2001 Readers Poll
2001 Critics Picks
Best Austin Usenet Newsgroup

Unlike so many Usenet groups (and unfortunately, on many Austin Usenet groups), the signal-to-noise ratio on is fairly bearable. You can actually initiate lively discussions and get answers to your serious questions about local cuisine, restaurant openings/closings, and where to find an elusive type of spice at area grocers. Regulars like "Dr. Ruth," "Swertz," "ray," "hope munro smith," "werner," "Ron M.," and the appropriately named "D. Cook" represent a cool cross-section of both foodies and plain ol' hungry folk who keep the pot stirring and food on the table.

Best Columnist

Nothing is sacred to this Alpha Male No. 1 - as the People's Humorist, he takes no prisoners. With an ability to be wickedly funny, and still remain "just folks," he has an enormous fan club.

John Kelso
Austin American-Statesman
305 S. Congress

Best Evening Radio Host

What is it about those KUT deejays that makes us love them so? They're so good, readers couldn't pick just one favorite, so here's two: Larry Monroe (host of Blue Monday, The Phil Music Program, Segway City, and Texas Radio) and Paul Ray (host of Just Jazz, Paul Ray's Jazz, and Twine Time). Between the two they count more than 40 years on the air, bringing as much experience as love to their countless fans.

KUT 90.5FM
300 W. Dean Keeton

Best Journalist

When you want the lowdown on high "gummint," Molly's your gal. She shoots from the hip, mincing no words, and along with Liz Carpenter, is one of our most-loved political pundits. And now that favorite target Shrub Dub-yuh is in the White House, we can count on Molly to keep tabs.

Molly Ivins

Best Local News Web Site and Best Austin Web Site for New-to-Towners's connection with the American-Statesman makes the site a news surfer's dream, with in-depth local coverage that you just don't get on other sites. All the current news that's fit to print is available via the site, and for a small fee, the search engine will dig through years' worth of stories for the news you are looking for. Folks who are just beginning to put down roots in Austin can count on to help them get their bearings. The site - significantly easier to navigate than unfamiliar city streets - can quickly lead them to job opportunities, real estate and rentals, local entertainment, and recommended restaurants.

Best Local Webzine

ChaosinAustin webzine basically chronicles the daily life of 35-year-old, gay Austin tech worker, Bryan. His modus operandi, as he says, is to "practice photo and design skills, [provide] a forum to display skill progress, offer a new monthly feature, and entertain." The site is skillfully laid out and a genuine labor of love. Features of the site include columns on Bryan's interests and exploits, chaos cams (where you can watch Bryan take showers and other daily routines), and his spin on what's going on in the world. Definitely a good way to get to know a total stranger and while away the late night hours.

Best Locally Produced Radio Show

Sounds like its name - and most definitely. Host John Aielli serves up everything from Ministry to the Chieftans to the score of Titus. Waking up has never been more fun.

KUT 90.5FM
300 W. Dean Keeton

Best Locally Produced TV Show

From Asleep at the Wheel to Willie Nelson to Stevie Ray Vaughan, Austin City Limits has presented the finest music of Austin (as well as the rest of the world) to a national audience for 25 years. With inimitable style, it continues to blaze new trails into a new musical millennium.

Austin City Limits
KLRU, 2504-B Whitis

Best Morning Radio Host(s)

With astonishingly diverse knowledge and taste, John Aielli is smooth as buttered silk and seamlessly glides across the airwaves with intelligence and charm. The Kevins of KGSR are definitely not your basic yuk-yuck morning team -- thoughtful and informative, they are especially devoted to local issues and goings-on. A tie in this category between Aielli and Kevin Connor & Kevin Phinney effectively symbolizes Austin's own diversity.

KGSR 107.1FM
8309 N. I-35

Best News Source

Oh, you shouldn't have ... but it's nice to know that folks rely on more than the daily grind for their news fix. After all, what other news outlet in town can nail a story better than the Chronicle? Of course, we don't need to carry on about how tickled we are to have won this award fair and square. To our loyal readers out there: You're the winners.

The Austin Chronicle
4000 N. I-35

Best Photographer

Raising the bar on local fashion photography and potraiture, Shapter now splits his time between Austin and L.A. His work has brought international attention to our style scene and accolades for his moody, stylish creations.

