Media Watch


Tucson Medical Center yanked a portion of its advertising from the Arizona Daily Star following a June 21 article from reporter Mariana Alvarado, headlined, "Citizenship for Sale? TMC Offering Maternity Packages to Mexican Women, Raising Questions on Birthright."

The story noted that TMC has produced a pamphlet promoting a program for affluent Mexican mothers-to-be to give birth in the United States—thus granting American citizenship to the newborn.

TMC representatives met with the Star to air their displeasure over the story. Star representatives were unavailable for comment before our deadline, but sources with knowledge of the encounter said the newspaper stood behind the article.

Julia Strange, the director of communications at TMC, said the decision to remove the Star advertising—which promoted a women's-services event called Spirit of Women—was connected to the timing of the story, but was not meant to be a form of protest against the article.

"The two were separate. I have to make my advertising decisions based on where I'm going to get the best bang for my buck. I don't want to do anything that's going to be negative," Strange said. "If I did a placement that involved our labor and delivery services shortly after that came out, that would have a negative, and so why would I do that? Where's my placement going to be that will be the most positive, the most beneficial to the organization?"

Strange said TMC cuts back significantly on its print marketing during the summer in any case. She added that although TMC was not happy with the article, and TMC decided to move much of the Spirit of Women advertising campaign to other venues (including publications owned by Wick Communications, the owner of the Tucson Weekly), the hospital expects to utilize the morning daily again in the future.

"Did we have concerns about the story? Absolutely. We thought it was a big mischaracterization," said Strange. "Did we pull some of our advertising placements because we tried to determine whether they were appropriate? We did. Is this any kind of long-term strategy? No."


KNST AM 790, the market's talk-radio leader, boosted its lineup by adding Glenn Beck to its struggling PM drive-time slot. Beck's nationally syndicated show had been airing live on KCUB AM 1290, but moved to Clear Channel affiliate KNST on Monday, June 29, and now airs weekdays and Saturdays from 3 to 6 p.m.

"I expect Glenn to win in his time slot convincingly and quickly," said KNST program director Josh Leng. "Glenn Beck is the hottest host on talk radio and television right now. Lately, he's begun to connect with a large segment of Americans who are truly concerned with the direction of the country. He's not bashful about it."

Check out this excerpt from Beck during an interview with KNST morning host Jim Parisi, "We haven't acted in a very long time. We didn't say anything with political correctness. We didn't say anything when people called us racists just for caring about the border. We didn't say anything for so long, and this is where we've ended up. I think more and more Americans are getting to this point. I care about my children. I care about the future of man's freedom. If you're going to tell me I have to accept living in a box created by our government, that they are going to control every aspect of my life, that they're going to run our banks and our cars and our car companies, our businesses and every aspect of energy and health, give me liberty or give me death. If it comes to placing a gun to my head, so be it. Shoot me. There will be another standing behind me. You'll have to shoot him as well, and you will run out of bullets. We are not Europeans that will just be enslaved. We are Americans. We crossed the mountains. We tamed the West. You think you can put those people in a box?"

The move gives KNST the top three nationally syndicated radio-talk programs. Beck trails only conservative talk stalwarts Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity in radio listenership, and his afternoon presence provides KNST with established counterprogramming to Michael Savage, who airs live on chief competitor KQTH FM 104.1. Due to contract issues, Savage maintains the curious distinction of airing on two stations: KQTH broadcasts his show live, while KNST, which used to exclusively house the program, airs it in the evening.

Beck will also run tape-delayed on KNST in his new timeslot. His show aired in the morning-drive slot at KCUB, but the move to KNST puts a six-hour delay on the broadcast.

"His content is quite evergreen and not time-sensitive," said Leng, who noted that Beck enjoys success during the afternoon drive in Salt Lake City and pulls strong early afternoon numbers at KTAR FM 92.3 in Phoenix.

"If there's breaking news where we need to go wall to wall, we'll go wall to wall," said Leng.

Beck's addition shortens The Dave Ramsey Show to one hour, from 6 to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Meanwhile, KCUB (my part-time employer for UA sports pregame and postgame shows) has transferred The Dan Patrick Show to the morning drive, airing live as part of its return to an all-sports format.

"The Patrick show has been successful for us, and carrying the program live has obvious advantages," said KCUB program director Chuck Meyer. "It also defines the radio station more clearly as a sports-talk outlet, which, along with our UA coverage, makes us easier to identify for listeners and advertisers."

For the next couple of weeks, Patrick will air twice, in the morning drive and from noon to 3 p.m. Eventually, KCUB will replace the afternoon slot with a show starring Chris Myers and Steve Hartman, which is part of the Fox Sports radio-syndication package.

The format tweak brings an end to Phil Hendrie's nighttime run on the station.

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