Is This Really the Best Of Louisville’s TV Media?

Here at the V.V., we have a soft spot for the Louisville Magazine’s Best of Louisville Awards, since they picked Jake and me as Best Bloggers last year (nothing in the category this year, so we’re still the champs). But there’s still room to question the readers’ choices in media categories, especially TV. The July issue is out with all the winners in it.

This year, there were just five TV news categories: Anchor, Weathercaster, Sportscaster, Evening Newscast and Morning Newscast.

The top two spots at Anchor went to Dawne Gee and Jackie Hays of WAVE. Rachel Platt was 3rd. Note — the mag’s readers seem to be big fans of WAVE, which won both the Evening and Morning TV Newcast votes, even though the station never wins a ratings block.

WAVE’s John Belski edged out Tom Wills for weathercaster, with Jay Cardosi getting third. And in sports, WLKY’s Fred Cowgill broke through the WAVE dominance, though Bob Domine of WAVE got second, ahead of the much harder-working Kyle Draper of WHAS. Really. Domine isn’t even the top guy at his station. Oh, forgot. It’s a vote on popularity, not ability.

Conclusions: Louisvlle Magazine readers like WAVE a lot, and ignore WDRB.  Maybe the fact that these awards have a category for senior living residence tells you something about the demographics.

Let’s see what V.V. readers have to say… Please leave us some comments if you agree or disagree with the Louisvlle Mag readers’ choices for the city’s best Anchors, Weathercasters and Sportscasters. And while you’re at it, let’s include a category the Mag ignored — Who’s the Best TV Reporter in town?

37 thoughts on “Is This Really the Best Of Louisville’s TV Media?

  1. For me, most of the anchor talent is interchangeable. I end up watching WAVE simply because they have a really sharp looking hidef show. Looks great on the 46″ flat panel. Once you start seeing an entire newscast in hidef, it’s hard to watch the other guys.

  2. I can’t stand Dawn Gee. Since she was Lotto Girl back in the day.

    But Louisville Magazine is for the old farts in town.

  3. WDRB news seems like its the High School AV club edition of the news. Bad sound, horrible scripts, bad direction. And Brian Lamb really seems snarky when he says “And that’s MY point of view.”

  4. Anchor- Jennifer Baileys, Rick Van Hoose, Renee Murphy
    Weather- John Belski, Kevin Harned, Jay Cardosi
    Sports- Kent Taylor, Kyle Draper, Fred Cowgill
    Evening- WAVE
    Morning- WDRB
    Reporter- Dick Irby, Chase Cain, Stephan Johnson

    Sexiest- Jennifer Baileys, Angie Glotzbach, Carrie Weil, Jenny Goodman, Hailee Lampert

  5. I like Dawne Gee the best, but if I watch the news, its WHAS. I can’t get to the remote fast enough if the TV happens to be on WLKY and Jay Cardosi comes on. Tom Wills is the best, always was and always will be.

  6. I’ve preferred WAVE for years. Don’t care for Scott Reynolds, but I love Jackie and Dawne. Jackie is so classy, yet down to earth and approachable. And Dawne is just a hoot–so much so that I don’t even mind her many mispronunciations–I love how she says “In-duh-NAP-lis.” And John Belski and Kevin Harned are hard to beat weather-wise. I haven’t watched a weeknight WHAS newscast since they got rid of Ken Schulz. I really liked Scott Harvey as a reporter, but now he’s gone. :-(

  7. I agree that most of the talent is interchangeable. Traveling a great deal on business, I think people should appreciate how good our local coverage is in comparison to much of the country. The production quality, set design, and professionalism of our various stations is much better many of station in large markets.

    I’m sure some of the quality comes from longevity and stability of the talent. We can debate how hard-witting the coverage is, but it’s hard to argue that they produce a quality product.

    Watch the news next time you are in a large market and have to suffer through the parade of ex pageant girls and Ken Dolls bumbling through the prompter at a set that looks like it was bought from Wave 3 in 1985.

  8. Jackie Hays is and always will be my favorite anchor (man or woman). Barry Bernson is a close second though. Kevin and John make the best weather team…although Cardosi and Weinberg are good as well. For sports, I like John Lewis @ WDRB. Fred and Bob are good ones as well.

  9. WDRB may not get mega-ratings, but it has a truly outstanding, national-caliber anchor in David Scott, a class-act veteran reporter in Dick Irby and a fine young rising star in Bennett Haeberle.

    And Barry Bernson be da bomb daddy.

    WHAS’s best include Rachel Platt, Renee Murphy and Kyle Draper. I’m not a fan of Chase Cain; I find his hyperkinetic, over-emotive delivery annoying and patronizing. And Missy Swan needs to donate that black-and-white polka-dotted dress (which she wore on Derby Day) to Goodwill. Definitely not her colors.

