Best Reporter (TV/Radio Division) St. Louis 2012 - Chris Hayes
Long before a man high on bath salts chewed the face off a victim in Florida this past spring, KTVI-TV (Channel 2) reporter Chris Hayes was all over the synthetic-drug beat. It was Hayes who broke news in 2010 of Missouri retailers selling a bizarre new drug labeled as "bath salts." Since then he has become the foremost expert on the topic, repeatedly breaking stories about law-enforcement efforts to curtail the drug use and confronting on camera store owners who continue to sell it. But Hayes is far from a one-trick pony. His series on daycare centers this year exposed dozens of childcare facilities with unresolved state violations. And his undercover investigation of Laclede's Landing bars selling beer to underage patrons (using cute FOX 2 interns as guinea pigs!) was as entertaining as local news gets. Oh, and he's also the coolest-dressed TV reporter in town, sporting a leather jacket, shades and multiple ringed fingers.