The Personalities, Publications, and Broadcasts That Seattle Can’t Get Enough Of

Seattle Weekly readers weigh in on their media darlings.

Best Athlete

(tie) Kelsey Plum and Megan Rapinoe Going into the 2016–17 season, everyone knew University of Washington point guard Kelsey Plum was poised to have a special year. She didn’t disappoint, not only breaking the all-time NCAA women’s basketball scoring record, but doing so in style with a 57-point game in front of an adoring Seattle crowd. UW’s run in the playoffs ended before it should have, but Plum’s great story continued with a #1 WNBA draft pick. Meanwhile, Megan Rapinoe has continued to dazzle on the field and speak truth to power off it. She just won player-of-the-month honors for her five goals in July for Seattle Reign. She’s also been a driving force for equal treatment of women athletes, calling out the pay discrepancy between men and women’s soccer players and, with four other players, filing a lawsuit last year. Last fall she was one of the loudest voices calling foul when a Reign game got moved to a smaller-than-regulation field in New York, pointing out that no one would try to pull that on a men’s team. First Runner-Up: Russell Wilson

Best Celebrity

Chris Pratt The biggest movie star in the world right now formed his ideas about celebrity growing up in Lake Stevens, outside of Everett. “Back in the day,” Pratt writes on his Facebook page, “I sent Seattle Mariner Scott Bradley a baseball card in the mail with a request for an autograph. He kindly did so and returned it promptly. It meant the world to me.” Pratt’s biggest “scandal” to date—or “Pratt fall,” if you will—was a comment disparaging subtitles, for which he apologized to the deaf community … in sign language. In short, the Guardians of the Galaxy star is a class act. First Runner-Up: Mama Tits Second Runner-Up: Macklemore

Best Podcast

Out of the Fridge Each week on the Out of the Fridge podcast, four friends—three of whom work at a comic-book stop—chat about comic books and issues relating to the industry with a friendly, lighthearted approach. Think of them as the anti-Comic-Book Guy. More than just a deep dive into the latest comic books, this podcast feels like geeking out with a group of friends while you are driving to work or doing the dishes. First Runner-Up: Word on the Street Second Runner-Up: The Seattle Files

Best Meteorologist

Steve Pool There are two kinds of weatherpeople: those who simply read off a card and point at maps, and those who truly embrace the science of weather and explain it to the audience. The latter is becoming a rare thing in this world—we already miss you, Jeff Renner—but Steve Pool is the real deal. He started at KOMO in 1977 as a science reporter, and has been the principal forecaster since the mid-’80s. Plus he drops some serious trivia on us with those random questions he asks every day. First Runner-Up: Cliff Mass Second Runner-Up: M.J. McDermott

Best Online-Only Publication

Respect My Region People say that smaller menus make for a more pleasant restaurant experience than those places that offer too many options. That logic, translated to media, is part of what makes Respect My Region one of the best local online-only publications—they really cut the fat. If you want the latest on Northwest hip-hop and electronic music, or want to find the best weed strain to smoke while you’re listening, you know where to go. First Runner-Up: (tie) Crosscut, South Seattle Emerald

Best Radio Personality

John Richards Some 17 years since he began, John Richards is still rising before the crack of dawn to trek over to the KEXP studios and play tunes for Seattle to wake up to. He must have very strong coffee, because from 6 to 10 a.m. five days a week, he’s as perky and personable as ever, telling stories about his youth, wife, and kids in between Pixies and Replacements songs, or cutting it up on the air with his interns. First Runner-Up: Rachel Belle Second Runner-Up: Dave Ross

Best Radio Show

The Morning Show With John Richards The morning is when most folks listen to the radio, so John Richards could easily just play the hits and aim for the middle. But what makes The Morning Show one of Seattle’s best radio shows is the spotlight Richards shines on Seattle’s artists. Yes, you’ll get plenty of crowd-pleasers from big indie, alternative, and hip-hop artists, but sprinkled among them is a healthy heaping of new local music. That exposure to Richards’ huge audience is invaluable to the city’s upstart bands, cementing The Morning Show as more than just a radio show—it’s a vital part of Seattle’s musical ecosystem. First Runner-Up: KUOW’s Week in Review Second Runner-Up: The Roadhouse With Greg Vandy

Best Radio Station for Music

KEXP Read Christy Casey’s brief history of the radio station’s new Gathering Space. First Runner-Up: KNKX Second Runner-Up: Hot 103.7

Best Radio Station for Sports

710 ESPN As with its sister station on the FM dial, KIRO, you don’t have to like everything that’s said on 710 ESPN to respect what it does, which is put a laser focus on local programming. From 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., the station is a no-syndicated-show zone, populated instead by local jocks with monosyllabic names (Brock, Salk, John, Bob, Groz, Tom, Dave, Moore—plus Danny) who think way too much about the Seahawks and Mariners. Listeners have rewarded it with top ratings in sports radio month after month, as they should. First Runner-Up: KJR-950

Best Radio Station for Talk

KUOW Seattle’s favorite talk-radio station turns 65 this year. Born as a training program for students at the University of Washington (that’s what the UOW stands for), the station evolved to classical and news, and later to all talk and news. To celebrate its 65th, KUOW is broadcasting stories from important moments in Seattle’s history and hosting a number of events. Make sure to tune in—and don’t forget to wish it a happy birthday. First Runner-Up: KNKX Second Runner-Up: KIRO FM

Best TV Newscast

KING5 KING5 has been a pioneer not only in news, but television as a whole. In 1948, the channel made history when it broadcast a high-school football game and became the first television station in the region. The station has not only traveled the road to success but paved it with milestones of their own making, from being the first Northwest station to telecast in color to winning multiple journalism awards. Currently, they’ve beat the competition in every broadcast time period and their audience numbers are ever-expanding, proving once again that KING5 reigns supreme in broadcast news. First Runner-Up: KOMO Second Runner-Up:KIRO-TV

Best Twitter Follow

Ijeoma Oluo On Sunday, Ijeoma Oluo walked into a Cracker Barrel in Montana and wondered “Will they let my black ass walk out of here?” This episode, related on Twitter, set off a mighty troll storm, which Oluo parried into a clinic on white fragility and privilege and, well, Cracker Barrel. And it was a prime example of why 71,000 people follow her on Twitter. First Runner-Up: Hanna Brooks Olsen Second Runner-Up: Ken Jennings