This Is Your Doing: “Best Of” New Haven Advocate

I was feeling sorry for myself when the New Haven Advocate announced their annual reader’s poll. Maybe you remember? I asked for your vote on Facebook, Twitter and my blog.

The rules allow for electioneering. I had something to prove–something I still wanted to show.

The results are now in, appearing in last week’s Advocate (but for some frustrating reason not online). You done good!

Geoff Fox got more votes than the combined totals in many categories. He got so many votes we stopped
counting them. Seriously. The spreadsheet just went on and on and on. In our entire history of Best Of voting, we’ve never seen so many votes for one winner.

I can’t begin to tell you how much I appreciate your support… except to say I appreciate it a lot.

Is this vindication? I think so, but maybe I’m still a little too anxious about being vindicated.

From the New Haven Advocate: Geoff Fox was not on the air while we conducted this year’s Best Of New. Haven readers’ poll. The former WTNH meteorologist’s contract was not renewed in January, and, for the first time since we have been running our annual survey, there would be no reason for our readers to fill in his name for Best Local TV Personality — an honor that had been bestowed on him many times during his 26-year tenure covering snowstorms and heat waves, and reporting on science and technology, for Channel 8′s news team.

Nevertheless, this was his biggest year ever. Call it a sympathy vote. We don’t know what we got ’til it’s gone. But one thing was clear when we counted this year’s votes: Geoff Fox got more votes than the combined totals in many categories. He got so many votes we stopped counting them. Seriously. The spreadsheet just went on and on and on. In our entire history of Best Of voting, we’ve never seen so many votes for one winner.

So instead of awarding him Best TV Personality, we are taking a leap and bestowing on him a special honor. Call it The Best of The Best: The Readers’ Favorite. Think of it as our first unofficial inductee into a New Haven Hall of Fame.

This year’s poll was our biggest year ever as well — we received well over 112,000 total votes in 16 categories. For those uninitiated, every year we run a ballot in print and online for four weeks beginning in February. Readers are asked to fill in their favorite places, on everything from Best New Restaurant to Best Hardware Store. There are no staff filtered nominations — every person, business or institution is eligible. We then spend days counting the votes.
The results are so big that we publish them in two issues.

Taken together, these two volumes (also available online as of May 12 on newhavenadvocate.com) not only provide a useful tool for discovering the best places to eat, shop, work out in and get healthy, but it is also a great overview of the quality of life and vitality in our region.

This year we introduced a few new categories — including Best Chef and Best Cupcakes. As usual, we have our share of repeat winners, but we are always excited to see newbies, too. You’ll have to check the following pages to see the results — no previews here.

We first met Fox more than a decade ago at one of our winners’ receptions. He was charming and engaging, as personable and funny in person as he is on air. We have spent a few hours together since then, and observed that Fox is, in the words of computer nerds from the 1980s, truly WYSIWIG —- that is, What You See Is What You Get. Fox defies stereotypes in many ways, but mostly by his curiosity and his smarts. He’s a technology buff — he
built his own computer and website, and he’s an amateur photographer as a well as a ham adio buff. He’s also a long-time pop culture vulture, the kind of guy who will reference Smokey Robinson & The Miracles’ “Mickey’s Monkey” as fluently as he will tell you how much he enjoys the latest TV phenomenon.

We have been at some of the hundreds of charity events he has graciously hosted — including our own Best Of New Haven celebrations on occasion — and laughed at his asides while he makes everyone feel comfortable. We have read his blog (geofffoxcom) while he traced the destructive path of Hurricane Katrina, concemed about a friend’s mother who was living in New Orleans at the time. (He called three days before the storm hit and told her she
needed to leave; he now says the house was destroyed and she would have been killed.)

We have invited him metaphorically into our living room, to find out whether we needed an umbrella the next day, and, like any weatherman (or meteorologist) he is very often accurate but sometimes not. We have heard people joke about how he always gets the weather wrong, even on days when he gets it right. And when he does blow it, perhaps most unusually of all, he apologizes, as he famously did last winter for a storm that never roared.

”People think we hype the forecast numbers,” he says, “but there’s no upside to being wrong. If I say there is going to be half an inch of snow or 15 inches, there’s no difference in the ratings. The word ‘snow’ is the magic word. Believe me, I don’t want to be wrong and I don’t want to hype.”

