Media Watch

Kelley Lands Promotion At KUAT

The KUAT Communications Group bumped up five-year employee John Kelley to radio and television station manager. The position gives Kelley oversight of KUAT FM 90.5, KUAZ FM 89.1/AM 1550 and KUAT Channel 6.

"I'm very pleased to recognize John's outstanding contributions to the KUAT Communications Group by promoting him to this new position," said KUAT general manager Jack Gibson in a press release. "We could have conducted a nationwide search for such a key appointment, but we had the ideal candidate here at KUAT."

A KUAT employee since 2002, Kelley has a background that also includes stints as a project consulting manager with Nextel and assistant general manager of Baltimore classical music station WBJC.

"I am grateful for the opportunity to take an expanded role at KUAT," Kelley said in the press release. "I believe that the organization's future is bright, and I'm delighted to serve in a more prominent leadership role as KUAT grows in response to today's rapidly changing media environment."

Kelley has garnered his share of media-related honors, highlighted by a first prize for features from the North Carolina Black Media Association, according to the release.


Local NBC affiliate KVOA Channel 4 will try to enhance its presence by adding another hour of news on weekday afternoons--a move that, in addition to giving it more local content than any other television station in the market, creates something of a musical-chairs scenario on the anchor desk.

The addition, slated to launch at some point in September, will team John Overall with Martha Vazquez. Overall is KVOA's main weekend anchor, while Vazquez has locked down noon news at the station since 1984. This is where the rotating anchor game begins: In addition to the 4 p.m. slot, Vazquez will also join Tom McNamara on the station's 6 p.m. weekday newscast. Meanwhile, Kristi Tedesco will move from 6 p.m. to 5 p.m. Tedesco and McNamara will continue to anchor the 10 p.m. newscast. Josh Benson has replaced Vazquez as the station's noon anchor, and a search is underway for Overall's weekend successor.

"Because of the changing lifestyles of today's viewers and the increasing demands on their time, we believe that adding a 4 p.m. newscast is an important way that we can better meet their needs," said KVOA news director Kathleen Choal via a press release. "We also believe that, with the depth of our resources, this is the perfect time to expand our news coverage."

The three major local news providers, as of now, have almost the same schedule: morning news programming from 5 to 7 a.m., a noon newscast (KGUN Channel 9 runs its lunch block news at 11 a.m.), and news at 5, 6 and 10 p.m. The stations also run two newscasts a night on Saturdays and Sundays.

KVOA's attempt to up the news ante is not a market first: KGUN launched a 4:30 p.m. newscast a few years ago, but that experiment lasted just more than a year.

"With the addition of News 4 at 4, KVOA will provide five hours of local news every day, Monday through Friday, and locally generated news programming for two of the 2 1/2 hours available from 4-6:30," said KVOA general manager Gary Nielsen. "That's more than any other local television station and speaks to the level of our commitment to serve Southern Arizona."


Jane Erikson will conclude her 22-year stint with the Arizona Daily Star on Aug. 1 to accept a position with The Haven, a local substance-abuse treatment facility. Erikson's beat focused largely in the health-care realm.

Newly departed entertainment reporter Albert Ching's tenure was roughly 21 1/2 years shorter.

Meanwhile, the Star has set an Aug. 1 launch day for its upgraded business Web site: The upgrade will still be available via the main Star Web site. The Star hopes to update the site at least five times a day.

Also in business, the Star has promoted Jack Gillum from intern to reporter. His beat will focus on technology and aerospace, which, of course, will encompass Raytheon. Gillum begins his duties Aug. 20.