Media Watch

Lotus hires Kelli Gero for sales manager role

A familiar name has returned to the terrestrial radio sales game. Kelli Gero has been nabbed by Lotus to handle sales operations for the four-station cluster, although most of her involvement will focus on advertising efforts for new rock/alternate format KFMA 102.1 FM and classic rocker KLPX 96.1 FM.

Gero is well known in Tucson electronic media sales circles, having spent 21 years with what is now the local iheart Media cluster, formerly Clear Channel, formerly Capstar, and formerly any number of ownership conglomerations during her tenure.

Most recently, she served 15 months in a sales capacity at AZPM.

"I was at Arizona Public Media sailing along, and I knew this opportunity was one you just can't say no," said Gero. "Over and over again, people are coming up to me saying that is really a good organization to work for, and it's reaffirming the way I feel."

In the hire, Lotus lands a sales manager with a long track record of experience and familiarity among clients and ad agencies, but even though she's comfortable on the sales side, Gero still needs to transition through the industry changes.

"With digital, that's really taken over the landscape, but it's enhanced it too," said Gero. "You don't just offer radio, but you have a whole comprehensive package to offer as well."

Taylor bids KVOA adieu again

Rebecca Taylor recently concluded her weekend anchor/reporter run with KVOA TV 4.

"I'm getting married soon and moving to Los Angeles where my fiancé is based for work," said Taylor via facebook correspondence.

The departure marks the end of her second stint with the local NBC affiliate. Taylor had handled anchor duties prior to moving to Nashville, but was welcomed back after spending a couple years in the country music capitol. She also worked as a reporter at KMSB TV 11 during the early days of its 9pm newscast.

Stine concludes media career

Mark Stine wrapped an 11-year stay with KOLD last month, and in the process has transitioned from the industry altogether. Stine handled a number of duties during his time with the station, but most recently locked down one of the anchor seats on the CBS affiliate's morning news program.

"It's bittersweet, of course," said Stine during his closing conversation on set. "Waking up that early in the morning, it's a tough job, but now I'll get to spend more time with my family. It's been an incredible stay at KOLD and Fox 11 Tucson. It's been a lot of fun."

Stine has joined a local financial services outlet. He's the second long-standing employee in the last few months to leave KOLD for another profession, following in the footsteps of meteorologist Aaron Pickering.

As his final morning show concluded, and after the airing of the obligatory news blooper/memory lane package, Stine took a moment to thank the viewers.

"It's been amazing, and for you," Stine said. "You took me in as a community and never let me go. A lot of people get into this business to climb the ladder, but the great (KOLD news reporter) Bud Foster told me, second day on the job, that you make Tucson your home and you'll never be disappointed. I met my wife here, our two wonderful children we had here, and you have been through it all with me, and I thank you. It's an incredible business with the family I have here. We've had an amazing run, and I want to thank everybody."

Chuck George resurfaces for Tohono Chul anniversary celebration

For those wondering whatever happened to Chuck George, arguably the city's most popular television personality during his days as chief meteorologist at KOLD, he will be on hand to act as celebrity host of Tohono Chul's 30th anniversary gala this Sunday.

George will act as host of the event, which also features musings by Arizona Daily Star cartoonist David Fitzsimmons along with musical entertainment from Ronstadt Generations and Domingo DeGrazia.

The event is slated from 4-7. Individual tickets run $130. A table for 10 goes for $1,100.

Dale is new AZPM addition

Arizona Public Media has nabbed Mariana Dale in a news/online reporter/editor capacity. Dale is a 2014 graduate of the UA School of Journalism and worked for AZPM while enrolled.

Among her accomplishments, a feature on Tucson Jazz High School, which was nominated for a Rocky Mountain Region Emmy.

"Mariana brings to AZPM intelligence, journalistic assertiveness, local news coverage experience and a working knowledge of our news operation's culture," said AZPM news director Michael Chihak in an internal memo announcing the hire.

Dale started earlier this month.

Curtis re-ups with Journal

KMXZ Mix 94.9 FM morning show news reporter/contributor Greg Curtis has agreed to a contract extension with Journal/soon-to-be Scripps.

"You'll continue to hear and enjoy Greg's daily leadership of, and contribution to, the best music morning show in the market, along with his long-time partners Bobby Rich and Mrs. Grant," said Shaun Holly in a station memo announcing the extension.

Mix FM regularly ranks among the top three stations in the market. Bobby Rich has helmed the morning show for more than 20 years.