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Cicala's Homecoming

Paul Cicala began his second television reporting stint in the Old Pueblo--and found himself on two stations in two weeks.

Cicala, who wet his feet with KOLD Channel 13 earlier this decade, recently returned to the station after a five-year run with KTNV in Las Vegas. But his tenure at the old stomping grounds lasted a grand total of two weeks, as a freelancer during the holiday season.

He's now a reporter with KVOA Channel 4.

"KVOA offered me a job, and when they did in early December, I told them I wanted to take the job, but I had already made a prior commitment to freelance for KOLD," Cicala said. "I like to stick to my word. They said, 'No problem.' I let KOLD know, too, and told them that if they (didn't) want me to freelance, that's fine. They said they could definitely use me."

A Tucson native, Cicala considers his return the right move at the right time.

"Tucson is really home for me," Cicala said. "I grew up on the southside; I'm a Sunnyside School District product, and I realized this is the place for me."

For some time, KVOA was the dominant news force in the market. Those days are long gone, but with the recent acquisition of news director Kathleen Choal, Cicala hopes to be a part of the station's resurgence.

"The morale is up, and everybody seems to be pumped up about what Kathleen is bringing to the table," Cicala said. "I'm excited, too, and it's obviously contagious. If one person is excited about what's going on, it's going to make you exuberant about the quality of news you're covering, too. I'm excited to play a part, I hope, to bring KVOA back to its dominant No. 1 status in the future."


SOMETHING YOU DON'T SEE EVERY DAY

For a moment, it appeared familiar faces from KVOA's past had invaded KGUN Channel 9. The Thursday, Jan. 19, 6 p.m. newscast featured two former KVOA personalities in separate KGUN stories. KGUN reported on the then-impending Patty Weiss announcement of her congressional bid, while sports reporter Ben Arnet did a feature on KCUB-AM 1290 sports talk show host Pete Delgado, who was taking a rash of phone calls pertaining to Chris Rodgers' dismissal from the Arizona basketball team.


'MORNING EDITION' SPENDS AN EVENING IN TUCSON

NPR Morning Edition co-host Renée Montagne will make an appearance at the Loft on Saturday, Feb. 4, at 7:30 pm.

"We are very pleased to offer KUAZ listeners the opportunity to hear Morning Edition co-host Renée Montagne speak in Tucson," KUAZ station manager John Kelley said in a statement. "As our listeners know, Ms. Montagne is an eloquent speaker, and her talk promises to be both interesting and informative."

Morning Edition is broadcast on KUAZ-FM 89.1 and AM 1550 weekdays beginning at 6 a.m.


MORE JOLTS AT JOLT

Syndicated Phoenix duo Liddy and Hill might have the distinction of locking down the shortest talk-show run in Tucson radio history. Less than two weeks removed from their Tucson debut on KJLL 1330 AM, the program has been scrapped.

Jolt GM Jerry Misner says the issues hinge on syndication concerns and a possible personality conflict between the two hosts, who visited Tucson as part of a launch luncheon announcing the station's programming changes.

"I thought Liddy and Hill would have been a pretty good show," Misner said. "The reason we did it was because there was a local connection."

Misner was quick to make a change. Bill O'Reilly has returned to the 5 to 7 p.m. slot.

"O'Reilly was always a terrible conundrum for us," Misner said. "Most of us here think he's a good show, and we didn't want to lose that. The Liddy and Hill thing was almost providential."

That isn't the Jolt's only lineup adjustment. Imus in the Morning, originally bumped from the Jolt's new slate, is back on the air until the expiration of the current contract on March 3. Imus presently occupies the 5 to 8 a.m. timeslot, while the Jolt broadcasts Mancow's final two hours from 8 to 10 a.m. Once the contract expires, Misner hopes to slot Mancow from 6 to 10 a.m., and Imus from 4 to 6 a.m.

"The way this is working out is a good thing," Misner said. "To be able to keep Imus on, even from 4 to 6, takes some sting from that thing. While the Imus listeners aren't huge in numbers, they're very loyal. I've discovered that, believe me."


JEFFRIES MISSES GAME

Longtime University of Arizona radio broadcaster Brian Jeffries was sidelined for Saturday, Jan. 21's men's basketball game against California, a 60-55 UA win. Ryan Radtke filled the vacancy.

"I hate to come in under circumstances like this, but I was glad to be there to help the team," Radtke said.

Jeffries has missed occasional games due to football and basketball scheduling conflicts, but rarely due to an ailment. He was slated to return to the mic for the UA's clash at Arizona State on Wednesday and was expected to make the trip to North Carolina for Saturday's game.

For Radtke, it was his first venture as part of the Wildcat play-by-play team for football or basketball, but not his initial foray into that specific endeavor. He recently landed the top announcing position with the Tucson Sidewinders, replacing Brett Dolan, who was hired as a broadcaster with the Houston Astros.

Radtke has also called the action on a number of UA baseball games. He retains his duties with the Wildcats as part of the pregame and halftime reports for football and basketball, but recently ended his afternoon sports-talk show duties on KCUB-AM 1290, the Wildcat flagship station (and an employer of mine).

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