Media Watch


Even as long-time broadcaster Bob Lee accepts his place among the Silver Circle Society of the Rocky Mountain Southwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences on May 2, it's clear he's maintained a Tucson frame of mind.

"The bad news is I have to go to Phoenix to get it," said Lee. "Once in a while, I have to make that run up there and remind myself, A) why I don't like the drive, and B) why I don't necessarily like to go to Phoenix all that much."

Who exactly is Bob Lee? He's that guy you might catch conducting a local public-affairs interview on Sunday on one of the Belo-owned stations, KMSB Channel 11 and KTTU Channel 18. It's this position, in addition to a decade-long stint with KVOA Channel 4 in the '60s and '70s, plus other contributions to the broadcast industry and Tucson as a whole, that led to his induction into a group of peers barely 100 members strong.

"It's really nice," said Lee, who is also a member of the Arizona Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame. "Everybody wants to be in a Hall of Fame of some sort for their positive accomplishments. This is really another layer of frosting on the cake. It's pretty cool."

Lee has been the community-relations coordinator at KMSB and KTTU since 1997.

"I have what I feel, and what many of my peers have told me, is the best job in television," Lee said. "What you see is what I do on Sundays—that's interview pretty much anybody I want to on almost any subject I choose, so long as it's to some degree addressing a significant concern or issue within the community. God knows we have no shortage of those.

"I'm pretty wide open on the subjects I can choose on my shows. I've been able to interview a lot of important and interesting people from a variety of enterprises, from government to education to not-for-profits to entertainers. One of the highlights was being able to interview Rex Allen. ... He was the last of the silver-screen cowboys, and I've always liked him."

Lee moved to Tucson in 1963, and he landed a position with KVOA. Other media highlights include a transition to radio, where he worked at KNST and became involved in the launch of market Top 40 power KRQQ. Lee bolted radio when the first wave of automation cutbacks started to kick in, and returned to television 13 years ago.

"I found a job that, thus far, there is still some amount of need for," Lee said. "The (Federal Communications Commission) license says you have to serve the needs of the community, and right now, they choose to do that with my show. ... I have no intention of going anywhere. It's too much fun."