Justice says this persona far better represents his conservative philosophies.
"It was difficult on a lot of different levels doing the rock-station, morning-show type of shows I did," said Justice. "Integrity-wise, I had a hard time with it. ... That's probably why I wasn't a larger success doing rock stuff. I was never really that guy. I could play the role of that guy pretty well, but it wasn't who I was, and as I got older and got married and got kids, doing radio I could be proud of became more important to me."
In addition to KFMA, Justice did FM music-format shifts with stations in Los Angeles and Atlanta, and was in danger of being pigeonholed before he got a break at a talk-radio station in Grand Rapids, Mich. When KZPT changed formats and announced its desire to land a local presence during the morning drive, Justice made the most of it.
"I had always wanted to get back to the West Coast and specifically wanted to get back to Tucson," said Justice. "The opportunity to get on an FM talk station in town in morning drive, if you were going to paint the picture of exactly the kind of job I wanted to get, that was the job."
RAPP WANTS ANOTHER SHOTMeanwhile, former talker Mike Rapp hopes to become relevant to Tucson radio again. Rapp was released from his news/talk morning-show duties at Citadel-owned KCUB AM 1290 The Source, (which employs me for UA pregame and postgame shows), and that decision created a hiatus in an Old Pueblo radio career that has spanned nearly three decades.
"Most of the people in this business are nomadic," said Rapp. "They bounce from place to place, but I've had a very atypical radio career. I've been able to stay here from chair to chair."
Those chairs have spanned three radio conglomerates. Like Justice, Rapp spent much of his career as part of a rock morning-show tandem. His stint at now Lotus-owned KLPX FM 96.1 (the same organization that owns KFMA) preceded Justice's tenure. Rapp then got a break doing morning news/talk at now-Clear Channel-owned KNST AM 790 before returning to the rock format at Citadel-operated KHYT FM 107.5. Rapp was later reassigned to the 1290 talk format, where he and co-host Chuck Meyer conducted a program much more liberal in nature.
Whether another opportunity presents itself remains to be seen.
"As a self-confessed progressive, I think sometimes if I was a right-wing ideologue, I might be more marketable. As such, I think we put on a good show," Rapp said. "I really love radio. ... I've had fun with it, and I'd like to get into it again."