MOONEY BANKS ON TUCSON BEING A MILITARY TOWN
The economy has hit broadcaster/producer Sean Mooney hard.
Mooney took a chance when he returned to Tucson, where his Moonrise Productions packaged UA-related programming in conjunction with Fox Sports Arizona, while he worked as a sideline reporter during Wildcats sports broadcasts.
But Fox Sports has cut back significantly on its Tucson focus, and Mooney has taken a hit—shows like Wildcat Rewind, a condensed recap of the week's UA football or men's basketball action, have been eliminated.
"It's all business and money. That's what it's coming down to," said Mooney, who made his name as a behind-the-scenes reporter personality for the WWF (now known as the WWE, or World Wrestling Entertainment) and as a sports anchor for New York City's WWOR before returning to the desert.
"Fox isn't making any money as far as the magazine shows are going. Fox Sports needs to cut back," he said.
In the interim, Mooney has turned his involvement toward a couple of military-related endeavors.
"I've been working on this project focusing on veterans who are returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, and the difficulties with the trauma they faced, and trying to get back into mainstream life," said Mooney. "The documentary has turned into a series."
That idea led to a radio program, which aired recently for the first time recently on KQTH FM 104.1, and will be broadcast at noon on Sundays.
"It's going to be a show for veterans," Mooney said. "These guys won't walk into the doctor's office or even the Veterans Administration and say they're suffering, but they'll call a radio show, because it's totally anonymous. ... Everybody says this is a basketball town. It's a military town."
Mooney would like for it to be both, but if he decides on other options—his agent has feelers out—Mooney believes his work with the UA will leave a lasting impression.
"I take such great pride in what I've done here," Mooney said. "I graduated from the UA, left for 18 years and came back, and I really believe my mission was to raise the bar on the product."
JUSTICE INKS THREE-YEAR EXTENSION
KQTH FM 104.1 morning talk-host Jon Justice has agreed to a three-year contract extension.
Justice announced the deal on his show the same day that KNST AM 790 added Glenn Beck to its lineup.
Justice has generated solid numbers since KQTH changed formats. The move to FM talk has been a boon for the station, which languished among the market's FM bottom-feeders with a slew of generic hit-music formats. "The Truth" is now among the market's top 10 stations.