Media Watch

Bob Lee Gets Hall of Fame Nod

KMSB Channel 11's Bob Lee, probably best known to viewers for his work with public-affairs programming, was inducted into the Arizona Broadcasters Hall of Fame last month.

Lee began the Tucson portion of his broadcast career as a director, assistant production manager and operations manager/program manager for KVOA Channel 4 in 1965. He was also employed by KTKT AM 990 radio as a weekend news reporter.

Lee was named the Tucson United Way's first communications director in 1973, and held positions with KCUB, KHOS, KAIR and KJOY during that time frame. He was news director at KHOS in 1976, and played a significant role in the news-talk format change at what is now KNST, which launched in 1980. KNST AM 790 remains the market's most-listened-to AM radio station.

He has worked at Belo-owned KMSB and KTTU Channel 18 as community-relations coordinator and public-affairs director for 10 years.

"Bob is a key member of our management team and works tirelessly to represent the views and concerns of the Southern Arizona community," said local Belo general manager Tod A. Smith in a press release. "We're very fortunate to have someone with his passion and experience with us."

Lee's community-assistance résumé includes the Awareness House anti-drug abuse program; Open Inn, an organization that gives aid to runaways; and the Tucson Rape Crisis Center. He is vice president of the Tucson Pima Arts Council and serves as a member of the ArtWORKS Academy board.


The KUAT Communications Group has nabbed Dianne Janis as communications manager. Janis will oversee and coordinate public-relations responsibilities throughout the company's online, broadcast and cable platforms.

Janis was the public-relations director for the Tucson Jewish Community Center and was named that organization's employee of the year for 2007. Janis has garnered a number of Advertising Federation ADDY Awards and a PRimus Award from the Public Relations Society of America.

"Dianne's talent and experience lend themselves ideally to her position," said KUAT general manager Jack Gibson in a press release. "As the person who oversees getting the word out about the myriad of services we offer to our viewers, listeners and online visitors, she is in a position that is crucial to KUAT's future success. We're very fortunate to have her on board."


KGUN Channel 9 has nabbed Seth Wayne for weekend weather and general-assignment reporting. As is the case with his predecessors Dave Hecht and Bill Harris, much of Wayne's appeal is his personality, and that is what the ABC affiliate hopes comes through.

"He's filled with enthusiasm. We're excited he's here. He's energetic," said KGUN news director Lena Sadiwskyj.

Wayne spent seven years with CBS affiliate KVAL in Eugene, Ore.

"He also freelanced weather in Portland and Seattle for the parent company up there," Sadiwskyj said. "He has big-market experience."


Anthony Cabrera has been hired as a general-assignment reporter by KVOA Channel 4.

"I am thrilled to have Anthony join our news staff," said KVOA news director Kathleen Choal. "He has a good handle on the stories affecting Southern Arizona. I know he is looking forward to being closer to home."

A California native, Cabrera makes the transition to Tucson after a reporting stint in Toledo, Ohio.

"It's been a really great move," Cabrera said. "The weather is awesome, and the people of Tucson have really made me feel at home. I am looking forward to telling their stories."

In other KVOA happenings, Rebecca Taylor is continuing her transition from KTVK in Phoenix to morning-show duties in Tucson. She made her KVOA morning-show debut last week.

Meanwhile, Todd Kunz is leaving for a position in Idaho Falls. Idaho. Kunz handles morning and noon weather. The move places him closer to family. He'll be en route by the end of the month.


Keeping with a recent trend, KOLD Channel 13 promoted from within, nabbing Damien Alameda as the station's new sports director and bumping up Dave Cooney to full-time status in the sports department.

Alameda replaces Scott Kilbury, who took over morning hosting duties.

Within the last year of change, KOLD has also promoted from within in the cases of Heather Rowe and Dan Marries. Rowe replaced Kris Pickel as weeknight news anchor, while Marries moved from weekends to the prime spot a few months later.


Raycom, the company that owns KOLD, has engaged in an early-reminder campaign to make viewers aware of television's oft-delayed but now federally mandated digital transition, set for Feb. 17, 2009.

OK, so it's still 15 months in the offing, but you can't say you weren't warned.

"Raycom has been a spearhead company with this," said KOLD vice president and general manager Jim Arnold. "We realize that if we don't give as much notice as possible and talk about this for as long as possible, then on Feb. 17, 2009, there's going to be a lot of very angry Americans. There is a converter box that will be available for a reasonable price. Basically, if you don't do anything in '09, and you turn on your analog TV set, it's gone. There will be nothing but static."

Arnold says viewers in the analog age need to get moving if they want to keep watching their shows. Tucson television stations are ready to go.

"All stations in town right now are legal," Arnold said. "If none of us did anything else, we'd be fine. Right now, we're good to go."


Speaking of KOLD: For quite some time, the station has broadcast programming from The Tube, an all-music-video outlet, on one of its alternative HD feeds. For a month now, the only programming on KOLD's high-definition station has been a printed statement about the Tube's demise.

That's not very musical.

"Raycom is looking at several options (to fill the programming void)," Arnold said. "Hopefully, we'll have something soon."