    WAVE has a stable of solid veterans including Connie Leonard, Kent Taylor, Tom Wills and John Belski. They are a pleasure to watch.

    And WLKY has a top-notch lineup of anchors in Steve B., Rick V., Vicki D., John B., and Fred Cowgill. They’ve all been at Channel 32 for more than 20 years.

    On balance, I’d say we’re pretty damn blessed.

  10. Morning Show: Fox in the morning
    Evening Show: WAVE
    Anchor- Jennifer Baileys, Janelle MacDonald, Rich Van Hoose
    Weather- John Belski, Kevin Harned, Marc Weinberg
    Sports- Kent Taylor, Kyle Draper, Bob Domine
    Reporter- Dick Irby, Adam Walser, Chris Turner
    Hottest: Jennifer Baileys, Carrie Weil, Kelsey Starks

    Any of you guys remember Shannon Davidson from WAVE… Gosh what a perfect face, absolutely beautiful

  11. The best asset of Louisville is the comfort level of living here. We are blessed with talented chefs, artists, newscasters, and physicians who could easily be successful and make more money in a major city, but practice there craft here because they love the community.

    Louisvillians need to occasionally take time to appreciate what we have sometimes, instead of focusing on what we don’t have.

  12. I love Kevin Harned and he also does that other TV show, Secrets of Louisville Chefs. AND its local TV. All positive, all local!

  13. No, I don’t have any bone to pick with WAVE. I agree with those who say the high-def makes a big difference. I don’t have any favorites, actually, but try to write about what I do and don’t like.

  14. I’ve NEVER liked WAVE. I’m the most comfortable with WHAS. Even though Fred Cowgill is the best with sports. Kyle Draper would definitely be second. I think Andy Treinen does a great job in the mornings. And as far as reporting, Gene Kang is fantastic.

  15. I find it funny that you, who are so biased toward anything liberal, are offended by Lou Mag’s perceived bias toward WAVE. Why don’t you try for the same objectivity you see lacking in Lou Mag?

  16. Anchor- Jackie Hays,
    Weather- Tom Wills,John Belski, Marc Weinberg
    Sports- Kent Taylor, Kyle Draper
    Evening- WAVE
    Morning- WDRB, WAVE
    Reporter- Dick Irby, Steve Bergen, John Boel
    Sexiest- Janelle McDonald, Angie Glotzbach, Carrie Weil, Kelsey Starks…Jackie Hays for old times sake.

  17. Jason L cracks me up! For somebody that knows sooo much about Louisville TV news..he can’t even get his names right. It’s Bill not Brian. Maybe Jason should pay a little more attention to what he is watching.

  18. Anchor- Rachel Platt, John Boel, Joe Arnold
    Weather- Jay Cardosi, Ben Pine
    Sports- Kyle Draper
    Evening- WLKY
    Morning- WHAS
    Reporter- Adam Walser, Ben Jackey, Chase Cain
    Hottest- John Boel!!

  19. I AGREE WITH davidrc:

    “I find it funny that you, who are so biased toward anything liberal, are offended by Lou Mag’s perceived bias toward WAVE. Why don’t you try for the same objectivity you see lacking in Lou Mag?”

  20. Anchor: Natasha Collins, John Boel, Dawne Gee
    Weather: John Belski, Kevin Harden
    Sports: Fred Cowgill, Kent Taylor, Kyle Draper
    Evening: WAVE
    Morning: WHAS
    Reporter: Steve Burgin, Adam Wasler, Mike Petchenik

  21. I say get rid of the weather idiot, Mark Weinberg! Someone must have told him that he needed bad acting lessons before he could do the weather!

  22. The standouts for me at this time are Jackie Hays (WAVE) for best anchor and Dick Irby (WDRB) for best reporter.

    I have gotten to the point where I can no longer stand watching WHAS. They have lost too much quality talent in recent times, without replacing it. And they have essentially become corporate stenographers rather than a news reporting outfit. Chase Cain nauseates me, nearly literally.

    As for Bill Lamb, I still don’t understand why anyone should care what a transplanted corporate manager thinks about local issues, but he has seemed to moderate his positions over the past couple years. He’s not nearly as arch-conservative as he used to be. Perhaps he started changing after mulling over a couple nastygrams he received from yours truly. :)

  23. Just want to thank Mark H for his comment:
    “Louisvillians need to occasionally take time to appreciate what we have sometimes, instead of focusing on what we don’t have.”

