Best of Santa Barbara® 2018: Media

S.B. Columnist

Starshine Roshell

Santa Barbara Independent;

We aren’t surprised at all to yet again be naming our very own Starshine Roshell as the top columnist in town — it’s her 10th year in a row! “I don’t want to impress people. I want to impact them — make them laugh out loud, drum up a lump in their throat, leave them thinking, ‘YES!’ and feeling understood,” said Roshell, who started her Santa Barbara journalism career in 1995 and joined the Indy in 2006. “Look, I’m a lousy cook and gardener. I can’t change a tire or do my own income taxes. But if you need a lede that’ll make a stranger spew coffee out her nose as she’s scanning her morning news — relax. I got this.”

Runner-Up: Nick Welsh, Angry Poodle Barbecue, Santa Barbara Independent

S.B. Radio Station

KjEE 92.9 FM

Fast approaching is the silver anniversary of listeners of rock and KjEE, Santa Barbara’s homegrown airwaves. “Who knew that a station broadcasting above the Goodwill [thrift store] could pull this off?” said the station’s Steve Meade. “As the last locally owned station in town, we graciously accept this award and promise to give you more John Palminteri whenever possible. We further pledge to send more people to Bowl shows for free. Finally, whenever possible, we will do what it takes to keep Santa Barbara radio relevant. Viva old media!”

Runner-Up: KTYD 99.9 FM

S.B.-Based Website ● Instagram Follow

Santa Barbara Independent; @sbindependent

Though we’ve been recognized multiple times nationally and statewide for, this is the first year that our readers have crowned us the best website in Santa Barbara. “For the past 10-plus years, our small digital team has worked to make a true daily counterpart to our weekly publication, providing timely, relevant, and comprehensive content,” said our “thrilled” publisher, Brandi Rivera, who’s also excited to reveal an enhanced design and user experience in the weeks to come. Oh yeah — thanks for the Best Instagram Follow, too. We love giving you behind-the-scenes looks at what we’re up to. Hashtag that!

Runner-Up (S.B.-Based Website):

Runner-Up (Instagram Follow): John Palminteri

S.B. Twitter Follow

John Palminteri


Since coming to town to work for both AM and FM radio stations in 1981, John Palminteri has been S.B.’s top broadcast newshound, and he’s evolved with the landscape like no other. Though a regular face on KEYT and voice on KCLU and KjEE, Palminteri is being honored by Santa Barbarans for his Twitter feed, which was a prime source of news during the Thomas Fire and 1/9 Debris Flow. “What amazes me is the desire this community has for updates as often as they can get them,” he said. “Whether I am reporting to one person or thousands, I have to be very engaged in the story, be able to quickly gather facts, and be able to summarize it for Twitter and other social media sites as fast as my fingers can tap it out.”   

Runner-Up: Santa Barbara Independent, @SBIndyNews

Local Celebrity

Ellen Degeneres

When much of the world refers to you mononymously, perhaps you’ve reached the peak of popular celebrity. But for Ellen, at least in the eyes of many Santa Barbarans, exalted status came not long after the Thomas Fire and 1/9 Debris Flow, when she sat down with our very own heroes and survivors, including Lauren Cantin, 14, who sang Andra Day’s “Rise Up” on The Ellen Show. Plus, she raised big bucks for second responders and other volunteers who helped evacuate animals when disaster struck.

Runner-Up: John Palminteri


Please note this login is to submit events or press releases. Use this page here to login for your Independent subscription

Not a member? Sign up here.