Best Nightly TV Newscast

WOIO-TV, Channel 19

It's all too easy to scoff at Channel 19 - after all, this is the station that employs not one, but two naked newsbabes. Its coverage is more breathless than an asthmatic who misplaced his inhaler, and cheap stunts - such as pulling on City Hall's locked door after-hours to demonstrate how the mayor was freezing out the station - do nothing to bolster its credibility. Still, those who look past these glaring faults will find the most thorough and compulsively watchable newscast in town. Action News claims to be "everywhere," and we're inclined to believe it, considering that its newscast cycles through stories from all corners of Northeast Ohio faster than a kid snorting Ritalin. And mercifully, there are few pieces of the cute-puppy variety - more often, the station employs the kind of populist, bruised-knuckle TV journalism that's in too short supply. They also skip the cutesy chitchat between segments, which is a plus. So yes, they put the boob in "boob tube," but it's also the breast . . . er . . . best newscast in town.