Nick Welsh from the Santa Barbara Independent | Credit: Daniel Dreifuss

S.B. Columnist

Nick Welsh

Santa Barbara Independent,

Stop the presses! The Angry Poodle has finally gotten his due. “I assume Starshine (winner for the past 11 years) must have taken a dive this year just to be nice and let me win,” said longtime columnist for this paper but first-time winner Nick Welsh, who thanked “all the Russian bots and trolls who helped me win what clearly had to have been a rigged election.” He added, “If I wasn’t paranoid beforehand, I certainly am now. Don’t they always give you such awards and honors right before they pull the lever activating the trap door? Now I won’t get any sleep at all.”

Runner-Up: Starshine Roshell

S.B. Radio Station

91.9 KCSB

“All of our student staff puts a lot of love and thought into keeping the station running in a way that best serves our community,” said Emma Mesches, GM of the student-run station. “I’m really, really proud of the staff here, both the students and community programmers. KCSB is the result of all of their hard work and ability to adapt.”

Runner-Up: 99.9 KTYD

S.B.–Based Website

“When the effects of the pandemic began to hit us in mid-March, there were so many unknowns, and our reporters hit the ground running. Sitting in on press conferences, asking tough questions, reporting on new cases, diving into the economic effects of our community, and so much more,” said Publisher Brandi Rivera. “ quickly became the quickest and most effective way to get critical information out to our community. Our page views soared, and we began operating with a digital-first mindset.”


S.B. Twitter Follow * S.B. Instagram Follow

John Palminteri

@JohnPalminteri (Twitter), @johnpalminterinews (Instagram)

A man for all media, news reporter/anchor John Palminteri appears on KEYT, KCOY, KKFX TV, KJEE radio, and KCLU NPR, as well as all over social media. The coronavirus has amped up the demand for information even further, to what Palminteri calls “the red zone,” virtually every hour of every day. “I have put posts up in the middle of the night, and within seconds, people are responding as if it were 3 in the afternoon.”

Runner-Up (S.B. Twitter Follow): @EliasonMike

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

Local Celebrity

Jeff Bridges

“It’s wonderful being loved. I’m lovin’ you back, Santa Barbara,” said Jeff Bridges upon being told he was Indy readers’ choice for Best Local Celebrity. A seven-time Oscar nominee and 2010 Best Actor winner for Crazy Heart, along with his many local philanthropic endeavors, Bridges is a founder of the End Hunger Network and is No Kid Hungry’s national spokesperson. “Santa Barbara is such an amazing community,” he said. “I feel blessed to be a part of it.”

Runner-Up: John Palminteri

* This asterisk indicates the winner won in multiple categories.