East Tennessee's best: News and local personalities

WBIR’s Todd Howell, Robin Wilhoit and Steve Phillips were voted Best Meteorologist, Best TV Anchor and Best Sportscaster, respectively, in our 2009 East Tennessee’s Best Readers’ Poll.

WBIR’s Todd Howell, Robin Wilhoit and Steve Phillips were voted Best Meteorologist, Best TV Anchor and Best Sportscaster, respectively, in our 2009 East Tennessee’s Best Readers’ Poll.

WBIR’s Todd Howell, Robin Wilhoit and Steve Phillips were voted Best Meteorologist, Best TV Anchor and Best Sportscaster, respectively, in our 2009 East Tennessee’s Best Readers’ Poll.

WBIR’s Todd Howell, Robin Wilhoit and Steve Phillips were voted Best Meteorologist, Best TV Anchor and Best Sportscaster, respectively, in our 2009 East Tennessee’s Best Readers’ Poll.

BEST LOCAL SPORTSCASTER

STEVE PHILLIPS

WBIR-TV

Steve Phillips must have been fated to be a sportscaster. After all, he does share his name with the other Steve Phillips, the one who was general manager of the New York Mets from 1997 until 2003.

But the real Steve Phillips (the WBIR version) began his broadcasting career as a little tyke, where he tripled as a quarterback, receiver and play-by-play announcer. From there he did a stint as a disc jockey before moving on to radio news and television.

He started his sportscasting career in Birmingham, Ala., moved to Nashville, and joined WBIR in 2003. Today he's the station's Sports Director. He's also a graduate of the University of Alabama, but we're going to let that slide this time.

Runners-up: Rick Russo, WVLT-TV; Jim Wogan, WATE-TV



BEST LOCAL TV ANCHOR

ROBIN WILHOIT

WBIR-TV

How awesome and a half is Robin Wilhoit? She's on Twitter, that's how.

Yep, not only can we catch Wilhoit co-anchoring WBIR's Action 10 News at 6 p.m. and 11 p.m., and on WBIR's "Health Beat" segment, but now she's live from the Internet as well.

Check her out at http://twitter.com/robinwilhoit for sneak peeks of upcoming stories, and for tiny glimpses of her on vacation with the family or pondering whether a bedroom TV is necessary (it's not).

Try and make us care about you that much, Anderson Cooper.

Runners-up: Russell Biven, WBIR-TV; Kristen Farley, WATE-TV

BEST LOCAL METEOROLOGIST

TODD HOWELL

WBIR-TV

Forecasting the weather is a tricky, unpredictable business. Ancient cultures including the Babylonians, Greeks and Chinese all attempted to informally forecast the weather, with varying degrees of success. Today meteorologists use a variety of scientific and technological methods for "predicting" weather patterns, including forecast models, remote sensing, Doppler Radar, grandma's knee swelling and gobs of math.

WBIR meteorologist Todd Howell knows about those things, enough so that we have 100 percent confidence that when he tells us there's a 70 percent chance of rain, then there is. Originally a student of marketing and business administration, Howell is a 1993 Masters graduate of Mississippi State's Broadcast Meteorology Program. He's also WBIR's Chief Meteorologist and a member of the National Weather Association.

Runners-up: Matt Hinkin, WATE-TV; Mike Witcher, WBIR-TV

BEST LOCAL RADIO PERSONALITY

MARC & KIM & FRANK

STAR 102.1 FM

There's a reason fatigued, early risers listen to the radio in the morning. Morning radio (that's a.m., not AM) offers listeners the most entertaining experience. The best morning radio programs are good not necessarily because of the music, but because of who hosts the show. Otherwise why not listen to your iPod?

Star 102.1's Marc & Kim & Frank provide a triple shot of adrenaline to go alongside your coffee in the morning. Weekdays 5:30-10 a.m. this trio brings you on all kinds of adventures. You may spend the morning riding the Sky-Zip Ziplines with them at Dollywood or winning free tickets to Feast with the Beasts at the zoo.

However you spend your morning together, you'll do it laughing until your sides hurt between the collective wit of Marc "If there is ever anything you need, please do not hesitate to ask someone else" Anthony, Kim "I'm the girl" Hansard, and Frank "He does love to swim, the underwater silence gives him the opportunity to listen to the voices inside his head" Murphy.

Runners-up: Jonathan Unthank, LIFE 88.3 FM; Hallerin Hilton Hill, WNOX-FM 100.3

BEST LOCAL RADIO SPORTS SHOW

SPORTS TALK WITH JOHN WILKERSON AND JIMMY HYAMS

SPORTS ANIMAL AM 990/FM 99.1/FM 99.3

What's the next best thing to watching sports? OK, sure, listening to sports. But after that? Definitely listening to other people talk about sports.

Listeners particularly enjoy listening to John Wilkerson and Jimmy Hyams on Sports Animal. You'd think that four hours of sports talk five days a week would get old. But it doesn't. Wilkerson and Hyams have the highest-rated sports show in the state.

Monday-Friday 3-7 p.m. they shoot the breeze with callers about football, baseball, basketball and more, from high school sports all the way up to the big leagues. Tune in on Mondays when the duo is joined by Dr. Jerry Punch from ESPN.

Runners-up: News Sentinel Sports Page, Sports Animal AM 990/FM 99.1/FM 99.3; Doc, Jeff and Heather, Sports Animal AM 990/FM 99.1/FM 99.3

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