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ROB GUARINO ABRUPTLY PARTS WAYS WITH KVOA

It's been a rough couple weeks for meteorologist Rob Guarino. Two weeks ago he found himself in hot water over a DUI incident, after what amounted to being a public vote of confidence from KVOA General Manager Bill Shaw, who told the Arizona Daily Star that Guarino was staying put.

That didn't last long. Guarino's two-year run with the NBC affiliate came to an abrupt end last week.

"It has been tough since my children had to move back to New York eight months ago and now I have the opportunity in my contract to be closer to my children and aging father," said Guarino via a Facebook e-mail. "As a parent you can understand this is a critical point in my children's lives and I need to be closer to them on a daily basis.

I would like to thank everyone at KVOA for making my last two years a wonderful place to work and I will miss all my good friends and professionals at the TV station. I would like to thank all the viewers of Southern Arizona. You kept me on my toes and I always tried to not only give you a great forecast but teach you along the way."

The circumstances of the departure remain unusual. Guarino had worked pretty consistently since the DUI incident, and worked a full shift Monday, May 6. He then returned to work Tuesday and was on the air for the station's hour-long 4 p.m. newscast. However, he wasn't on the air for KVOA's 5 p.m. newscast and didn't appear on the air again.

Word is there was a flurry of closed-door meetings that preceded Guarino's departure, and only a brief mention of the situation via an internal memo from news director Cathie Batbie-Loucks, received by employees Wednesday, that read, "Rob Guarino is no longer employed by KVOA."

Guarino joined the station in April 2011.


KOLD HIRES ANOTHER WEATHER TALENT

KOLD TV 13 has enlisted the services of Dan Bronis to handle weather report responsibilities.

"Dan Bronis has been hired to do weekends," said KOLD GM Debbie Bush via email. "He graduated from ASU and his family is from Cave Creek.  He replaces Cuyler Diggs—who was part time.  Cuyler's business is growing.  However, he will still help us out on a freelance basis when needed. "

Bronis started May. 13. He'll likely pop up on KOLD and KMSB TV 11 newscasts, which are produced from the KOLD studios.


WARNING: FOUL LANGUAGE FORTHCOMING

Now we know it's sweeps period and all, and while that usually means that TV news breaks out hard-hitting investigative material such as where the germs reside, it seems KGUN TV 9 incorporated a unique approach with an impromptu splash of rather saucy commentary that hit the airwaves in a 10 pm KGUN TV 9 newscast that aired earlier this month.

KGUN's 6 and 10 pm newscasts aired a story about a woman victimized by home invaders. The woman, 67-year-old Carol Galati, did not take kindly to the intrusion of four young punks in her modest abode.

The Galati sound bite from the six o'clock account went something like this:

"...except when I called them dumb (bleeps). That's when I got it (to the side of the face). I don't know if he hit me with a gun, hit me with his fist, I don't know what he hit me with."

The 10 pm version was more explicit.

Galati's recap: ..."except when I called them dumb mother fuckers."

At the beginning of the newscast's second block, anchor Guy Atchley had to attempt to explain the miscue.

"We want to apologize for the obscene word that you heard from the woman who was a victim of a home invasion," Atchley said. "We, uh, had attempted to edit that out. We did on the early newscast, but it failed to be edited out in our late newscast. We apologize for that."

While KGUN didn't explain how the mistake occurred—if it was bleeped in an earlier broadcast how could a different unedited version air later?—one possibility is two files existed, and when a producer for the 10 p.m. newscast inserted the raw cut, as opposed to the cut cleaned up as part of the earlier reporter's package, the potty mouthed version got through.

"We are sorry the inappropriate article aired on KGUN9," said Journal Tucson GM Jim Arnold via e-mail. "It is unacceptable for this to happen and we value our viewers who watch our newscasts. We have taken steps to review and remind our staff of the policies and procedures when handling this kind of raw video. We sincerely regret this incident and will work to earn viewers' trust going forward."

The good news. It appears Galati was right. The four alleged dumb m-fers were arrested at a nearby gas station while filling up a vehicle that didn't need gas. According to the KGUN story, they drove a car with a broken gas gauge.


STOCKHOLDERS REACT TO FAVORABLE(?) LEE QUARTERLY REPORT

Late last month Lee Enterprises, the publishing arm of the Arizona Daily Star, used the Tucson newspaper and website azstarnet.com's 50 percent shared revenue arrangement within TNI as collateral to refinance $94 million of debt it owes to Berkshire Hathaway.

The new arrangement lowers Lee's interest rate on the loan from 11.3 to 9 percent, and also extends the length of the due payment from December 2015 to April of 2017.

And even though Lee still owes $893 million as part of its structured bankruptcy settlement, the refinancing and other indicators, most notably that the company still lost money, but lost less money than a year before, was good news for the stock, which has bolted from 1.33 in late April to into the 1.70s as the market continues its climb.

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