Best Of 2011: Local TV Newscast

Any station that can boast 85 years of experience among four people has no excuse for not being voted Best Local Newscast, and KOAA has had at least a share of the title every year since 2006. Rob Quirk and Lisa Lyden both started as news anchors here in the '80s, while weatherman Mike Daniels has more than 20 years on the job, and Lee Douglas, a dozen as sports anchor. Given their longevity, watching them at 10 is almost like having Grandma tuck you in at night. Besides knowing the community backward and forward (Daniels is a native), the 5/30 news team has great production support. They rarely cut to the wrong video clip or talk into the wrong camera. And while other stations may have occasional flash, at the end of the day, News First 5 delivers all the news, weather and sports that's fit to air. — Pam Zubeck

Best Of 2011: Local TV News Personality: Lisa Lyden

Sure, having been in the same job since July 1983 makes a difference. And no, that's not a typo. Lisa Lyden is now in her 29th year as KOAA News First 5 anchor, and she's either won or shared this honor for eight years running. The best part (and her secret) is her personality: Lisa is genuine and totally unpretentious, never has had a big ego, and away from the camera, gives her time and effort to various charitable causes, such as fighting breast cancer and muscular dystrophy. But all that aside, she's a pro, delivering the news without hyperbole and never trying to upstage longtime newscast partner Rob Quirk. — Ralph Routon

Best Local TV Newscast

Viewers trust the station formerly known as 5/30 — this is its fourth win in a row — and news director Cindy Aubrey thinks she may know why. "We don't insult their intelligence by sensationalizing the news," Aubrey says. "We tell the good stories about life in Southern Colorado. There's more going on than robberies and stabbings, and we want people to know. We have beautiful, thriving communities, rich with stories about artists, entrepreneurs, athletes, interesting politics and much more." One thing Aubrey thinks viewers appreciate: "Now more than ever, our viewers play a larger role in determining content. ... We value every single person who tunes in to watch our news." — Bree Abel

Best Local TV Anchor, Lisa Lyden

She wins again, folks! Lisa Lyden takes the Best Local TV Anchor award for the fourth year in a row — adding to her Best Of awards from 1997 through 2000 and multiple "Best Newscast" awards from the Colorado Broadcasters Association. Even if she wasn't so visible for all the community and charity work she does, KOAA's 6 and 10 p.m. news anchor long ago would have become a staple in our fair city. "It's just nice to know that people still watch after 26 years," Lyden says. "I'm overjoyed." — Carson Bennett

Best Local TV Reporter, James Jarman

Maybe it was his experience as a whitewater rafting guide that prepared him for the unpredictable life of an investigative reporter. Whatever the reason, James Jarman remains cool and in charge as he presents investigative reports for KOAA. Jarman, who has been at News First since 1996, is weekend anchor as well as a reporter. Last year, he broke the story of former Fourth Judicial District Attorney John Newsome drinking and then driving a county vehicle, and this year, Jarman won a national Edward R. Murrow Award for that effort. He is modest about his Best Of win: "The real award should go to the inside sources who have the courage to come forward and point out misconduct in government and institutions of power." — Deb Acord

Best Local TV Weatherperson, Mike Daniels

Watching Mike Daniels do the impossible — forecast Colorado weather — it's easy to see why viewers like him: He's funny and to-the-point, and sports impeccable hair. But life isn't all sunny days with winds from the east for this prognosticator; sometimes it snows in July. "You definitely get hollered at," Daniels says. "You're the one they look to, so you hear it, believe me." Hey, everyone, keep in mind that you're turning on one of your own: Daniels is a local boy, born and raised in Pueblo. — Bryce Crawford

Best Local TV Sportscaster, Lee Douglas

Alongside his bio on KOAA's Web site, Lee Douglas is photographed with one John Albert Elway Jr. This attention to a relatively local unknown just goes to show what kind of devotion Douglas feels for Colorado sports, and why he's winning this award for the third consecutive year. Beyond recapping the highlights at the end of the night for KOAA, Douglas also calls them as they happen as the color guy for Air Force football. Plus, he DJs for HOMER 1350 AM in Pueblo. Douglas' (smart-) guy-on-the-barstool-next-to-you persona and deep local knowledge promise he'll be a force in local sportscasting for years to come. — Bryce Crawford

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