Ellen DeGeneres


Ellen DeGeneres

For the second year in a row, Ellen DeGeneres reigns supreme as our readers’ favorite area celebrity. The affable comedian’s support of the community after the Thomas Fire and subsequent debris flow was pretty remarkable. She’s probably also our local real estate community’s favorite house flipper. In the last couple of months, DeGeneres and her actress wife, Portia de Rossi, reportedly sold a $23 million Carpinteria oceanfront retreat (to IT cosmetics mogul Jamie Kern Lima) and a 10.5-acre, $6.982 million pastoral spread on the outskirts of the county (to Nickelodeon president Brian Robbins). According to Variety, the couple still owns a $27 million Balinese-style estate near Montecito.

Runner-Up: John Palminteri


Starshine Roshell

Santa Barbara Independent; independent.com

Voted Santa Barbara’s favorite columnist for the 11th year in a row, the Independent’s esteemed wordsmith Starshine Roshell’s reaction to the honor is: “It means that I can’t slack off! ‘Not bad in Santa Barbara’ would be an easier gig, but Best Of means I’ve got to bring entertaining topics, a fresh voice, and an engaging perspective to every single column — and I try to do that.” Columnizing is clearly a labor of love for Roshell, whose new (fourth) book of columns — Lather, Rage, Repeat — comes out this month. Recently awarded the prestigious National Headliner Award by the Association of Women in Communications, Roshell shows no sign of slowing down. “Without your eager and discerning eyeballs, I am but a ranty typist clacking out missives to no one, and that’s not a good look.”

Runner-Up: Nick Welsh

S.B. Radio Station

KjEE 92.9 FM


The self-described “intern who just never stopped showing up,” KjEE 92.9 afternoon host Ricky Biggs sheds some insight on the station’s favorite local radio status. What does being the best mean to you? “It means we get to rub it in KTYD’s face for another year!” What does this award mean to you? “Hopefully getting a free drink or lunch or something.” What do you want to say to those who voted for you? “Dave Hanacek would like to thank you personally. Please feel free to contact us, and we’ll give you his personal cell phone number. What can we say? He really cares.” What’s the funniest thing that’s ever happened at KjEE? “You’re talking to him.”

Runner-Up: 99.9 KTYD

S.B.-Based Website


“It is an honor for our readers to recognize us as the best website in Santa Barbara,” said the Independent’s publisher, Brandi Rivera. “In the summer of 2017, we made the decision to actively pursue a new website design and platform. After many drafts of site maps, redesigns, and testing, we launched the new and improved independent.com in March 2019. We are incredibly proud of our new site, not just for its clean, new look, but also for its functionality. Our website is a constant source of inspiration, and it challenges us to push and develop our content further than it has ever been before. Every story we write, every photo that’s taken, every page that is designed is all done with the goal of informing our readers and connecting them to their community.”

Runner-Up: Noozhawk.com

S.B. Twitter Follow

S.B. Instagram Follow

John Palminteri

@JohnPalminteri (Twitter), @johnpalminterinews (Instagram)

He’s been in town since 1981 and has barely seemed to age — or skip a beat in his busy schedule. As time and technologies come and go, Santa Barbara’s own John Palminteri is an eternal, hardworking presence on the area news scene. “The Palm” or “JP” as some call him, the town’s real-life Ron Burgundy is seemingly everywhere with his high-wattage grin and unmistakably manicured mustache, not to mention his conscientious reporting. Whether you love him on KEYT, KJEE, KCLU, Twitter, or Instagram, our town is a better, more-informed place because of this beloved newshound.

Runner-Up (S.B. Twitter Follow): @NathanielGray_
Runner-Up (S.B. Instagram Follow): @sbgoodeats