WINNER: VIRGINIA JOHNSON, ON THE TOWN REPORTER, BAY NEWS 9/TAMPA BAY ON DEMAND, BRIGHT HOUSE NETWORKS
Virginia Johnson’s friendly Cajun outlook (she grew up in Devil’s Swamp in Thibodaux, LA) always comes through when she’s out On the Town. And that’s a blessing for Bright House subscribers who depend on her always lively and fun reports about the local area. Whether catching up with celebrities passing through Tampa or just hitting the streets to find the most entertaining activities around town, Johnson always brings levity and frivolity to every segment, while also conveying useful information to her viewers. Perhaps it was growing up with 8 brothers who desensitized her to swamp creatures, but Johnson is fearless in her pursuit of regional fun. And it’s all available on subscribers’ VOD menu. We’re always impressed when VOD innovation comes not from a huge MSO but from a mid-size operator with a lot of local spunk and determination. And Johnson makes us wish we lived in the Sunshine State.
Scott Fais, Florida on a Tankful, Bright House Networks/Central Florida News 13: Fais has racked up more awards than we can list here for this fun series, but trust us: His chipper storytelling style and willingness to go "off the beaten path" to find unique stories is uncanny. His Surf the Mall segment about an indoor surfing simulator had us wondering how we can get one for the office.
Russ Thaler, Washington Post Live, Comcast SportsNet: Thaler launched Washington Post Live in March 2007, leaving the show in April 2009 to become Comcast SportsNet’s chief digital correspondent. We miss him but understand why he moved up the ladder. He’s just really good. Period.