1998 Readers Poll
1998 Critics Picks
Best Billboard

A tie between two beer companies; what a surprise! Local staple in the hand of just about every clubgoer Shiner we can understand - we chuckle every time we pass the beehived granny rockin' out with her electric ax, too - but Miller Lite? Who would have guessed that so many Austinites like Dick?

Miller Beer
3834 Promontory Pt.

Spoetzl Brewery
603 Brewery

Best Computer Book Selection

The vast hi-tech selection in this Grand Old Chain nails shut the lid of the coffin containing the once-living conceit that computer technology would soon render paper obsolete. Whether you need help pointing & clicking or hacking & cracking, this is definitely the meatspace homepage for all siliconish hardcopy. With sprawling locations in close proximity to two major geek enclaves (UT and the Silicon Hills), it's no wonder that B& N shows up at the top of the shelf this year, knocking last year's winner, Book People, into a close second.

Barnes & Noble
Barnes & Noble Arboretum, 10000 Research #158, 512/418-8985
Barnes & Noble Round Rock, I-35 & 1325, Round Rock, 512/600-0114
Barnes & Noble South, 5601 Brodie, 512/892-3493
Barnes & Noble Westlake, 701 Capital of TX Hwy. S., 512/328-3652
2701 Parker Road, Bldg. A Suite #700, 512/600-0088
14010 Highway 183, 512/249-5644

Best Computer Repair

With a turnaround time "five times faster than the industry standard," it's little wonder that these anyware gurus, who have been providing professional service for over a decade now, are on the top of so many local "Who Ya Gonna Call?" lists. Added kudos for the whacked-out artwork at their Web site, too. Wallingford has taken this title, just edging out those darling dorks at Computer Nerdz and AES, in an exact replay of last year's tally.

Wallingford Electronics
6721 N. Lamar

Best Computer Store

The mammoth outlet store gave a swift kick to the power supply of perrenial winner CompUSA, which came in second. How can you resist something that, besides being produced right in Your Own Backyard, is also consistently rated - by tech-savvy panels of judges in almost any source you can find - at or near the top of the Ten Best list for powerful yet user friendly personal computers? Not only that, but Dell's customer service department has become the stuff of legend.

Susan Dell's Clothes Store, 3801 Capital of TX Hwy. N. Ste. A-100, 512/708-9550

Best Evening Radio

Why do we even take a vote on this one? A real culturalsmorgasbord; great music, great syndicated shows like "Car Talk" and "Selected Shorts," "Prairie Home Companion," and deejays who have been spinning discs long enough to be hometown heroes - Paul Ray, Larry Monroe, Jay Trachtenberg - spinning the best in jazz and the blues.

KUT 90.5FM
300 W. Dean Keeton

Best Internet Provider

This year's reader favorite, the TexasNetworkingCompany, has been providing great service - with digital modems and T3 connections to the Internet backbone through multiple providers, with over 15 servers, with more than enough available bandwidth to handle future growth and 56k modems, and with a 24/7 tech support system - since 1994. And it's even got that state-specific name; which is just what any proud Texan likes to see, even out here on the electronic frontier.
823 Congress

Best Late Night Deejay

Barker's House/Beats show, 1-3am on Fridays, shows off his mixing skill. Congratulations are in order; it's quite an honor when a college deejay wins against a town full of some serious competition. What's he gonna do when he graduates?

Dave Barker
PO Box D

Best Local Columnist

Everyone's favorite Bubba reigns as top columnist for the fifth year in a row. But what does he have against salamanders? The Statesman's own know-it-all, Jane Greig, makes her debut showing in this category, and Austin's favoritepundit on all things political Molly Ivins, steals third.

Austin American-Statesman
305 S. Congress

photograph by Glamour Shots

Best Local Features Writer

Who says stoners don't vote? We couldn't be happier for our own scruffy curmudgeon; he's a man outstanding in his field. OK, Ken, you won; you can come in now.

Ken Lieck
The Austin Chronicle
4000 N. I-35

Best Local Journalist (News)

Interesting switch in this category this year: Two veteran TV newscasters - KVUE-24's Judy Maggio and Fred Cantu in first and second places respectively, knocked out their print competition. No doubt Maggio's warmth and intelligence anchoring the evening newscasts and Cantu's personable approach to the morning news caught our readers' eye. The revolution had better be televised.

3201 Steck

Best Local Visionary

Well, it's one thing to have a vision; it's quite another to nurture and steer that vision into international, world-resounding significance. Austin's Michael Dell, he of the Gordian-knotlike property appraisals as well as much local philanthropy, has done just that with his self-started computer company. (And he's such a snappy dresser, too! LOL!)

Best Local Web Site

What can we say about this photo-finish between two paper-anchored entities? The difference here, really, is the difference between the Austin American-Statesman and the paper you're currently reading. Both are locally oriented, in-depth, entertaining, and informative; you'll choose your news as you choose your views, and cyberspace will be all the better for both sites. UT student radio mighty mite site for KVRX-FM came in third.

The Austin Chronicle
4000 N. I-35

photograph by Jana Birchum   Jana Birchum

photograph by John Anderson   John Anderson

Best Locally Produced Radio Show

If you've ever seen the studio at KVRX, you have to be impressed at the music that comes out of there; it's got to be like playing in a closet. KVRX's "Local Live," Sundays 10-11pm, features the best of local and touring bands right there in their studio. Hats off to the folks like producers Joe Brown, Floyd Banks, Amy Kingsly, Amy Talley, Eric Woffard, Chris Jackson, and anyone we've left out who make it work and bring the best talent to Austin's air.

