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Best Radio DJ

Chuck Roast
KFMA-FM, 92.1

READERS' PICK: Since starting out on UA student-run KAMP-AM 1570 in 1990, Chuck Roast has developed an on-air personality that's cynical, eager to please, not afraid to be goofy, and always looking for a good time--all of which is pretty reflective of his listeners. This year he moved from nights into the mid-day slot, taking over Spider Rhodes' popular "Eat your 80's" show where the irony of "New Wave oldies" is not lost on him. His interactions with the people making innocent call-in requests has become as much a part of this lunchtime ritual as catching obscure cuts by the Cure or the Thompson Twins. Roast is the antithesis of the smooth, silky voiced deejay, and his fans love him for it...or at least, like, umm, like him for it a lot, okay?

READERS' POLL RUNNER-UP: Ted Stryker, KFMA-FM, 92.1. (See Best Morning Show)

CLUE IN: Upon tuning into Radio Limbo's Mick Bastard, you realize just how clueless Tucson's airwaves really are when it comes to alternative music. There's nothing alternative about ready-made Top 40 combos that make millions of dollars and are thankless for their fame. But true alternative music can be heard from 4 to 6 p.m. on Mondays at Bastard's fingertips, which regularly put needle to vinyl of such acts as Thee Headcoats, Scared of Chaka and the New Bomb Turks. The bands played during this brief window of radio reprieve don't measure themselves by how many Rolling Stone covers they acquire. If you want to know which punk act will be proclaimed the "next big thing," Bastard is likely to be playing their "pre-sell-out" 7-inch.

CLUE IN: If you like country music, you'll appreciate Mark Bateman's afternoon shows on KIIM-FM, 99.5. Bateman loves everything about country music: the artists, the songs and especially the fans. Like the folks in Nashville running Opryland and TNN, he understands and respects that country music is a total lifestyle package. Although the music programming at his station may lack a bit of imagination and range, Bateman makes the best of it. That's when you'll catch him offering tidbits about Faith Hill's recent pregnancy, Tanya Tucker's lawsuit, Garth Brooks' latest career moves, and other insider dish that helps bond the fans to the music.

Case History

1997 Winner: Spyder Rhodes
1996 Winner: Kidd Squidd
1995 Winner: Kidd Squidd

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