June 26, 2012

Anchor Rising Readers Poll Winners!

Marc Comtois

As Matt Allen tweeted me last week, "Well isn't this fun." And yes it was! Thanks to all who voted and especially thanks to the local media who participated in "electronic canvassing" for our scientific bragging-rights Anchor Rising Readers Poll covering the Local RI Media. In addition to bragging rights, every winner can download a printable certificate (right-click the category you won to download--except for Advice category co-winners) commemorating the watermark achievement of being recognized as a favorite of Anchor Rising's readership, which is no small feat given the irascible tendencies of the lot!

So, without further ado, here are the 2012 winners:

Favorite Local Political Talk Radio Show: The Helen Glover Show link
Favorite Political Roundtable Show: Newsmakers (WPRI-TV) link
Favorite Local Electronic Media News Team: CBS 12 - WPRI-TV link
Favorite Local Media Investigative Team: Target 12 - WPRI TV link
Favorite Local Radio News/Info Show: The Gene Valicenti Show link
Favorite Local Business Talk Show: MONEYTALK w/Don Sowa link
Favorite Lifestyle/Entertainment Radio Show: This Week in Entertainment w/Bekah Berger link
Favorite Advice Show (here for BBB and here for Pet Care): TIE: Big Blue Bug Solutions w/ Tony DeJesus link and Pet Care w/ Dr. Dan Simpson (link)

Summary & (Rank-Amateur ) Analysis

Favorite Local Political Talk Radio Show: In our most popular category, Helen Glover won comfortably with 39% of the vote. Second was Matt Allen with 27% of the vote and Dan Yorke was third with 20%. Buddy Cianci came in fourth with 12% and John DePetro rounded out the category with 2% of the vote. Early on, it was a 3-horse race between Glover, Yorke and Allen, but Glover pulled away and Allen overtook Yorke. Neither Cianci nor DePetro were ever a factor. Commenters (and here) gave Helen high marks for regularly having both national and local guests and asking "tough questions" as well as being the "only voice of true conservatives in RI." Matt Allen was credited with being original and having "opinions that are his own." Dan Yorke was perhaps the most polarizing talker with one commenter finding him "pretty fair in his criticisms of people and groups" while another called him "over dramatic to the detriment of his argument sometimes." Each have their own style, to be sure, but I've always found all three of the aforementioned hosts to be interesting and pretty fair.

Cianci was credited as the "most fun to listen to" and "good for [a] mid-day laugh" while DePetro simply wasn't popular among Anchor Rising readers. Perhaps because I'm not a native Rhode Islander, I haven't been drawn to "the Mayor" and his style, though his insights on politics--especially at the local level--are interesting. DePetro tends to be more of a rabble-rouser than someone who delves deeply into topics and he's been rewarded with regular spots on Nancy Grace for his efforts. Generally not my cup of tea (or, apparently, that for most Anchor Rising readers), though he does have interesting guests and is good at integrating the webcam into his broadcast when said guests warrant it (ahem).

Favorite Political Roundtable Show: WPRI's Newsmakers ran away with this category and never looked back, garnering 55% of the vote. The race for second place was between two public broadcasting programs, which was won by WSBE's Lively Experiment (19%) over RIPR's Ian Donnis-helmed Political Roundtable (15%). 10 News Conference almost caught RIPR's 'Roundtable with 12%. ABC 6's On the Record didn't receive a vote. While some of the votes can be chalked up to active campaigning to the web-savvy Ted Nesi (hey, all is fair...!), the selection of Newsmakers is a clear affirmation that Tim White et al deal with topics in both a fair and entertaining way and the show is simply better than the rest.

The combined 2nd and 3rd place showing (34% of the vote when combined) of public broadcast-originated shows indicates that there is respect for these outlets amongst Anchor Rising readers. Lively Experiment has gotten better with Dianna Koelsch and has the advantage of drawing from a large stable of political commentators (including many of its competitors in this category). Similarly, though it suffered for being a short-form program amongst longer-formed shows, RIPR's Political Roundtable is deftly moderated by Ian Donnis and is helped by having a "third chair" guest join regular panelists Scott MacKay and Maureen Moakley in commenting on the news of the week. 10 News Conference is a solid and respected show, but maybe bringing in other interviewers to supplement Jim Taricani and Bill Rappleye would add a new, fresher element.

Favorite Local Electronic Media News Team: WPRI also won this category fairly handily with 39% of the vote and is clearly the favorite news source of Anchor Rising readers. Perennial market leader WJAR came in with 20% followed closely by the surprising GoLocalProv.com with 18% of the vote. The closeness of the vote between #2 and #3 indicates both GoLocal's inherent online savvy and, perhaps, a general slippage of WJAR in the market. AM 630 WPRO came in third with 13% of the vote, which seems like a slight under-performance given the medium and the demographics of the Anchor Rising readers. Perhaps they suffered because many people can't listen all day and this may point to a need to further bolster their on-line product. RIPR came in 4th with 9% of the vote, but given the relatively small news staff and fact that most of their programming is national, this isn't too surprising. Neither is the fact that WLNE came in last (1%), unfortunately.

