Media Watch


Bill Buckmaster spent 23 years as the host of Arizona Illustrated on Tucson PBS affiliate KUAT Channel 6.

After moving to local radio, he's en route to his second station in five months.

Buckmaster will broadcast his hour-long interview-intensive program on KVOI AM 1030 at noon starting on June 1. He'll finish April at KJLL AM 1330 and take May off.

"I'm really happy about moving to KVOI," Buckmaster said. "It's a much better reach for my program. One of my goals is to syndicate the program, and they already have simulcast partners in Douglas and Globe. The Buckmaster show will be heard in at least eight Arizona counties. I get reports from people who can listen to KVOI all the way to Sky Harbor Airport. That's very attractive from a sales perspective."

KVOI's reach is the result of a signal-swap deal it made a while back to move from 690 to the significantly stronger signal at 1030 AM.

KJLL, Buckmaster's brief stopover, has significant signal limitations. KVOI's time slot better suits Buckmaster as well.

"(KVOI general manager Doug Martin) came up with the idea for a noon show, which really clicked for me," Buckmaster said. "It's designed for a one-hour show, and the noon hour just made really good sense. I like it better than (KJLL time slot) 9 a.m. It's going to be a really good fit. I keep hearing from people saying they love to listen to talk radio in the noon hour. I'm really jazzed."


KOLD Channel 13 brought out the brooms and brushed away the competition in the February sweeps television-ratings period. The important Nielsen-ratings book showed gains for KOLD in just about every news category.

KOLD won the critical local-news blocks where stations go head-to-head, except for the noon news, which went to KVOA Channel 4 by one-tenth of a point.

During the morning drive, from 5 to 7 a.m., the CBS affiliate drew a 2.9 share among viewers 25 to 54 years old. That was more than twice the rating of its closest competitor, KVOA, which garnered a 1.4. KGUN Channel 9 managed just a .8 in the same time slot.

KOLD finished first at 5, 6 and 10 p.m. During the 5 p.m. newscast, it held off KVOA, 3.2 to 2.6. KGUN registered a 1.7. KOLD bested KVOA, 2.8 to 2.4, at 6 p.m., with KGUN delivering a 1.8. At 10 p.m., KOLD nabbed a 3.4 to KVOA's 2.6 and KGUN's 2.3.

All told, KOLD improved significantly in two of the three evening newscasts when compared to the February 2010 ratings period; however, it was off by .4 at 10 p.m. At 6 p.m., KOLD was up 1.3 from the year before, and improved by .9 at 5 p.m.

KVOA's numbers were down across the board when compared to a year ago (by .6 at 5 p.m.; .8 at 6 p.m.; and 2.3 at 10 p.m.), much of which can probably be attributed to the boost provided by the station's coverage of the Winter Olympics in February 2010.

KGUN also took a big hit at 10 p.m. when compared to the same period the year before. It lost half its audience—slipping from 4.6 to 2.3, and suffered a dip of more than a point (down from 3.4) from its November 2010 numbers. The slippage was .4 (from 2.2 to 1.8) at 6 p.m. KGUN did improve by a tenth of a point (to 1.7 from 1.6) at 5 p.m.

KGUN was the last of the three major local news stations in the market to make the transition to HD. It did so just last week.

Fox affiliate KMSB Channel 11 delivered solid numbers for its 9 p.m. newscast, which drew a 1.7 compared to KWBA Channel 58's replay of KGUN's 6 p.m. newscast, which managed a .5.


Clear Channel Tucson looked north in the search for its operations manager, and looked within to fund the cluster's new director of sales.

Chris Pickett begins his job as operations manager at the seven-station cluster on May 2. Pickett held the same position for Clear Channel's Colorado Springs, Colo., cluster before the move, and has programming experience with stations in Indianapolis, Cleveland and Denver.

Pickett replaces Tim Richards, who took over as the producer for the Johnjay and Rich show. Johnjay and Rich, based in Phoenix, is simulcast in Colorado Springs, one of five markets, including Tucson, where the morning show airs.

At his position in Colorado Springs, Pickett was credited for overseeing a cluster that experienced improved numbers at four of its five stations.

Meanwhile, Steve Clement was promoted to director of sales. Clement has worked for stations within the Clear Channel cluster for 20 years (long before they were actually run by Clear Channel). He has occupied a sales-manager role for close to 15 years.


UA graduate and former Tucson reporter Savannah Guthrie will return to the Old Pueblo to deliver the undergraduate portion of the spring 2011 UA commencement speech on Saturday, May 14.

Guthrie, an NBC News White House correspondent, graduated from the UA with a degree in 1993 and parlayed that into a reporter/anchor position with Tucson NBC affiliate KVOA Channel 4.

She moved to Washington, D.C., and eventually earned a law degree from Georgetown University. Guthrie practiced law for a couple of years before returning to television, where she acted as a legal-affairs correspondent for Court TV before transitioning to NBC.

Named White House correspondent in 2008, Guthrie traveled with vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin and has visited more than 20 countries as a member of the White House press corps.

She occasionally handles fill-in roles on the Today show, the NBC Nightly News With Brian Williams and MSNBC programs.

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