with the governor’s band, The Politically Incorrects.
Weeknights, 5, 6 & 10 p.m.
2. Dan Evans, Fox 13
3. Bob Evans, Fox 13

Hope Woodside, Fox 13
This makes 11 wins in as many years. Is there no competition for Fox 13’s Hope Woodside? The News at Nine anchor keeps knocking down all comers, and it’s never a mystery why: She’s a journalist you know you can trust and a TV friend you feel you can knock back a few beers with—how many other local news personalities, female or male, can you say that about? Not enough.
Weeknights, 9 p.m.,
2. Kerri Cronk, Fox 13
3. Shauna Lake, KUTV 2

Anchor Retirements
In 2006, meteorologist Mark Eubank did the victory lap after more than 30 years at KSL 5. In 2007, it was veteran anchorman Dick Nourse’s turn to sign off after 43 years behind the KSL news desk, and KUTV 2’s Michelle King ended her 29-year run at the same time. We wish them well, but it’s curious how all of these beloved personalities happened to realize that November sweeps month was just the right time to be serenaded out the door.

Chris Vanocur, ABC 4
He rarely takes himself too seriously—witness his pie-smeared mug on the cover of our 2007 Best of Utah issue—but he still takes investigative journalism very seriously. The multi-award-winning reporter keeps a keen eye on the Utah political scene, anchoring his long-running Sunday morning interview program On the Record. And, while it would be easy to rest on the laurels of breaking the Olympic scandal story, Vanocur keeps working hard to grab his latest scoop—the perfect accompaniment for that slice of pie.
2. Big Budah, Fox 13
3. Katy Carlyle, Fox 13

Fox 13
A full hour ahead of the rest, Fox 13 delivers a walloping 60 minutes of news before bedtime. The nightly news is brought to you by the dynamic duo of Bob Evans and Hope Woodside. The longest-running anchor team in Utah boasts two Emmys and a whole mess of Best of Utah awards between them. Fox 13 has the rest of its bases covered with ace meteorologist Jodi Saeland and the only sports reporter veteran enough to declare any time he starts talking as “Runge time!” Of course, if you doubt this readers’ choice award, just read the other five readers’ choice awards that the Fox 13 team has scooped up—the people have spoken!
2. KUTV 2
3. KSL 5

Gay firearms advocate and Stonewall Shooting and Sports owner David Nelson was ejected from the Utah Pride Festival in June 2007 for carrying an unconcealed and unloaded firearm despite having a permit and knowledge of state law to do so. He was detained by police, questioned and then told to go home. He went on to file a complaint and a $25,000 claim against Salt Lake City Corp. So far, he's received only a verbal apology from the police chief. The lesson: If you don't want guns in holsters at your event, better say so on your ticket. Oh, and don't mess around with Nelson.

KJZZ Café, KJZZ 14
While any attempt at providing more locally produced TV programming should be applauded, KJZZ 14’s woefully inept KJZZ Café makes a strong case for another block of Dr. Phil and Frasier reruns in the morning. The set looks cheap, the hosts seem heavily medicated and every news or interview segment comes across like an unprepared run-through at a college broadcasting lab—not exactly what you’d expect from an otherwise pro station like KJZZ. Maybe it’s an elaborate cinema verite/improv gag, like a local-news version of The Office. Joke’s on us, then.
Weekdays, 7-9 a.m.

Kerri Cronk, Fox 13
Utah may be America’s blondest state, so perhaps it’s only fitting that our readers fell for the cascade of golden locks adorning Ms. Cronk. And they likely respond to more than follicles. Her natural warmth gives Fox 13’s Good Day Utah an appeal that strikes a balance between morning-show happy-talk and real news. The hair’s only part of the package—though a fitting match for such a sunny disposition.
Weekdays, 6-9 a.m.
2. Hope Woodside, Fox 13
3. Jodi Saeland, Fox 13
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Jodi Saeland, Fox 13
Contrary to local urban legend, Fox 13’s Jodi Saeland is not always pregnant; she just doesn’t have a belly-hiding news desk. She’s always been our favorite; she’s the only Utah weatherperson who doesn’t make us feel like we’re being sold a used car to go with those snow flurries. We’ve made mention before that the former Weather Channel meteorologist seemed none too thrilled with winning past awards like Best TV News Hair, so it’s our pleasure to present her with a legit Best of Utah nod from our readers—the reign of the White Coat is over! But we still do love the hair, Jodi.
Weeknights, 9 p.m.
2. Damon Yauney, Fox 13
3. Debbie Worthen, KUTV 2