Favorite Local Media Investigative Team: Stop me if you've heard this before: WPRI's Target 12 investigative team handily won this category and it wasn't even close with them getting 62% of the vote. Tim White, Ted Nesi and Sean Daly have demonstrated time and again a penchant for digging out good stories and exposing them to daylight (even if the General Assembly doesn't like it!). Of the rest, WPRO's The Hummel Report with the indefatigable Jim Hummel was the best (13%). WJAR's I-team with veteran reporters Jim Taricani and Bill Rappleye found themselves neck and neck with GoLocalProv's Dan McGowan, which is another interesting outcome for both outlets. The Providence Journal came in next with 6% and was followed by RIPR's Donnis and MacKay with 3% and the Providence Phoenix's David Scharfenberg with 1%. Meanwhile Hummel's former employer--ABC 6--garnered no votes. It's not meant as a knock on Mark Curtis et al, but Hummel provided the perennial ratings loser with at least some cache, which they've yet to recapture.

Favorite Local Radio News/Info Show: WPRO/WJAR Renaissance man Gene Valicenti easily won this category with 57% of the vote. A commenter described the show well: "Gene Valicenti has a nice, entertaining, informative, freewheeling show--no agendas showing--and the whole style is relaxed and non confrontational. There's a certain Jean Shepherd quality to the show. Not a bad thing. Plus Gene is a real pro." Whether it's current events, Godfather quotes or disco music, Valicenti has taken advantage of the chance to stretch out his legs on Saturday mornings to good effect. The WPRO Morning News with Tara Granahan and Andrew Gobeil came in 2nd with 28% of the vote. The broadcast is certainly professional, but its format seems hampered by the time slot. While "Tara & Andrew" get just about any guest you could want, they are limited by time constraints from digging deeply into topics. The quality of their questions is good, it would just be better if they could ask more of them without having to run for traffic! The rest of the vote-getters were WPRO produced shows Saturday Morning News with Steve Klamkin (7%) and Amazing Women with State Representative (and WPRO employee) Deb Ruggerio & Cumulus Community with Bill Haberman each getting 4%. WPRV's Perspectives with Elaina Goldstein received no votes, but, from the guest list, sounds like it could be an interesting listen.

Favorite Local Business Talk Show: Longtime Rhode Island business show stalwart MONEYTALK with Don Sowa garnered 82% of the vote and the win. No contest and the results speak for themselves. If you're looking for a quick perspective on the market news of the day or for well-reasoned (and conservative) financial advice, tune into Sowa's program on AM 790 WPRV at 5 PM and you won't be disappointed. Finishing a distant second was WPRV's Common Ground with State Senator and Council 94 Labor leader John Tassoni, which garnered 12% of the votes for a show that looks at things from a labor perspective. WPRV's Positively Rhode Island with James Lawrence and the Madman was the only other vote-getter (6%). I've caught the show once and their aim is to look at the positive business stories in the state. WPRV offerings Positive Business with Patricia Raskin and We Are Rotary were shut out.

Favorite Local Lifestyle/Entertainment Radio Show: This Week in Entertainment with Bekah Berger on WPRO dominated this category with 72% of the vote. The web-savvy Berger gets kudos for mobilizing her base and for producing an entertaining show (indeed!) on Saturday afternoons. It's also key source material for those Dad's (ahem) looking for a clue as to what their tween/teen daughters are talking about. WEEI's Go Local Sports w/John Rooke and Scott Cordischi & WPRV's Dining Out w/Bruce Newbury tied for a distant 2nd with 9% of the vote each. The Southern New England Golf Show on WEEI was next with 7% and WPRV's Radio Italia received 2%. The Go Local show with Rooke and Cordischi is a solid show and reminds us of what we once had in 790 The Score. Bruce Newbury is a Rhode Island institution and rarely steers you wrong in gastronomic advice. I've never listened to Radio Italia, but thought it worth including given the preponderance of Italian-Americans in the Ocean State.

Favorite Advice Show: Talkin' 'bout critters of one sort or another dominated this category, with WPRO Saturday stalwarts Big Blue Bug Solutions w/ Tony DeJesus and Pet Care w/ Dr. Dan Simpson battling to a tie with 38% of the vote each. WPRO's Legal Tips with Steve Linder (13%) and The Myrna Lamb Show (8%) were the only other vote-getters.

Congratulations to all our winners and be sure to give ALL of these shows a listen. You never know, you might like 'em!

Comments, although monitored, are not necessarily representative of the views Anchor Rising's contributors or approved by them. We reserve the right to delete or modify comments for any reason.

Marc,this is great. Thank you. I must admit that I get a real kick out of Gene Valicenti. He has a wicked sense of humor.

Like Allen and Yorke. Seldom have listened to Glover. All very interesting. Thanks.

Posted by: helen at June 27, 2012 12:10 AM
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