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John C. Scott Bolts from the Jolt

During his two decades on Tucson radio, talk-show host John C. Scott has been something of a consistent institution--yet the only thing consistent about his call letters is that they consistently change.

Thus, it's not surprising that Tucson's most charismatic political radio commentator severed his three-year relationship with KJLL AM 1330 last week and began a new run with KVOI AM 690.

"KVOI offered me a morning deal, and we said, 'That's where we want to be,'" Scott said. "We think people will follow us there, and I hope they do. I think in the long run, I'm more secure there."

The John C. Scott Show now airs weekdays from 7 to 8 a.m. It's a one-hour time slot that helps KVOI fix a tape-delay issue it's been having with the nationally syndicated Dennis Miller Show.

"One of the things we didn't foresee was the third hour of (the Dennis Miller) Show coincides with the first hour of our next live show. We end up delaying that hour to the next day and play it in the first hour of the Dennis Miller Show, which is the 7-to-8 hour," said KVOI president Doug Martin. "That's created a problem, because when you listen to the show, a lot of times, you'll hear him talking about something that happened the day before, or if it's a Monday show, he'll be talking about the Friday things or the weekend. It became a real problem as to being a real dated situation. I thought again about John C. Scott and gave him a call, and the timing was real good, because I think he was at the point where he was ready to make a move. We began those discussions three or four weeks ago."

Miller's third hour is now broadcast at 7 p.m. Scott's one-hour entry cuts in half the air time he had with the Jolt, but in exchange, it provides him with a better time slot: the morning drive, as opposed to the afternoon placement he had during his two weekday hours at KJLL.

"Him being on in the afternoons was really not a natural fit for him. He's really kind of a morning guy," Martin said. "The other thing is his experience in politics and the people he knows in the political scene. He has access to people who are really good. We wanted to have a local show, but just found it really difficult to produce it ourselves. He has his whole team. They're all ready to go."

Generally, stations hire on-air talent and piece together the production and sales staff with other staffers. However, Scott has a salesperson and producer in tow, which helps a great deal in terms of continuity.

"We'll take what we've been doing and reduce it from two hours to one," said Scott. "It will move a lot faster. We'll do more interviews in a shorter time frame, but not at the expense of information. We'll continue to have the people who know and the people who matter on the show. We have a good local connection, and we want to keep it that way. We want to explain why things happened, not what happened. I think people will get a good feel for the town if they join us every morning from 7 to 8."

In his time on Tucson's airwaves, Scott has broadcast his local, politically driven show on KTUC AM 1400, KTKT AM 990, KJLL and KVOI. His show remains the lone consistent outlet on commercial radio for conversation relating to the Southern Arizona political scene.

"John C. Scott brings 20 years of radio experience to the community," Martin said. "(He's a) former legislator, somebody who understands radio and understands where the bodies are buried in our city and our state."

Meanwhile, the Jolt plans on filling one of Scott's two vacant hours with a rotation of local business programming.

"We're going to air (a nationally syndicated) show in one of the hours, and one of the hours will be a different business-related show each day of the week," said KJLL general manager Kimberley Kelly, "business, real estate, retirement, basic services that are highly interactive."

The local programs will be brokered, meaning shows will pay KJLL for the airtime.


'CITIZEN' MAKES CUTS FOR THE NEW YEAR

The Tucson Citizen rang in the new year by bidding adieu to two longtime local columnists: The Citizen has pulled the plug on Jeff Smith and Corky Simpson.

"Jeff Smith's Friday column in Citizen Voices and Corky Simpson's Saturday column in Sports will be discontinued," wrote Citizen editor/publisher Michael Chihak in his Dec. 29, 2007, column. "This was among the most difficult decisions for us, because both are longtime colleagues and friends not only of many of us at the Citizen but of many in the community."

Smith and Simpson brought decades of experience to the business, as well as to the Citizen and its readers.

Tucson's afternoon daily made other changes too. It has moved the comics, horoscope, advice column, Sudoku puzzle, bridge column and movie schedule from the daily magazine sections to Section B, behind Citizen Voices and the national and world news. That move reduces eight pages from the tabloid magazine section.


SAME GROUP, DIFFERENT NAME

The KUAT Communications Group is now called Arizona Public Media. The name change took effect Jan. 7.

"We believe this name better reflects our connection to the University of Arizona and the growing number of media platforms that we offer to the community, many of which do not have the call letters KUAT," said general manager Jack Gibson via a press release. "Our organization currently offers six streams of television content and three streams of radio content in addition to our online and community-outreach activities. While we remain an editorially independent service of the University of Arizona, we will continue to provide stimulating content for the university community on the UA Channel."

Other ventures include the launch of Preview Magazine, which will be included within the pages of Tucson Lifestyle magazine every other month.


HORNER LEAVES KGUN

Reporter Mark Horner has bid adieu to KGUN Channel 9. He was on board for two years. We'll have an interview with him in next week's Media Watch.

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