In the days just before we went to press, Fox the TV station announced that Fox the meteorologist would be joining the station’s news team. The seven-time regional Emmy Award winner now does the weather and a science segment for WTIC weeknights at 4 and 11 p.m., and billboards promoting his return to the airwaves light up the interstate.

Welcome back, Geoff. And see you next year. – Josh Mamis

56 Responses to “This Is Your Doing: “Best Of” New Haven Advocate”

  1. Mikey P says:

    There are certain people in a certain company who didn’t understand your value to Connecticut, but the viewers and Tribune do. I’m glad you’re formally getting your recognition and that the new gig is going very well, Geoff.

  2. meredith says:

    Wow, congratulations, Geoff!! And way to go on raising overall awareness of the Best Of poll, too … looks like you increased the voting across the board, which can only be a good thing for our community.

  3. Wanda says:

    Thank YOU, Geoff!
    And thanks to Fox CT for giving you back to us.

  4. robert says:

    Geoff, I have to laugh. Last summer when there were storms running through CT. and you had to stay on the air during ” The Wheel “. We knew you were special. You were both concerned for OUR safety and concerned that we might ” MISS ”
    an evening of dinner and The wheel. Now that says a lot. The weather should be
    the best guess you can offer with the most knowledge you can gather. And you do. Living on the coast, I feel safer knowing you have our back come storm season.

  5. Sandy Horling says:

    Well done Goeff! Well deserved! We the viewers and Fox Ct. are all the winners!! Thank you again and again Fox Ct. for hiring Geoff and keeping him in Connecticut.

  6. NancyB says:

    What an honor!

    Congratulations and I’m glad you were vindicated and are back on our tvs!

  7. Paulette Monaco says:

    Congratulations, Geoff. You deserve it! Way to go!

  8. MaryAnn Ellison says:

    You yourself said it best when that former employer called you in to remove you from your viewers after 25+ years:

    “But I work for the PEOPLE OF CT”.

    You ARE the best—not just in meteoroloy but as a Friend of CT.

    In a world where role models are few and far between, you are an example of triumph in adversity, of class when being shown none, of being a good person even when the chips were down.

    You deserve this distinction, Geoff! Congratulations!

  9. Sue says:

    Kudos to you! Thanks to Fox 61…our new news station to bringing you back to us!

  10. denise dileo says:

    I’m happy to see they gave you a special award!! This is another indication of the true loss of WINH news. We all are so glad FOX news was smart enough to ask you to join them.

  11. Lou Lange says:

    This truly shows how much you are loved and respected in CT, Geoff. Congratulations!

  12. Bob Caroti says:

    Congrats Geoff!

    You need a ‘like’ button on your blog!

  13. Brett says:

    Congratulations, Geoff! I think all of us that voted for you (and others as well) are relieved that you are back on the air in Connecticut.

    News is truly ‘multi-media’ now – those news outlets that understand and embrace that will win the viewership. You’ve embraced new technologies long before they were popular – and it definitely made (and makes) a difference in the size of your audience. You clearly have readers as well as viewers…

  14. Lynda says:

    Bravo! & Congratulations! Well-deserved recognition!

  15. Big Frank says:

    Heard this on PLR the other morning while driving to work. Congratulations Geoff. Cudo’s to the Advocate as well for recognizing your importance in the hearts of the fine folks residing in the State of CT, and to the Fox network for realizing what a valuable addition to their line up you would become. Well done!!!
    PS…Goldroc diner…off 84 W. Not bad diner chow..

  16. Mary Ellen says:

    Geoff, This is wonderful–but not at all surprising. What continues to amaze me is the changing dynamic of news media, and conglomerates who think local personalities are interchangeable and replaceable. You, sir, are not! Congratulations on your very well-deserved recognition, and thank you again for the years of dedication to Connecticut.

  17. Claudia Ferraiolo says:

    Congrats Geoff…an honor well deserved!

  18. dave says:

    Geoff

    Maybe you can mail a copy of that New Haven Advocate to the channel 8 management? I wonder how the new TV 8 weather guy will do in next years ratings. I know for whom my vote again will be for (even though that is a pain in ***, as one needs to vote for a Lot of different categories, to have YOUR vote counted).

