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Gimino Brings Own Style to 'Citizen' Columnist Position

Sometimes, it's tough to replace the familiar face. For more than 30 years, it seemed that Corky Simpson was the heart and soul of the Tucson Citizen sports section, a fatherly figure who made people feel comfortable.

Anthony Gimino is a nice guy, too, but he'll be the first to say he's no Corky.

"For as good as he was as a sports columnist, he could have written books and poetry," Gimino said of his predecessor, who still writes a weekly column for the Citizen. "He had a great worldview of how things are and how they should be. It's safe to say mine isn't as developed yet."

However, Gimino is more than qualified to handle the understanding of sports required for the position. He's in the second of two stints at Tucson newspapers that dates back to 1991, when he started as a copy editor following his studies as a journalism major at the UA. Shortly thereafter, he landed the football beat job with the Arizona Daily Star.

"I think I was maybe the third or fourth guy they asked to take over the football beat in '91," Gimino said. "I was young, and then did that for the next eight years. I covered them through their last bowl game, the (1998) Holiday Bowl. A week after the Holiday Bowl, I left for CBSSportsline.com. There were two Top 10 (1993 and 1998 UA football) finishes under my watch."

He moved to Tacoma, Wash., to work with CBSSportsline.com, but he was the victim of downsizing, and a little more than three years later, found himself in search of new options.

"It was inevitable, considering I was the last man standing in our office," Gimino said. "Some people were smarter to bail before they got the ax. I made them swing the ax."

Gimino's metaphorical head-lopping set the stage for a return to Tucson, and a freelance position with the Tucson Citizen. A little more than two years ago, he accepted a full-time opportunity.

"It's good to have the regular paycheck as opposed to the freelance paycheck, although that has its advantages, too, like deciding between the gray sweats, the black sweats and the blue sweats," said Gimino, who might have a leg up on the self-effacing sports-columnist angle. "They structured it great. I could do a little of the football stuff, a little basketball stuff, a little Pac-10 stuff. It was right in my wheelhouse, as I like to say. I have no idea what a wheelhouse is, but now I have my wife saying it."

Gimino's interests are perfectly suited to a Tucson sports mindset. Collegiate athletics account for much of his on-field passions. He enjoys college football, college softball--where he's followed the UA on numerous College World Series jaunts--and the Boston Red Sox.

But it's the competition, and the uncertainty of a desired outcome, that played a major role in forming Gimino's interest in sports.

"Sports is a microcosm of everything," Gimino said. "Growing up, sports is the way we communicated. It's always had a deep-rooted sense of what we talk about. It's how we learn things about ourselves, and what we can be. It brings out the best and the worst. You take the part you admire and try to emulate those and make it your own and disregard the parts you don't like. A lot of people want to make it either/or. I want to find the part of the people or the event I find interesting and entertaining."


WICK BAILS ON RADIO PROPERTIES

Wick Communications has agreed to sell two Eastern Arizona radio stations: KCUZ AM 1490 in Clifton, and KFMM FM 99.1 in Thatcher. Wyoming-based Cochise Broadcasting LLC will purchase the signals. Wick operates 32 newspapers and 23 specialty publications in 13 states; its publications include the Tucson Weekly.


TUCSONAN RETURNS HOME FOR KGUN GIG

KGUN Channel 9 has hired Kimberly Romo to replace Destry Jetton in the morning and midday news spot. Presently employed as a news anchor/reporter at KSBY in San Luis Obispo, Calif., Romo makes mention of her status as a ninth-generation Tucsonan on the KSBY Web site. Romo worked in Yuma and graduated from the University of San Diego.

She is slated to begin her duties at KGUN in March.


ARNOLD ENJOYS EDITORIAL OPPORTUNITIES

KOLD Channel 13 Vice President/General Manager Jim Arnold has returned to the airwaves providing twice-weekly editorial commentaries following newscasts on the local CBS affiliate.

"It's a real challenge, and we're putting together an editorial board that will help us come up with ideas and be on top of things," Arnold said. "I like doing them on the air, because my background is on the air. I did a lot of radio and very little TV, but did some TV anchoring and stuff like this, so it's fun to get back on the air. I enjoy doing it, but it's really not as easy as it looks."

Raycom, which owns and operates KOLD, utilizes the editorial concept throughout numerous markets.

"We're all doing two or three editorials a week," Arnold said. "The first is from the station, and the second can be feedback from the audience. Occasionally, it will be someone coming on and doing the editorial themselves. It's a new project we're just now gearing up for."

Arnold hopes the audience-participation concept gains steam.

"I want to hear from them. I want to get some ideas from them on what to talk about," Arnold said. "I don't mind being the ham on the television, but I don't want to be the one who solely dictates what the topics are going to be."

Arnold's first editorial of the week airs Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays a total of four times. The second editorial airs Thursdays through Sundays.

"If it's something that works, the company will continue doing it," said Arnold. "They're dedicated to having each of their local stations be a part of their community."

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