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More than just a fine sportscaster and play-by-play man, Jim Donovan has also proven himself to be one hell of a man — weathering rounds of chemotherapy in recent years and still cheerfully serving up sports to a hungry and appreciative audience. More than a quarter-century into his stint here, the transplanted Bostonian is pure Cleveland now, from his straight-talking nightly sportscasts to his spine-tinglingly bonkers play-by-play for a Browns team that owes him much more to cheer about.
On WKYC-TV Channel 3
Staff Pick: Jim Donovan
Best TV Personality
Now careening past the octogenarian threshold, Dick Goddard will inevitably pass on through the great nimbus cloud in the sky someday, and still he'll be a safe bet to sweep this category. Beloved by generations of Clevelanders, the unassuming Fox 8 weatherman doesn't have the hottest gams or the prettiest smile you'll see on Cleveland TV's bluescreens, but he's got expertise that others don't and an easy manner that's ingratiating as ever. Bonus points for Goddard's dogged efforts in animal-rights activism, and bonus wishes that his long-range forecast includes many more productive years.
On Fox 8 TV
Staff Pick: Carl Monday
Best TV News Team
Northeast Ohio television news has weathered a recent shakeup the likes of which it hasn't seen since Sharon Reed got nekkid on camera in the name of art a few distant-feeling years ago. But as Mark Nolan and Romona Robinson and Reed herself jump ship from their longtime homes, the station that's remained steadiest through it all is the one that won voters' hearts this year. Fox 8, with its blend of lively new faces — Elisa Amigo, Kristi Capel, and Allie LaForce, among others — and legends like Dick Goddard and Wilma Smith, adds up to a team that appeals to a wide range of generations. Toss in reliable and earthy vets like Lou Maglio and the ever-ebullient Stefani Schaefer, and you've got a lineup that's unrivaled by anyone around. And we didn't even get to Kenny Crumpton.
Staff Pick: Romona Robinson & Denise Dufala
Best Famous Clevelander
If fame has changed Drew Carey at all, his bank account is the only obvious sign of it. The hometown comic whose shtick started with a suit & tie still makes his living that way: as host of the enduringly popular game show The Price Is Right. An outspoken Libertarian and a ravenous fan of soccer — and a team owner, to boot — Carey may be a Hollywood guy these days, but his heart and his house still reside in Old Brooklyn.
Staff Pick: Machine Gun Kelly
Best Sustainability Champ
Acclaimed as one of America's best young chefs, Sawyer is also one of its most enviro-friendly. The man behind the twin downtown dynamos Greenhouse Tavern and Noodlecat is a staunch advocate of locally sourced food — and of the people who grow it. Those priorities carry over in his work in the kitchen, for which he has earned recognition for owning Ohio's first nationally certified Green Restaurant. With a name like Greenhouse Tavern, you were expecting something else?
Greenhouse Tavern: 2038 East Fourth St., 216-443-0511, thegreenhousetavern.com;
Noodlecat: 234 Euclid Ave.,
Staff Pick: Stephanie Spear of EcoWatch