Media Watch

First Things First ...

For starters, let's get the potential conflict of interest disclaimer stuff out of the way. Those who have read past columns know that I get a seasonal paycheck from Citadel Broadcasting, specifically doing pregame and postgame broadcasts of University of Arizona football and basketball for KCUB 1290 AM The Source. Furthermore, while I don't work directly for Allen Kath, I do work for his wife, who owns Tucson Media Monitoring.

That out of the way, let's move on.


In an apparent attempt to move toward news/talk, 1290 has made a switch in afternoon programming, adding nationally syndicated talk show host Glenn Beck into the slot previously occupied by Pete Delgado. The Source has also added Phil Hendrie, who now airs weeknights from 6-10 p.m.

"Format changes happen. It's part of the business," Delgado said. "I understand that they happen. Business is business. I'm very grateful for the opportunities I have had here, very grateful to (Program Director) Chuck Meyer and (Citadel Regional President) Todd Lawley for the opportunity they've given me."

Delgado landed the 1290 opening shortly after losing his television sports anchor position at KVOA Channel 4.

"I wish maybe things were a little bit different, but everybody's being as good to me as possible," Delgado said. "Chuck Meyer and Todd Lawley helped me when I was about to have a bunch of things piled on top of me and gave me a great opportunity, kept me doing what I was doing, and good things could be happening still."

Those things will likely involve his duties with the pregame and postgame broadcasts, in addition to yet-to-be-determined possibilities. Personally, I hope that happens. It's been a great pleasure working with Pete in the pregame and postgame broadcasts, and I would like that to continue in the future.

I'm not sold on the station's decision to move in more of a news/talk direction, and I'm greatly disappointed in the decision to pull Delgado from his afternoon slot. However, to Citadel's credit, it has worked very hard to keep talent employed during a series of recent changes in the building, which is different than the don't-let-the-door-hit-you-in-the-ass nature often displayed in the radio game. Despite her removal from the KIIM-FM 99.5 morning show, Betsy Bruce remains employed, having been reassigned to a news/host role on The Shootout, the local sports show that airs weekdays from 3-6 p.m. on 1290.

The station has also found a place for Kricket, who was pulled from 97.5 Bob FM (KSZR) when it went to automation.

The 1290 lineup now consists of a news block from 5-9 a.m., nationally syndicated sports-talk host Jim Rome from 9 a.m.-noon, Beck from 12:30 to 3 p.m. (Paul Harvey airs at noon), The Shootout from 3-6 p.m., Hendrie in the evening and sports programming overnight.

This is the first local ripple of the ABC/Citadel deal, which should become final sometime around November.


With Beck and Hendrie on 1290, it left a programming vacancy on 1330 AM KJLL, but The Jolt has reacted with something that may be long overdue in Tucson: the addition of a liberal talk-show host in a prime listening window. Stephanie Miller now occupies the late-morning slot.

"You have to make a start with the liberal thing, because I do think the time is going to come that people aren't going to be interested in hearing the same conservative song and dance they've heard for the past 15 years," Jolt GM Jerry Misner said. "The reason conservative talk shows came to be predominant, I think, has little to do with that they were conservative and more to do with the fact that the people who were successful with them were pretty good entertainers with good shows. Forget the philosophies. They did good shows. I think liberal talk can be the same if they entertain. That's what's cool about Stephanie Miller. Forgetting the fact she's a liberal, she does a really good show. She's funny as hell."

Misner hopes an "All Sides, All Attitude" ad campaign will help to distinguish its unique format choice, which kicks off with Imus in the Morning at 4 a.m., Mancow from 6-10 a.m., Miller from 10 a.m.-noon, Dr. Laura from noon-3 p.m., John C. Scott from 3-5 p.m., conservatives Bill O'Reilly (5-7 p.m.) and Rusty Humphries (7-10 p.m.), and libertarian host Jay Severin, a new addition to replace Hendrie, from 10 p.m.-midnight.


On Monday, April 3, four Citadel stations changed traffic report affiliates, concluding their deal with Metro Networks in favor of a relationship with Total Traffic.

The deal was brokered on a national level between Citadel and Total Traffic, an entity owned by Clear Channel Communications.

"The Citadel deal is in a specific amount of markets," said Mike Bernal, Tucson Total Traffic sales manager. "A group of them joined as part of the negotiation. Tucson is one of the major ones that had some core properties that makes this thing pretty big now."

Total Traffic-generated reports will broadcast on four Citadel stations in addition to its long-standing positioning with the local Clear Channel radio entities.

"It's great for Total Traffic, and great for the Tucson market," Bernal said. "We already had some (stations) to begin with, but our network is really good now."

Meanwhile, Metro still has deals with Lotus (KLPX 96.1 FM and KFMA 92.1/101.3 FM are the major players there), Journal (KMXZ 94.9 MIX FM is the benchmark station locally), Good News Communications (KVOI 690 AM) and KJLL. Metro also remains the only traffic-reporting entity in the market with an airborne presence. Allen Kath broadcasts live from an airplane every weekday morning.

"I wish them nothing but the best of luck, and there are no hard feelings," Kath said.

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