Best Radio Station (Tie) Dallas 2006 - KHYI-95.3 FM, The Range KTCK-1310 AM, The Ticket
Readers' Choice: KJKK-100.3 FM, Jack FM
Outlaw country and baseball chat--what's next, an award for our fave bait shop? Not really, and this shouldn't insinuate that other genres aren't doing well on Dallas' dial; the heated battle between KBFB-97.9 FM (The Beat) and KKDA-104 FM (K104) is good news for mainstream rap fans, and KNTU-88.1 FM delivers more worthwhile, bop-era jazz than most stations in the nation. But this year's winners aren't just the best of Dallas--they're what you'd least expect in this plastic city. Longtime local jockey Alan Peck Sr., decades past his days at trailblazing country station KBOX, continues to lead The Range with its self-professed brand of "hard country" that proves no cut is too deep, from Ray Stevens' "Ahab the Arab" to Sorta's "Party's Over" and every Texas swing gem in between. And in spite of The Ticket's growth this year, boosted by the all-sports station's official partnership with the Dallas Cowboys, the no-B.S. attitude that has won over legions of dedicated P1s hasn't softened, which means The Musers' Gordon Keith is still screwing around as The Fake Jerry Jones and The Hardline's Mike Rhyner won't stop calling Bill Parcells "The New Jersey Con Man" anytime soon. The station touts that its listeners "hang out" with the hosts, and that's exactly what it feels like to hear the guys deliver hilarious, self-deprecating material about everything from spelling bees to Parcells' "fupa" (not to mention their weekly recaps of on-air screw-ups, the kinds most other stations would prefer to ignore). Talk and country radio that isn't cheesy and contrived doesn't just exist in Dallas; it thrives.