Media Watch

KVOA Power-Outage Broadcast Has '60S Feel

Last week's power outage that affected an estimated 32,000 Tucson Electric Power customers caused a bit of havoc over at KVOA Channel 4, which was right in the middle of the darkness. Because of the blackout, the NBC affiliate was forced to broadcast its April 16 noon newscast on limited generator power.

Anchors Martha Vasquez and Rebecca Taylor did a fine job making the on-the-fly move to a dark studio and working without the aid of teleprompters or snazzy gadgetry. Vasquez and Taylor used two microphones and a cell phone to fill the entire half-hour newscast. During phone interviews, one of the reporters would place a microphone directly onto a cell-phone speaker--and the sound quality was actually pretty good. They also got in-studio assistance from Tucson Police Department spokesman Fabian Pacheco.

Meteorologist Jeff Beamish used a marker and a whiteboard to map out highs and lows for his weather report.


KGUN Channel 9's Erin Christiansen has earned the American Meteorology Society's Certified Broadcast Meteorologist designation. The AMS grants the designation based on scientific competence and effective communications skills in weather presentations. The CBM was launched in January 2005 as an upgrade to the organization's Seal of Approval program.

"The Society's Certified Broadcast Meteorologist designation clearly recognizes that the holders have the educational background and have been tested in their knowledge and communication of the sciences needed to be an effective broadcast meteorologist," said AMS executive director Keith Seitter in a press release.

Christiansen joined KGUN as chief meteorologist in 2006. Prior to that, she was the No. 2 weather personality at KOLD Channel 13.


Veteran sportswriter Corky Simpson, who left the Tucson Citizen as a columnist at the end of the year, has been recruited by to contribute material.

"We're honored to have Simpson join the staff," said senior editor Josh Gershon. "We consider him to be one of the best sportswriters in this state's history, and he brings a wealth of knowledge..."

Simpson spent 27 years as the Citizen's sports columnist. He was named Associated Press National Sportswriter of the Year in 1988 and earned induction into the Arizona Associated Press Sports Editors Hall of Fame in 2003. He also writes a column for the Green Valley News., a school specific sports site in the network, also gets column contributions from Charles Durrenberger, who worked as UA football beat writer at the area dailies.

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