    -dave

    PS: Maybe send a second copy to Mel Goldstein? He being the one whom likes to taut the skills of some unknown weather person, with his inane TV Ads.

  19. Barbara Smith says:

    Congratulations, Geoff! This honor is very well deserved. Thank you for sharing your knowledge, skills, personality, talent, and hard work with the people of Connecticut. You said it perfectly. “My paycheck may be paid by the television station, but I work for the viewers.” You have the right attitude, unlike your previous employer. I’m delighted to see you every night on Fox.

  20. Gil Marquis says:

    I am truly honored to have you as a friend Geoff and nobody deserves this more! Congratulations- you are admired by many more Im sure as they couldnt keep up with the votes

  21. Diane C says:

    I had tears in my eyes while I read this. I am so very happy for you Geoff I say this from the heart- you deserve this and so much more – and nothing but good will come to you. You mean a lot to many of us and its a pleasure to be able to watch your smiling face again! You are a start that will continue to shine bright!!

  22. Regina says:

    Congratulations Geoff! (And I love that your Subaru commercial is airing on your former employers channel!)

  23. Edward Bowers (N1HSH) says:

    Congratulations

  24. Evi from Danbury says:

    Geoff, you are the best of the best. When you were ripped from our homes after 26+ years, it made no sense and infuriated your thousands of viewers. (Then, WE were called “distractions” by the same people that took you away!) It was ugly, hurtful and the only solace we had was to band together and try to enact a change. The voting was fun and gave us a chance to do a shout out for our favorite people, places and things. So incredibly happy that you were honored. It was appropriate since you’ve given so much to us over the years. I only wish I could now vote for my favorite TV station and newspaper. Betting FOX CT and the Courant would be getting a big vote!! :D

  25. THANK you for blogging about the results. I spent a “frustrating” 15 minutes yesterday trying to find your category on their website to no avail. I began to think that they had decided not to include it for “political” reasons. I am glad to see that I was wrong! Well deserved Geoff and once again you are in a category by yourself!

  26. Melanie says:

    Wow!! Congratulations, Geoff! And thank you to the Advocate, for recognizing what matters to their readers, and of course thanks to Fox 61. I am so happy for you, and for us – it’s nice for all of us ‘distractions’ to have your contributions to the state recognized. How does it feel to have a whole new category created just for you?

  27. Terry P says:

    Congrats, Geoff. A new job, “best of” everything. I’m thrilled things are looking up!

  28. Cynthia Douglass says:

    So do you think your former employer has gotten a clue what they threw away? I always say the best revenge is to live well and I would say you have done that in spades. I am very happy for you. You deserve all the good that is coming your way. Did you ever think in January this would be your life today? Congratulations.

  29. Beverly Francis says:

    So glad to help with those numbers. You have, over 26 years, earned every one. And congrats on being the “Best of the Best”. We all knew it anyway, but it is nice to see it recognized.

  30. Laurie Blair says:

    “Best of the Best” — does Fox 61 read this blog? Hope so: Fox 61, you know a good thing when you see it. So do we. Rock on Geoff!!

    • Ruth says:

      I don’t know if Fox 61 reads this or not. I do know that they care enough about their viewers to respond to e-mails. Those at WTNH who should be reading how we “distractions” feel, most likely aren’t. But then they have already made it clear that they don’t care about use. I for one, won’t be distracting them anymore since I’ve switched to Fox 61 for my weather AND news.

  31. Debbie Couture says:

    Congrats and this does not surprise me at all. after all you are the best of the best!

  32. Lorrie says:

    Great, now you can finally get past and move on already. Enough of the vindication feces, it was time for a change, change is good now carry on PLEASE!

  33. Dianne Zareski says:

    I was in Wallingford last week and managed to pick up a copy of the Advocate. How happy I was to see the results!!! Congrats, Geoff. I think Lin management and the headmaster of Shelton high have something in common, both stubborn. However, at least the headmaster FINALLY came around. Too bad Lin can’t just say, ‘you know, we blew it’.

  34. Kim M says:

    Congratulations Geoff! Well deserved! You’re awesome! I’m so happy to see that you are back on the air and it’s been great seeing you every time you are on doing the weather and your segments! You never bore me. You’re the best as you are my favorite meteorologist here in Connecticut. You are doing an amazing job on FOXCT. I never miss out when you are on!

