Media Watch

KVOA Opts for Two-Anchor Morning Format

Former KVOA Channel 4 weekend news anchor Josh Benson got a promotion, but has to wake up really early as part of his new assignment. Benson joined Dara Demi as part of a two-anchor format for Tucson Today, which airs weekdays from 5 to 7 a.m.

"News 4 is thrilled to add an experienced member of our team to the Tucson Today lineup," News Director Kathleen Choal said. "The newscast will become more viewer friendly."

KVOA made the change April 17. Tucson Today also includes weather anchor Matt Brode and traffic reporter Gina Corral.

Brode is new to the station, but not Tucson. He graduated from the UA with two degrees and returns after a stint in West Palm Beach, Fla.

"I am thrilled to be living in Tucson," said Brode, who has his American Meteorological Society seal. "Having lived here for eight years, I feel like this is my second home."

Todd Kunz is now on the anchor desk during KVOA's weekend newscasts.


In addition to Brode, local news has a couple of relatively fresh weather faces. Jeff James began his role as No. 1 weather personality at KGUN Channel 9 in March. Wes Hohenstein recently replaced Barak Shapiro at KOLD Channel 13.


KNST AM 790 news reporter Paul Birmingham was awarded a Region 3 Edward R. Murrow Award in the spot news coverage category for a feature on Tucson floods. Region 3 covers Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming.

"I feel truly honored and especially humbled by this most coveted of awards," said Birmingham in a press release. "My sincere thanks go out to the (Radio-Television News Directors Association) judges, and to the KNST listeners for their support."

Birmingham, who handles local news for the conservative talk station during its morning drive programming, is now eligible to compete for the national honor. That winner will be announced in June.


For those of you who watch KMSB Channel 11 weekday mornings, you might wonder what's up with those Phoenix newscasts on a Tucson station. Well, by coincidence, the very same group from Phoenix's KTVK Channel 3, the station that allows KMSB to simulcast much of its pre-noon programming, will venture south of the Gila River Casino to show those Valley folk there really is more to the state than the Diamondbacks and Camelback Mountain.

Bisbee, Sierra Vista, Tombstone, Benson, Patagonia, Elgin, Tumacacori, Casa Grande and the Ol' Pueblo itself made the cut for the KTVK State Tour. Keep your May calendars open for an anchor sighting near you!

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