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AZPM TABS SHADLEY FOR 'MORNING EDITION'

The new local voice on KUAZ FM 89.1/AM 1550's Morning Edition is that of Steve Shadley.

Shadley has been hired by Arizona Public Media to anchor and report for the NPR affiliate. Shadley certainly knows the format. The Arizona native's 30-plus-year broadcast career has featured seven different stints as the local anchor of Morning Edition, including stopovers in Flagstaff, Fort Collins, Colo., Madison, Wis., Sacramento, Calif., and Santa Cruz, Calif. Shadley also hosted local news and promotional segments for All Things Considered for Chicago NPR affiliate WBEZ.

"(Morning Edition) has become a little more user-friendly for local stations like AZPM," said Shadley, who also possesses experience covering the Arizona and California state legislatures. "The stories are shorter, and the subject matter has become a little more mainstream over the years, but it's still the best news program on the radio. Period."

Shadley says he's happy to be in Tucson.

"I am a native Arizonan, born and raised in Phoenix—before The Valley got so big—and it's great to be back after so many years away," said Shadley. "You really never forget the comforting fragrance of the desert after a good soaking from a summer rainstorm. I have been enjoying that about Tucson lately.

"I feel comfortable here at AZPM. This is a great group of talented people."


DEVINE WRAPS UP 16-YEAR STINT WITH 'WEEKLY'

Longtime Tucson Weekly news freelancer Dave Devine is leaving the publication, at least on a regular basis, to focus full-time on his second book project.

"Back in 2004, I finished my book on the Gadsden Purchase and the transcontinental railroad, and after that book came out, I decided to write another," Devine said. "And I started researching it and got stuck in the 1970s. There's an awful lot of material. I'm turning 62 shortly and decided this is an opportunity to finish the book before life finishes with me."

Devine figures the new book project, tentatively titled Walking Through Tucson History, could take another four or five years of research.

Devine considered his best work at the Weekly to be his stories that focused on issues pertaining to the less-fortunate.

"The poverty series with Molly McKasson, and health care, those are two issues that certainly many people don't like to cover, because they're considered bad news," Devine said. "But somebody's got to do it, and I give Wick (Communications, the Weekly's parent company) all the credit in the world for never saying a word about 'not writing about the negatives.'"

In fact, Devine gives Wick and those who managed his work a lot of credit for his progression in the craft.

"It made me a much better writer, and taught me a lot. Hopefully, it's also given me the chance to say some things about the community," Devine said. "I talk to people who say they think we're shackled somehow, but that's never been the case."

However, the Weekly and journalism in general don't exactly represent the fast track to easy street.

"Since we all know the Weekly doesn't pay (freelancers) very well, without (my wife's) financial support over the years, we know I couldn't have done it," said Devine. "And I'd like to thank Jim Nintzel. He was the one who asked the editor 16 years ago to give me a shot. And all the editors I've worked under, they've given me a lot of freedom to write and made me a better writer."

In the coming months, Devine will contribute a couple of pieces to the Weekly regarding Arizona's centennial.


RECKER ADDED TO IMG FOOTBALL BROADCASTS

KVOA Channel 4 sports director Ryan Recker continues to add to his mini multimedia empire.

Recker was recently tabbed as a host for IMG's network radio coverage of UA football broadcasts. Recker will handle segments in the pregame, at halftime and in the postgame.

"It's completely flattering," Recker said. "When a guy of (UA play-by-play broadcaster) Brian Jeffries' stature approaches you and wants you to come onboard, how do you say no? There are certainly schedule issues I'll have to look at, but I told Brian I'll make it work; we'll make it work. KVOA, IMG and me will find a way to make this work. It will mean getting off the news some nights at 5:55 and running from the north end zone of Arizona Stadium to the radio location (near the Hall of Champions) by 6:05. That's going to be a heck of a challenge to get used to. I couldn't say no, and didn't want to say no, and KVOA said, 'Absolutely, go ahead and do it.'"

As part of the network package, Recker will be heard in markets other than Tucson. The IMG feed is broadcast on flagship station KCUB AM 1290, which also airs local UA pregame and postgame coverage, of which I am a part, before and after the network block.

The IMG gig is the second Recker media expansion this summer. He also hosts a series of podcasts at ryanrecker.com.


KZLZ IMPROVES SIGNAL, ADDS MORNING SHOW

Spanish-language music station KZLZ FM 105.3 is boasting enhanced signal strength in and around Tucson.

Known by its moniker La Poderosa, roughly translated as "The One That Plays Hit Music," KZLZ officials hope the boost in frequency reach will help them access a Hispanic listening audience that is branching out throughout the community as well.

The signal improvement could pay dividends in overall listenership. The station is among the lowest-rated FMs in the market. According to Arbitron, KZLZ registered a 12-and-older share of 1.4 for the spring 2011 rating period. That was down from 1.5 for winter 2010, and a significant drop from a peak of 2.5 in the fall of 2010.

KZLZ also launched a new morning show, hosted by Carlos Benitez. The station's weekday lineup features Reyna Franco from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Rodrigo Olivas from 3 to 7 p.m.

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