    You are so right. What this city suffers from is the biggest inferiority complex in the US. There’s the attitude of “how good can he/she be if they’re local?” I see it everyday. It’s transference of our own feeling of inferiority onto our local talent and businesses. I saw an interview with Bob Edwards on the History Channel where he discussed how Louisville was hard on it’s own natives in that we seem to be forced to leave the city to make our name, then return to the hero’s welcome. If only we would realize that we have some of the most talented people in the world right here among us working in many professions.

    This is not to say that there’s anything wrong with being critical of the local media. God knows, they need it. (Dawne Gee drives me bonkers!) But, spend some time in other markets for awhile and you’ll be a little more patient with our guys and gals.

  24. My picks…..

    Anchors: Janelle MacDonald & Steve Burgin — Don’t like them? Watch others who are normally paired work solo. Ray Dalessio was stumbling all over himself last week. Dawne Gee can be like watching a train wreck.

    Reporter: They’ve changed around here so much, hard to tell. I’ll say Dick Irby.

    Weather: Kevin Harned

    Sports: Do they cover sports around here?

  25. I have a theory that explains a lot about the culture of Louisville. Louisville is a conglomeration of 5-6 small towns.

    There is very little social intermixing amongst the South End, East End, Fern Creek, etc. Some of this I think goes back to the heavy Catholic parish culture, where you grew up in a parish, dated a girl from a parish and settled back in that parish.

    The reason that people ask what high school is that it tells you where they grew up and who they likely know. If you graduated from Ballard, you likely know very few people, if any, from Southern or Moore.

    The odd thing about Louisville is that when they are growing up, young people feel socially trapped like they would in a small town. However, the city aggregate has the amenities of larger town, which makes it comfortable and lures them back as adults.

    The reason natives call Louisville the smallest large city in the country is based on the self-segregation of its population into socioeconomic and cultural boroughs.

    Just a theory, but ask yourself, why do you ask someone where they went to high school?

  26. Magruder, don’t fall all over yourself regarding your nastygrams to Bill Lamb. You remind me of that place on Baxter/Bardstown Road that says A Taco as Big as Your Head. In your case, your head is bigger than one of the hot air balloons at the Derby Festival.

    My picks for local news people.

    Anchor: Steve Burgin/Jackie Hays
    Reporters: Dick Irby/The Rest are mostly weak/Too bad Eric Flack went to Cincy
    Weather: Belski/Jay Cardosi
    Sports: Kyle Draper/Fred Cowgill/ Bob Domine doesn’t even rate on my list. I remember his tantrum a few years ago regarding his child not being able to play in Little League

  27. Since I didn’t go to school here or be involved in this community until about 5 years ago, that makes me some sort of outsider and I do notice it a bit. Not to say that people aren’t friendly, because a lot of them are

    Louisville will probably never be a big city in the way that say Atlanta, Indianapolis, and Cincinnati have done as well as St. Louis. That’s not really a bad thing because as a whole we don’t have the real big city problems here that some do have. Especially with gangs, etc. We have those types of people but mostly in the West End, Newburg, etc. Not too much in the South End and definitely not in East Louisville. Our main problem is the loss of manufacturing based jobs and lack of technical and college type jobs that require education and our low education levels. Other than that, we’re doing fine in a lot of areas such as culture, entertainment, etc.

    A new mayor and new ideas would help this city greatly in that we could attract better jobs rather than just what we have which is pretty sparse right now.

  28. I absolutly refuse to watch 11 and I’ll tell you why. It all came down to the fight over Thunder when all the stations got together and agreed to do it on a rotating basis. The next year just happened to be 11’s year so the NEXT year it fell to 41 and 11 said they intend on broadcasting it anyway breaking the deal they had agreed to! It was then that the total arrogance on Chestnut St came through, and I have not watched them since. That and forcing Ken Schultz out was the last straw for me.

    I do like WAVE’s HD presentation and usually will wind up there.

    And I have noticed the usual suspects for the sexiest females just as Janelle McDonald, Carrie Weil and Jennifer Baileys. Which I agree with. but I’d like to add Vicki Dortch to that list. I’d love to be alone with her in a dark edit bay!!

  29. We have two really fine news organizations still functioning in this town….WHAS11 and WLKY. It is a pleasure to watch either one.
    As for the corporate guy at 41….Lamb is just another in a series of wantabees who get on the tube because they so rule. Who really gives a big whoop about what he has to say?

  30. I don’t care for WHAS Weather anymore, Since they got rid of Ken Schulz!… wish chuck taylor was still alive and doing weather.

    Like John Belski, Kevin Harned on Wave3!
    Miss tom wills.

    And whats going on with WDRB Weather this week? They had Beth Andrews, & Bob Symon on there this week??????

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