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PETER MICHAELS DEPARTS AZPM

Peter Michaels, the longtime Arizona Public Media news director, has left the PBS/NPR affiliate for a communications position with the UA-housed National Institute for Civil Discourse, the think tank started after the Jan. 8, 2011, shootings that left six dead, and former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and a dozen others wounded.

Some personnel no longer employed by Arizona Public Media wish Michaels' move had occurred sooner. Arizona Public Media has undergone significant turnover in the nearly seven years since general manager Jack Gibson took the reins, and it's been made clear by many of those who have departed that Gibson's managerial style isn't popular. Some of those former employees had less-than-flattering things to say about Michaels as well. Michaels' broadcast career spans more than 30 years.

The National Institute for Civil Discourse, which labels itself a nonpartisan center for advocacy, research and policy, hopes to implement a platform for strengthening the political conversation in what it perceives as an ever-polarizing process. The center recently named AmericaSpeaks president Carolyn Lukensmeyer as its executive director.


PATYK NAMED PD IN SAN DIEGO

Chris Patyk, who was the program director/morning-show co-host at KWMT FM 92.9 during its Mountain days, prior to its format flip to the current My 92.9 (KMIY) generic-music endeavor, was named program director at CBS-owned San Diego radio station Energy 103.7 FM.

The contemporary-hits format should play well into Patyk's pop-culture interests. Patyk handled interim PD duties at the Mountain before he landed the position in an official capacity.

A journalism/media-arts grad from the UA, Patyk has been involved in numerous Tucson radio ventures and has also had stints at stations in Phoenix and Portland, Ore.


HORTON GETS ACCESS TO GANNETT RECORDS

For those looking for closure in regard to Gannett's joint-operating agreement with Lee Enterprises and the Arizona Daily Star: Keep an eye out at TucsonSentinel.com.

Renee Schafer Horton, a former reporter at the Tucson Citizen, has been granted permission to sift through paperwork related to the case.

"I was the reporter assigned to investigate the closure/sale of the Tucson Citizen newspaper in 2009, and I had requested a number of records regarding that closure/sale from the Justice Department," Schafer Horton said via email. "As reported in my stories for the Citizen at the time, the Justice Department was investigating the sale to determine if Gannett and Lee were violating antitrust laws due to the two papers being in a JOA. Due to a backlog of requests at Justice, DOJ only recently got around to completely reviewing my request and sent a letter about a month ago asking if I was still interested in pursing the request. I said I was, and ... they notified me that they will release a number of records I have requested.

"I have to emphasize that I don't have the records yet; I've just been told I can have them and am awaiting delivery. They may be enlightening, or they may be really old news barely worth the copying fee I'm paying. If they indeed do have news value, I'll be doing a story for TucsonSentinel.com, and at that time, people will discover what the records contain. Some people have asked why I even bother to pursue this, but for me, it is like a story that is unfinished, and I can't let it go until I see what the records contain."

Schafer Horton is now the academic advisor at the UA School of Journalism. TucsonSentinel.com is operated by Dylan Smith, who is also a former Citizen staffer.


KGUN GOES BACK IN TIME ON CHANNEL 9.2

Perhaps due to the surprising following of Me-TV—the television network that KOLD Channel 13 has picked up on its alternate signal (13.2), which broadcasts classic programming from the '60s, '70s and '80s—KGUN Channel 9 has done something similar on its piggyback signal.

The local ABC affiliate recently made Antenna TV available on HD signal 9.2 for those who still use antennas and get their feeds over the air. (Antenna TV is also available through KGUN feeds for cable and satellite subscribers, just as Me-TV is available in the same capacity.)

The Antenna TV roster seems to feature more comedies than the Me-TV platform, including Benson, Barney Miller, All in the Family, Dennis the Menace, The Flying Nun, Hazel and Leave It to Beaver. Variety shows and the occasional cops drama also are in the lineup, although police and detective programming tends to be a Me-TV strength.

Antenna TV occasionally sprinkles in a couple of movies that don't seem quite right. For instance, its early-morning movie block includes Go (Doug Liman's underrated 1999 drug-youth flick) and The Messenger (also from 1999), the Joan of Arc movie starring Milla Jovovich and directed by then-squeeze Luc Besson. This is much different than the new-millennium Jovovich, who now fends off crazed zombies in a half-dozen Resident Evil incarnations. (If Antenna TV ever plays those as a special Halloween marathon, Me-TV may have some serious competition for my old-school television-viewing habits.)


'DEMOCRACY NOW' HOST GOODMAN IN TOWN FOR KXCI FUNDRAISER

Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman visits Tucson on Saturday, Oct. 13, for a book-signing/fundraiser for community radio station KXCI FM 91.3. Goodman will discuss a book she co-authored, The Silenced Majority: Stories of Uprisings, Occupations, Resistance and Hope. The event begins at 1 p.m. at the Fox Tucson Theatre, 17 W. Congress St.

General-admission tickets are $5 and are available at the KXCI studio office, Access Tucson, Antigone Books and, on the day of the show, the Fox box office.

More by John Schuster

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