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FRAT HOUSE AT CENTER OF 'DAILY WILDCAT' THEFT INVESTIGATION

The Phi Kappa Psi fraternity is at the focal point of an investigation into the theft of 10,000 issues of the Oct. 8 edition of the Arizona Daily Wildcat.

The theft, which occurred on the UA campus, cost the university newspaper an estimated $8,500 in the form of advertising revenue, salaries and production costs.

Wildcat editor-in-chief Alex Dalenberg did not return phone calls or an e-mail message before the Tucson Weekly's deadline.

Phi Kappa Psi is a suspect, because homework from two frat members—Nick Kovaleski and Alex Cornell—was strewn among issues found dumped on Tucson's westside.

"I would have no clue at all," Kovaleski told the Wildcat, as quoted in a story in the Oct. 12 edition. "I'm in no way involved, and neither is Phi Psi. I have no idea how my homework got out there."

It also turns out that Phi Kappa Psi was featured negatively in that Oct. 8 edition, in the newspaper's popular Police Beat section, which noted that a young woman told the UA Police Department that she thought she had been drugged at a Phi Kappa Psi party.

"We're doing an internal investigation to find out if individuals in our fraternity were actually involved," said UA Phi Kappa Psi president Keith Peters in the Oct. 12 Daily Wildcat. "I can't say at this point if they were or weren't. We're going to be handling that through an internal judicial board with serious repercussions with any of the people involved, if there were any."

If connected, Phi Kappa Psi might consider petitioning the UA for a new department: The Nixon School of Cover-Ups has a nice ring to it.

Stealing issues might have had a certain practical logic prior to the Internet era, but with mass-media access being what it is today, the approach seems rather misguided.

However, it will likely force a thorough investigation into the initial incident: the woman's claim that she was drugged at a Phi Kappa Psi frat party. It's not a stretch to suggest the repercussions from both alleged actions—the drugging and the theft of newspapers—could be significant.


ROCKY MOUNTAIN EMMY AWARD CEREMONY SLATED FOR PHOENIX

Tucson will be well-represented in this year's Rocky Mountain Emmy Awards event, slated to be held Saturday, Oct. 24, at the Sheraton Downtown Phoenix.

Among the highlights, Tucson television representatives had three nominations in the Arts/Entertainment Program Features category: Lety Bazurto Matthews and Dulce Mascareño for La Fe de Daniel on the city of Tucson's Channel 12, Sooyeon L. Johnston at KUAT Channel 6 for her Carolyn Anderson feature, and a KOLD Channel 13 "Overtime" feature with sports director Damien Alameda.

In the Magazine Program/Feature Segment category, Tucsonans locked down three nominations: Luis Carrion and Bob Lindberg at KUAT for a feature on Mr. K's Barbecue, Carrion for a story on musician Tom Walbank, and Jennifer McKinney and Dan Sheffer at Tucson 12 for "Kodak Cowboy."

In the Promotion News Promo: Single Spot/Same Day category, KOLD earned three of the four nominations: Wade Stai for "Border War," and Matthew Van Hoesen for his work on "Foreclosure Fallout" and "Inside the Animal ER."

In the Photographer: Program (Non-News) category, Mitch Riley at Tucson 12 garnered nominations for "Daniel" and "Double Check," while KUAT's Martin Rubio received a nomination for "Retablo: Uncovering the Secrets." Those considerations accounted for three of the four slots in that category.

All told, KOLD led the way among local stations with 14 nominations, while KUAT claimed nine nominations, and Tucson 12 landed eight.

Will Holst at UAnews.org and James Gregg of the Arizona Daily Star each received a pair of advanced media nominations.


BLOWING UP THE MEDIA STOCK BUBBLE

Bad economy, bad economy, blah blah blah. Yeah, we know it sucks—but there has been money to be made by those who bought some media stocks when stock market hemorrhaged earlier this year.

With the Dow Jones Industrial Average now in the 10,000 range—up from the 7,000 area earlier this year—some of those stocks helped investors turn nice profits. Take Lee Enterprises, for example. The Davenport, Iowa, publisher, which owns and operates the Arizona Daily Star, is still in a world of financial hurt, but its ability to effectively push back its debt-payoff plan, along with its announcement that it would not pursue a reverse stock split, has led to a steady climb in stock's value over the last few months. Then the publisher benefited from riding the coattails of a better-than-expected financial report from Gannett, the company that closed the Tucson Citizen's print edition in May but still holds a 50 percent stake in Tucson Newspapers (which operates the Arizona Daily Star). That positive Gannett news bolstered Lee stock by more than $1 in one day. That's impressive, and it's even more impressive when one considers that the stock was trading in the $2 range at the time.

Just this Monday, Oct. 12, Lee stock exploded again, going higher than $4 briefly, even though TheStreet.com rated Lee as the most debt-laden publisher in the country.

Nobody ever said the market made a lick of sense.

In the not-so-distant past, Lee traded at a low of 24 cents and was in danger of being delisted from the New York Stock Exchange altogether. If you got in at that point, congratulations.

Lee isn't the only media company with a local presence to see a market turnaround. Take Belo, the entity that operates KMSB Channel 11 and KTTU Channel 18. Belo traded at a low of 47 cents. Its stock, as of our deadline, is now selling for more than $5 per share.

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