Media Watch


Perhaps the question is, what took so long? KMXZ 94.9 MixFm morning show host Bobby Rich will be inducted into the Arizona Broadcasters Hall of Fame in October.

Perhaps the answer to the question: it really didn't take that long. Even though Rich has been among the most recognizable radio fixtures in this market for the last two decades, his induction comes off the heels of his first nomination.

Rich, who hosts the Bobby Rich Morning Mix, is in the midst of his 20th year with the station, which routinely ranks in the top three in Tucson's quarterly ratings battle. Rich is the third person in the Journal Broadcast Group building to land a place in the state's broadcasting hall. Journal Tucson General Manager Jim Arnold was inducted in 2008. KGUN news anchor Guy Atchley was inducted in 2010.


On the surface, Gannett's decision to purchase Belo Corporation would appear to have some impact on Tucson. After all, both are represented in the market. Gannett still has a stake in TNI through along with Lee Enterprises, which owns and operates the Arizona Daily Star. And Belo has two TV stations in the market: KMSB 11 and KTTU 18.

But the impact on Tucson, like seemingly everything else influenced by larger company acquisitions, will probably do little to change the local media landscape.

On a national scale, the move vaults Gannett into the number four spot in terms of television station market penetration. Gannett will own a total of 43 stations, including 21 in the top 25 markets. It will also possess more CBS and NBC affiliates among top 25 markets than any other broadcast group, although one could argue given its ratings situation whether NBC is really a prize.

But since Tucson isn't in that category, it seems unlikely much will change locally. Gannett pulled the plug on the Old Pueblo just over four years ago when it announced the inevitable closure of afternoon paper The Tucson Citizen. Since then, it has maintained a presence through the community blog site, which generates good web count numbers but manages to do so with a staff of two-and-a-half on the editorial side.

Belo threw in the towel on Tucson last year when it embarked on a news sharing agreement with Raycom, the owner and operator of KOLD TV 13. KMSB jettisoned its news operation and laid off somewhere in the neighborhood of 40 people, including its entire news department. Belo pays Raycom to produce news from the KOLD location near Cortaro and I-10.

It seems unlikely Gannett will infuse a hefty financial investment into the Tucson Belo properties any time soon.