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Welcome to the First ‘Barmash’ Awards for Best in Local News

There are a zillion different year-end countdowns and awards. Well, before too many days go by, here’s one more.

These are the “Barmash Awards” given for the best talent and newscasts in New York TV news. This is by a committee of one—me.

Best Newscast (early morning)

Today in New York (WNBC): Darlene Rodriguez and Michael Gargiulo, Chris Cimino (weather), and Megan Meany (traffic)

Despite only being together for a couple of years, this is well-oiled machine. They have a terrific balance of good personality and good news sense. The Rodriguez and Gargiulo anchor team took some time to establish their chemistry—but by 2010 became the gold standard for dawn patrol. Another important plus is Cimino, doing that shift for more than a decade. He is one the best forecasters, not just at the station, but could easily hold is own among the “prime timers” as well.

Many more “awards” after the jump.

Best Newscast (late morning)

Good Day New York (WNYW): Rosanna Scotto, Greg Kelly, Mike Woods (weather), and Ines Rosales (traffic)

If chemistry can be too good, this would be the place. The duo anchor GDNY start at 7 a.m., but in the 9 a.m. hour they are at their best. During that time, Scotto and Kelly move from desk to couch while bringing an even more relaxed feel to the program. Versatility shines as they joke with each other and guests, but are always ready to jump into breaking news mode at a moment’s notice.

Best Newscast (noon)

WCBS: Maurice DuBois, Kate Sullivan (followed by Mary Calvi), and John Elliott (weather)

DuBois, a morning veteran, had to split co-anchors during the year. Sullivan left for Chicago in July. He has worked with Calvi since then, although she still hasn’t been formally named morning co-anchor. DuBois and his co-anchor’s talents are clearly on display. (On January 3, DuBois began as WCBS weeknight anchor.)

Best Newscast (5 p.m.)

WNYW: Ernie Anastos, Dari Alexander and Nick Gregory (weather)

Anastos remains one of the smoothest anchors in the business. His easygoing nature is legendary, especially when bouncing off his colleagues. Anastos, like a great play-by-play announcer, brings out the best in co-anchor Alexander.

Best Newscast (6 p.m.)

WABC: Bill Ritter and Liz Cho, Lee Goldberg (weather), and Scott Clark (sports)

Best Newscast (10 p.m.)

WPIX: Kaity Tong and Jim Watkins; Mr. G and Lolita Lopez

This is sort of like when Taxi won a Best Comedy Emmy Award after it was already cancelled. The team of Tong and Watkins gets recognized for their time on WPIX, where they were lead anchors until October. Now with a new anchor and set, it becomes abundantly clear why there’s such a yearning for the “good ol’ days.” Tong and Watkins weren’t just together for 12 years and had great chemistry—they were top notch anchors, raising the bar for each other night after night. I don’t know what’s worse: Tong doing brief segments within the newscasts or Watkins anchoring weekend and fill-in (anyone see Christmas Eve and Christmas Night?)

Best Newscast (11 p.m.)

WNBC: Chuck Scarborough and Sue Simmons

Need I say more? Like a good wine, this team gets better with age. Of course, after 30 years, they are so much more than an anchor team. They compliment each other perfectly. Scarborough had to hold down the fort solo for the last two months of the year while Simmons recovered from surgery. Each night, one TV franchise (Chuck and Sue) leads into another (The Tonight Show).

Best Overall Anchor

WABC’s Bill Ritter

With so many great anchors to choose from, many listed above, this was a hard decision. But in the end, Ritter has the right combination of leadership to guide viewers during serious news, and playfulness when stories are on the lighter side. In terms of delivery, no one is better than Ritter. He is as natural as they come…definitely at the apex of his career.

Best Sports Anchor

WABC’s Scott Clark

The cream of the crop, Clark retired on Monday after 24 years at Channel 7. Since Len Berman’s unceremonious dismissal in 2009, Clark has been the Dean of New York Sports Anchors. In a business where turnover is the norm, staying put for two decades is nothing short of amazing.

Best Meteorologist

WABC’s Lee Goldberg

Channel 7 makes it a clean sweep for the anchors with Goldberg taking the overall weather award. Goldberg is one of the most accurate but also entertaining meteorologists.

Best Overall Newscast

WABC—Ritter, Cho, Clark, and Goldberg

Individually or as a group, they are the simply the best New York has to offer.

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