Best Richmond-Based Radio Personality or Team

Melissa Chase and Jack Lauterback

Readers' Pick

"River Mornings With Melissa and Jack"

WURV-FM 103.7 (The River)

Second Place: Bill Bevins and Shelly Perkins, WTVR-FM (Lite 98)

Third Place: Catfish and Lori, WKHK-FM (K95 Country)

Admittedly, we performed a few ballot recounts here. Because only a handful of votes separated veteran favorites Bill and Shelly — who marked 10 years in September as a team on Lite 98's "Wake-Up Show" — from new team on the block Melissa and Jack. Lite 98 continues as a ratings juggernaut, but maybe this is a sign that change in the steady-as-she-goes local radio scene perks up your ears. Longtime radio host Chase, who won second-place solo in last year's vote, added Lauterback (a Style columnist) to her team in October. Ratings are on the rise. "It's smart, local, it's music-intense," Chase says. The two chat it up weekdays from 6-9 a.m., with an often sardonic skewering of celebrities, commentary on local news and pop culture, and colorful second-date features, in which first-date suitors must decide whether to go out again. (A Thursday segment features a few minutes with Style Editor in Chief Jason Roop.) The addition of Lauterback, a relative radio virgin, is unusual in the industry, but Chase says it follows trends, getting away from the stereotype of big-voiced, cheesy fake announcers, and into real talk: "He says what people are thinking but afraid to say." A positive sign: All three winning teams, including Catfish and Lori, call Richmond home.

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