TAYLOR, ALEXANDER JOIN KVOA
NBC affiliate KVOA Channel 4 announced the hiring of two news anchors, both with ties to Tucson.
Allison Alexander has been hired as the station's noon and 4 p.m. news anchor, replacing Martha Vazquez, who resigned following a shoplifting incident. Alexander worked for KGUN Channel 9 from 2002 to 2004 and more recently was a fill-in morning anchor for KTVK in Phoenix. Alexander also had anchor stints with WLNE in Providence, R.I., and WOIO in Cleveland. Her first day at KVOA is slated for March 19.
Rebecca Taylor has accepted the weekend news-anchor position. Taylor worked in that slot before, and also had stints in Phoenix and at KMSB Channel 11. Taylor left Tucson in 2010 for Nashville, Tenn. Her first day back at KVOA will be March 21.
WHERE ARE THE HISPANIC ANCHORS?
It wasn't always like this, but due to a variety of circumstances Tucson's privately owned television news outlets find themselves a bit thin on the Hispanic news-anchor front.
At its recent peak, the market—with a Hispanic population that checks in at more than 30 percent—had as many as five news personalities of Hispanic descent behind the desk.
However, in the last year, those numbers have dwindled dramatically, and none of the four Hispanic women who had recently occupied those positions are in anchor seats any longer.
KVOA Channel 4 reassigned Lorraine Rivera to a reporting role, and longtime anchor Martha Vazquez, as mentioned above, resigned following a shoplifting incident. KOLD Channel 13 reassigned Barbara Grijalva, another veteran of the anchor desk, to field work. And Kimberly Romo recently decided to make a career change, leaving the morning-anchor desk at KGUN Channel 9.
That leaves Romo's former Good Morning Tucson partner, Steve Nuñez, as the market's lone Hispanic representative in an anchor position. The recently hired Nuñez was not an anchor when Rivera and Grijalva held their positions.
Tony Paniagua anchors on occasion for Arizona Illustrated on PBS affiliate KUAT Channel 6.
LEE STOCK GETS REPRIEVE, BUT THERE'S NOT MUCH WIGGLE ROOM
Lee Enterprises, the Davenport, Iowa-based publisher that owns the Arizona Daily Star, regained tentative compliance with the New York Stock Exchange thanks to its ability to maintain a stock price higher than $1 for 30 consecutive trading days.
"As we expected, investor sentiment has improved with the implementation of our financing agreements on Jan. 30," Lee chief executive officer Mary Junck said in a press release. "We appreciate the confidence of our stockholders as we advance our many initiatives to drive revenue, build even larger audiences and resume overall growth."
Exactly how much faith investors have in Lee remains to be seen. After satisfying the terms of its structured bankruptcy, Lee stock soared to the $1.50 range, about double its price before the bankruptcy approval. But shortly after that jump, it settled down closer to $1.10.
Lee also had to keep market capitalization above $50 million for 30 consecutive trading days. With 51.7 million outstanding shares worth slightly more than $1 each, Lee meets those requirements as well. If Lee can hold its ground, NYSE could consider signing off on a return to full compliance around February 2013, perhaps before.