Media Watch

Growth Potential Leads Rico to 'Star'

On the surface, Gabriella Rico's decision to jump from her editorial position at the Tucson Citizen business section to the Arizona Daily Star would seem a slap in the face to the afternoon paper, which recently made significant changes to the business portion of its product. However, Rico says this departure--her fourth from the Citizen during a relationship that spans more than 20 years--is about the chance to more thoroughly focus on specific issues that interest her.

"I did not leave the Citizen because I was unhappy," said Rico, who becomes the seventh reporter in the Star's business department. "I joined the Star because it offered me an opportunity to delve into topics that I am very interested in and allows me to continue to develop as a journalist."

Rico is covering economic development, commerce and cross-border trade. She'll also be involved in beefing up the Star's online business coverage and may develop a column at some point.

"The opportunity at the Star feels like a great fit for me at this point in my life," Rico said. "I'm eager to get started on some great projects, and I am grateful that the Citizen gave me the chance to become a journalist and taught me so much."

Rico began her career with the Citizen in 1986 when she joined the paper as the movie-times/public-records clerk. Two years later, she landed a reporting position. In 1993, she took a one-year leave of absence to assist Eddie Basha in his campaign for governor. She returned to the Citizen, but two years later left again to help establish a media policy for the formerly closed-to-the-public Pima County Juvenile Court Center. Once that project was completed, it was back to the Citizen, but in 2004, she departed again, this time for the Gannett-owned newspaper in Salem, Ore.

"It was a great adventure, although it was a shock to move from the desert to a place where sunshine is an event," Rico said.

That journey was short-lived, and she returned to the Citizen for the fourth time. Then came the opportunity at the Star.

"My new boss, Tim Steller, is a great ambassador for the Star and its business section," Rico said. "His ideas and energy are a major reason for my decision to join the newspaper. He seems open to all sorts of crazy ideas and new ways of doing things, so it's an exciting time to team up with him. Everyone at the Star has been so welcoming and has gone out of the way to make me feel at home. I feel very lucky."


Local NBC affiliate KVOA Channel 4 has partnered with Cox Communications to create the Southern Arizona News Network. Located on Cox Channel 3, the station simulcasts KVOA's weekday news broadcasts at 5-7 a.m.; noon; and 5, 6 and 10 p.m. It then replays those newscasts throughout the day.

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