Best Public Access TV Show

These two long-running cable access television shows - The Reel Deal and The Show With No Name - derive their success from the same secret ingredient: personality. Although different in scope and tone, each show has a strong sense of itself in addition to dynamic and amusing hosts who viewers tune in to visit with week after week. Ostensibly a movie review show, The Reel Deal is hosted by the funny and charismatic Korey Coleman, who runs a tight ship but frequently pauses his motormouth to solicit reviews and opinions from the other show regulars. The Show With No Name host Charlie Sotelo trades barbs, information, and jokes with call-in viewers and co-host Cinco in between airing his eclectic mix of old film and comedy clips and other goodies. Our living room always welcomes both shows' weekly company.

Channel Austin
1143 Northwestern

Best Radio Station And Best Radio Station To Listen To At Work

"Twine Time," "Jazz Etc.," "Femme FM," "Eklektikos," "Blue Monday"... not to mention NPR's "Prairie Home Companion" and "All Things Considered." Need we say more? Sure, why not a few words about the folks behind the titles?: Paul Ray, Teresa Ferguson, Jay Trachtenberg, Larry Monroe, Jeff McCord, and John Aielli -- a star-studded team with incredible diversity and knowledge. Each is an expert in their field, bringing intelligence, information, and entertainment to a sophisticated audience. KUT is a Texas treasure.

KUT 90.5FM
300 W. Dean Keeton

Best Sportscaster

Rosy cheeks, boyish good looks, and charm make Mike Barnes a favorite with the female viewers, while his benign jock humor and vast sports knowledge endears him to the guys. Heck, who knows? Maybe it's the other way around? No matter. At KVUE since 1987, with a brief foray into Aggieland broadcasting in College Station, this former UT journalism student and current sports director at KVUE is a poll winner two years in a row.

Mike Barnes

Best Sportswriter

Death, taxes, Barton Springs, Kirk Bohls. Waterloo Brewing Co. may be gone, the landscape of New York might be altered, but Kirk Bohls remains the Austin American-Statesman's regular sports columnist. What does he think about the weeklong postponements? UT football's chances? The Round Rock Express' playoff run? The Spurs' new stadium? Austin wants to know, and he dishes out the zesty meat and potatoes every morning, garnering his second straight BOA nod in the process.

Kirk Bohls
Austin American-Statesman
305 S. Congress

Best TV Anchor

This is Judy's eighth "Best of Austin" win -- as an integral part of Austin's news scene, her newscasts at 6 and 10pm are among the most watched in Texas. Savvy, sincere, gracious, and knowledgeable, she would be a part of any Austinite's fantasy news team.

Judy Maggio
3201 Steck Avenue

Best TV Newscast

Judy Maggio, Phil Scott, Mark Murray, and Mike Barnes vs. Robert Hadlock, Leslie Cook, Jim Spencer, and Roger Wallace - Chronicle readers found it impossible to determine whether one team is better than the other. Each has its loyal fans. So here's to two local TV stations, both featuring talented professionals who serve up news, weather, and sports, day in and day out. Congratulations! You folks have won a place in the hearts of Austinites.

3201 Steck

908 W. MLK

Best TV Personality

Some people see Alex Jones as a torch-bearer of truth, fighting the good fight against the New World Order. Others see him as a conspiracy kook. Whether he's blowing open the door of the Bohemian Grove on his public access show or railing against the corporate takeover of American democracy on the radio or on the Web (, no one can say that this rebel with a cause doesn't care about freedom.

Alex Jones

Best TV Reporter

Smart and savvy, with liquid eyes to die for, DeSilva is johnny-on-the-spot for breaking news in Central Texas. From Dripping Springs to Bosnia, his understanding of local and international events makes this award-winning reporter and weekend co-anchor a favorite of his peers and the public.

R.J. DeSilva
908 W. MLK

Best Weatherperson

If you want to find out if it's going to rain on your parade, tune in to Jim Spencer's nightly forecasts. Sincere, charming, and a complete pro, Spencer dispenses meteorological information to a large and loyal audience.

Jim Spencer

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