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KNAPP LEAVING KGUN

More sports-broadcasting changes are in the works at Journal-owned KGUN Channel 9.

Jake Knapp, the recently departed Dave Silver's second-in-command at the ABC affiliate for the last six-plus years, has lined up a gig with a yet-to-be-named TV station in a larger market, and will be leaving Tucson within the next two months.

Knapp appeared to be the logical successor to Silver as the station's sports director. Sources close to the situation say he was offered the position, but turned it down because he and the station couldn't agree on terms. As a result, KGUN hired Jason Barr, who started April 5.

Knapp's departure creates potential uncertainty with another KGUN on-air staffer: Knapp and weekend anchor Tammy Vo were married last fall.


KVOI ADDS HUCKABEE TO DAILY LINEUP

Former Arkansas governor and ex-Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee has launched a daily talk show—and it didn't take long for KVOI AM 1030 to add the program to its daily lineup.

KVOI has put Huckabee in the 10 a.m.-to-noon slot previously occupied by Dennis Prager.

Huckabee's addition fits KVOI's syndicated lineup. He has a partisan approach, but without the hard edge of conservative commentators such as Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck and Michael Savage.

KVOI's daily lineup is a mix of local talk and syndication. Chris DeSimone and Joe Higgins host Wake Up Tucson from 6 to 8 a.m., followed by national programming with Dennis Miller from 8 to 10, and now Huckabee from 10 to noon. The local, interview-driven Buckmaster Show, hosted by Bill Buckmaster, airs from noon to 1 p.m., followed by the syndicated Michael Medved from 1 to 4. Tucson radio institution John C. Scott is on from 4 to 5. Then it's back to syndication with The Hugh Hewitt Show from 5 to 8 p.m.

Prager's show has been moved to 10 p.m.


ENTZ NAMED FOX SPORTS EXECUTIVE PRODUCER

John Entz, a graduate of Salpointe Catholic High School and the UA, was named executive producer for Fox Sports last week.

It's his second stint with the organization. He left Fox Sports in 2008 to become senior executive vice president of the MLB Network, where he remained until returning to Fox.

Entz's responsibilities include all studio and event production for the networks and entities within the Fox Sports Media Group, which include Fox Sports, the Fox Sports regional networks, Speed, Fox Deportes, Fox Soccer, Fuel TV and FoxSports.com. He will also serve in an advisory capacity for the Big Ten Network.

Entz graduated from Salpointe in the late '90s and was part of the video crew for Lute Olson's men's basketball program at the UA. From there, he landed a position at ESPN and worked his way up the ladder before the first Fox Sports opportunity presented itself.

Entz was named to the SportsBusiness Journal's top 40 under age 40 list in 2010.


'BRILLIANT' TALK SHOW SETS HIGHER BAR AT UATV

Like its siblings the Arizona Daily Wildcat and KAMP Radio, UATV gives students an opportunity to gain valuable experience before embarking on what they hope are successful careers in the media.

Budget cuts and economic concerns have played a role in limiting the student-run television outlet's original content in recent years, but general manager Melanie Huonker has had a big role in recently boosting the number of shows—from one to three.

"We have a sports show Monday night (Dorm Room Sports Chat), a news show (Wildcast) Tuesday night, and a talk show (UA Tonight) Wednesday," Huonker said. "Last semester, we added the sports show, and this semester, we added the talk show, and that's what has really hit this semester."

UA Tonight, hosted by Mike Brilliant, borrows from the familiar format of late-night talk fare.

"I start off with a monologue where I write my own jokes and perform a little standup, and then I interview two people sitting down at a desk, and then (there is) some type of performance, usually a musical guest who performs an acoustic song, but I have had some standup comics in the past," said Brilliant, who pitched the concept of the 15-minute show to Huonker. "I emailed Melanie and pretty much had the script and outline done for the first show. (I told her), 'If you like it, I want to start out maybe once a month or every other week.' She said she loved the idea and wanted to go for every week. We have eight shows done now. It's been a lot of fun."

And it's gotten a surprising amount of attention. "A lot more people than I've thought have watched it," Brilliant said.

UATV is accessible on campus on Channel 3 and has its own YouTube channel.

"I've gotten recognized at bars and other places in Tucson. The fact that people recognize me is incredible," Brilliant said. "Of course, everyone wants to be famous. It's definitely cool that people say they've seen you somewhere."

But fans may only get two or three more chances to see the talk show with Brilliant at the helm. A junior studying film and media, Brilliant is considering a move to Phoenix, with his sights set on intern opportunities at television and radio outlets.

"I'd love to have a late-night talk show like my heroes Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel, but it's not limited to that," said Brilliant, who has also dabbled in standup comedy. "As long as I'm in media and get to be on the air and have a say in something and really be creative, that's what it's really about for me."

This is definitely the end of Huonker's UATV run. She'll graduate in May and already has a television-reporter gig lined up in Joplin, Mo.

More by John Schuster

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