Time to Handout 2nd Annual Barmash Awards for Excellence in TV News

It’s that time of the year—time for buying Christmas trees, and subsequently decorating them with all the trimmings. Our Jewish friends are digging out the menorahs, and making sure they have enough candles.

But it’s also the season for countless awards. FishbowlNY is no exception, as we present our 2nd annual Barmash Awards, honoring the local TV news scene here in New York.

As the title indicates, there is no committee making these decisions—just one co-editor.

While our intention isn’t to specifically balance the award winners, it does show the enormous talent we have to choose from across the dial.

Best Newscast (morning)

The chemistry works perfectly between WABC/Channel 7 veterans Lori Stokes and Ken Rosato. Stokes, though, brings that special connection to morning viewers. Stokes has a warm and friendly demeanor as she virtually “wakes” up people each day. Bill Evans is one of the best TV meteorogists, only falling short in the overall category to a colleague.

Best Newscast (noon)

The 12 o’clock news update has gotten more competitive in recent weeks, with WNBC rejoining the ranks of noon hour stalwarts WABC and WCBS. We give the edge to the Channel 2 duo of Rob Morrison and Mary Calvi. Morrison jumped right in after Maurice DuBois got the night time assignment. The anchors hit their stride handling hard news or breaking news. Following a busy winter and Hurricane Irene, John Elliott has become a dependable, reliable weather source.

Best Newscast (5 p.m.)

No growing pains for the aforementioned DuBois and Kristine Johnson. The pair is the station’s lead anchor tandem. DuBois, who has had a career covering mornings–first at WNBC, then WCBS– has clearly paid his dues. Across the studio at the Weather Center, the fan favorite Lonnie Quinn does his thing, while Otis Livingston, it’s easy to see, is enjoying himself doing sports.

Best Newscast (6 p.m.)

Not only a ratings winner each sweeps period, WABC/Channel 7 is pure and simply—the best at what it does! It starts with top anchor Bill Ritter, who is as smooth and confident as you’ll find on the air. He can report deadly serious stories with no struggle, or lighten it up with his colleagues on set. With the addition of a 4 p.m. newscast, that put the wheels in motion to adjust the anchor schedules. However, Ritter and Liz Cho remain untouched at 6 p.m.

Best Newscast (11 p.m.)

Three words say it all — Chuck and Sue—the standard bearers of local news teams. But these 68-year-old anchors aren’t simply resting on their past achievements. Scarborough and Simmons remain committed to the 11 p.m. newscast. Like a good wine, age for these vintage anchors bodes well for the WNBC viewing audience.

Best Weekend Anchor (Tie)

This is not a unique category, but the winners are. Both are veteran anchors, WPIX’s Kaity Tong and Don Dahler of WCBS, and both lost their weekday anchor gigs to someone else.

Tong, though, had already been removed as weeknight 10 p.m. co-anchor in October 2010. She remained a part of the Jodi Applegate-led newscast, “anchoring” short segments on location. That lasted until a year later, when Jim Watkins was let go. Whether it’s hers permanently or until someone younger and cheaper comes along, Tong has injected a breath of fresh air into an otherwise tumultuous situation.

As for Dahler, an award-winning broadcast journalist, he was hired by WCBS in 2007. His 6 p.m. anchor slot, though, was handed off in September to Chris Wragge, who returned to Channel 2 two months before officially being out at The Early Show (He leaves the show at the end of year).

Dahler persevered, and reworked his contract to co-anchor weekend mornings with Cindy Hsu and alone on the evening broadcasts. Not the dream job, but the good-natured Dahler has worked through it. A throwback to decades earlier, Dahler offers no bells and whistles—he’s just a newsman, the consummate professional.