PO Box D

Best Locally Produced TV Show

Public television that doesn't put you to sleep or make you feellike you're living in the original 13 colonies, Austin's KLRU has had astellar year so far in 1998. With record-breaking fund drives and thecontinuing popularity of one of public television's most popular nationallysyndicated shows, Austin City Limits, the station continually entertainsand educates its audience. Besides ACL, hot shows this year include Antiques Roadshow, Ballykissangel, and Teletubbies. Tune in and turn on!

Austin City Limits
KLRU, 2504-B Whitis

Best Morning Deejay (or Team)

What's this? Seven years in a row? Whether inspiring road rage on the morning's commute or providing a wake-up call through many a clock radio (ummm, to shut the damn thing off?!), D,B, & D are our readers' choice again for hottest breakfast jocks. There's no denying it, these guys are the royal family of morning radio in Austin. (But, which one's the queen? Hnyuk, nyuk!) You can go back to New York now, Howard.

8309 N. I-35

Best Online Guide To Austin

The growing urban entity formerly known as Waterloo is growing so fast that we can imagine that even local folks can sometimes feel like a newbie tourist among its streets, attractions, and various diversions. Online offers a little better grip. The Statesman's austin360 took top honors. City Search's local branch site and our own tied for second.

Best Photojournalist

An Austin institution unto himself, Alan Pogue has captured Texas culture for decades in haunting, memorable black-and-white images that speak volumes; you might call him the eye of Texas. Head-shot hot-shot Fabrizio makes Austin actors look like Hollywood stars.

Alan Pogue
Texas Center for Documentary Photography
2104 E. MLK

Stefano Fabritzio

Best PM Drive/Rush Hour Radio Program

Stop honking, return your middle finger to the horizontal position, take a deep breath, punch that wisely preset button on the radio, and find out what's going on in the world while you're inching down I-35. Coverage of events in all corners of the globe, reported on in more-than-10-second soundbites, personal essays (by our own Marion Winik, too), arts segments, humor- Now this is good news.

KUT 90.5FM
300 W. Dean Keeton

Best Public Access TV Show

In a sea of bizarre, kooky public television that's often hard to watch, one ship stands clear from all the others: Capzeyez, Austin's quintessential local music video program, which airs our rock stars first. The show claims first in this category again, after losing the title a few years back. Producer Dave Pruett and host Dean Truitt bring Austin's soft, white underbelly right into your living room, and former host Bambi Nutt provided comedy relief while warding off callers inquiring about her libido. Alex Jones, the stoic skeptic and late-night illuminatus, comes in second.

Channel Austin
1143 Northwestern

Best Radio Station

One public, one private, both great stuff to listen to. These two stations are consistently Austin faves, so we're glad to let them share the glory once again.

KGSR 107.1FM
8309 N. I-35

KUT 90.5FM
300 W. Dean Keeton

photograph by John Anderson   John Anderson

Best Radio Station To Listen To At Work

This ain't no muzak, this ain't no disco, this ain't no fooling around. It's an eclectic mix of current and classic tunes, it's hepcat deejays like Kevin Connor and Jody Denberg, it's great in-studio live performances by folks like Shawn Colvin and maybe a little bit of foolin' around. Maybe you'll catch the boss humming along.

KGSR 107.1FM
8309 N. I-35

Best Radio Talk Show Host

Listening to the mellifluous voice of "Eklecticos" host John Aielli is like taking a little happy pill. He plays lots of far-out music and supports lots of local talent in music and the arts. This year, his dulcet tones took the prize over the yammering that dominates "talk" radio.

KUT 90.5FM
300 W. Dean Keeton

Best Sportscaster

These two have been going head-to-head for years. Bohls brings an impressive knowledge to his game, and the fans love the Coach's witty takes on the sporting scene, not to mention his regular briefs about his doggone boxers.

Dave Cody
Fox 7
119 E. 10th

Best Sportswriter

These two have been going head-to-head for years. Bohls brings an impressive knowledge to his game, and the fans love the Coach's witty takes on the sporting scene, not to mention his regular briefs about his doggone boxers.

Kirk Bohls
Austin American-Statesman
305 S. Congress

Andy "Coach" Cotton

Best TV Anchor Person

In this age of media mergers, downsizing, and rapid turnover, it's nice to have someone like Judy who's been in one place long enough to feel like an old friend. Add to that her warmth, professionalism, and knowledge of Austin, and she's an anchor on whom we can rely. We love you Judy!

Judy Maggio
3201 Steck Avenue

Best Tv Newscast

A lot of reporters from other stations won awards this year, but when it comes to putting it all together and delivering a balanced product - one packed with community initiatives and brilliant concepts like "less violence and more news" - no one does it better than the gang at KVUE, according to you.

3201 Steck

Best TV Reporter

Our readers love Jim's off-beat, down-home peeks into the heart of central Texas; he's Austin's version of Charles Kuralt.

Jim Swift
908 W. MLK

Best Weather Person

No one takes more heat than weather forecasters when they're wrong. Kimmel gets it right most of the time; he's good enough, he's smart enough, and gosh darnit, people like him!

Readers: Kids
Readers: Outdoors & Recreation

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