  35. Brendan Keefe says:

    Fan-frickin-tastic!

    I voted for you (but then so did everybody else!)

    They nailed the description — you are simply the best Geoff.

    Congrats!

  36. Judy F. says:

    VERY nice writeup about you. And VERY nice honor. Of course, you deserve it, and we are all just tickled pink seeing it happen.

  37. Cindy says:

    Congratulations! That’s better than wonderful! You deserve it! Finally the good guy comes out on top!

    And thanks for the Autograph yesterday – my husband got it for me while you were shopping – he was a salesman there. Made me smile – as do your segments on TV.

    Very happy for you! And I don’t blame you for the rain :)

  38. rpsk says:

    Congratulations Geoff. You deserve it and you the best.

  39. rpsk says:

    This is not a sympathy vote. Best of the best gets these and you are the best.

  40. Linda C says:

    Congratulations, Geoff! I tried to vote, but had no knowledge in so many other categories that I could not participate. But FoxCT is now my #1 news station and I have even come to appreciate tho other two CT stations, which I watch during the news hours when FoxCT news is not on. But you are the best and make your viewers enjoy the weather forecasts, rather than just getting the information. I can get the information online, but enjoy watching a great broadcaster deliver the news and weather.

  41. Phyllis says:

    Congratulations! Much deserved :o)

  42. Diane K says:

    You have a certain excitability and performance persona that is lacking in most of the others. That is why we love you.

    Some of my friends tried to say that you aren’t well liked, particularly where you work. I argued that I didn’t see that when I saw you interact with the others at the old station and I’m certainly not seeing that now at FOXCT. Therefore, we now have vindication that not only are you liked, but you are respected and appreciated for all that you do. Congratulations on this first-ever achievement Geoff. For someone who takes his personal time to host achievement award festivities for so many others, this is one you and only you truly deserve. This is the epitome of true vindication and I only hope that now you will finally feel as respected and appreciated as you are.

  43. That’s great your votes went off the chart! Soooooooo many they had to stop counting.

  44. Marilyn says:

    Geoff,
    I am so happy & thrilled that you and you alone gets to be honored with an award that only you can hold!! It just goes to show exactly how important you are in our lives. What a beautiful write-up, and much deserved!! I am so happy that FoxCT saw in you what we the viewers knew for years. It is wonderful seeing you on TV again, seeing that wonderful smile, and most importantly, your knowledge. I am honored to call you my friend. I only wish you the best life has to offer, you are def one of a kind!! Again, CONGRADULATIONS!!!
    love,
    Marilyn

  45. Sarah says:

    Good going Mr. Fox……it’s well deserved. I have switched my news and weather channel to Fox 61.

  46. Trisha F. says:

    Take that, WTNH..! It was a landslide…Geoff Fox is “THE BEST”, “The BEST of the BEST”, Weatherman in CT. This recognition of your popularity has been justified by this honor. WE, your many, many fans, all knew it…WTNH and Lin blew this, BIG TIME..! Congrats on your win…you deserve this award.

  47. Suzie says:

    Bravo! Nice to see that the people have been heard in such a loud way!!!! We may be “distractions” to some but “they” probably wish we had voted for their station! How perfect to have our votes count for YOU and not that station we used to watch!

  48. Tom says:

    I hear someone for TV8 wants a recount. Something about hanging chads……

  49. Dinah says:

    Yay! Very rewarding to know that all our votes were counted. Congratulations!

  50. denise says:

    So happy for you and just a word about something to prove your fans seemed to also have something to prove the loss is Channel 8′s and we are so thrilled for yo) and glad you are back on air :0)

  51. Fran Dagostino says:

    Geoff, I only got one thing to say:

    W O O H O O !!!!!

  52. ACR says:

    It’s nice to be right once in a while.

    Having found you to be a witty, often funny and entertaining soul, it’s a pleasure to learn so many others agree.

  53. Debbie in Orange Ct says:

    Congratulations! You deserve this award, I hope WTNH knows what a big mistake they made!!

  54. Anne from Tolland says:

    I liked the WYSIWYG comment — I think it is very fitting! Congrats!

  55. Tony C says:

    Congratulations Geoff!
    You are, and have continued to be, a professional.
    It is nice to see you get recognized for the passion and care you put into your work.
    We look forward to continuing to watch you on FOX.

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