CHANGES AT KVOA, KOLD
NBC affiliate KVOA Channel 4 has revamped its Tucson Today anchor team.
The morning-news program, which has suffered from recent ratings woes, will now feature John Overall and Danielle Lerner in the anchor chairs. Overall has been with KVOA on two occasions, and has been one of the more-underutilized anchor talents in the market, perhaps partially due to his versatility in the field. Lerner recently joined KVOA from San Luis Obispo, Calif.
Former morning anchor Brandon Gunnoe is being reassigned to reporter duties during the week and will join Emily Guggenmos on the weekend anchor desk.
Martha Vazquez will anchor KVOA weekday newscasts at noon and 4 p.m., while Kristi Tedesco and Tom McNamara will handle anchor duties at 5, 6 and 10.
Over at KOLD Channel 13: If you happened to be watching over the weekend, you likely noticed a new person in front of the weather charts. That's ASU grad Troy Barrett filling in while chief meteorologist Chuck George continues his leave. The station has announced George is expected to be away for a total of six weeks.
The Cumulus takeover of bankrupt Citadel went into effect last week.
Locally, Cumulus is now responsible for the five-station cluster that includes market leader KIIM FM 99.5.
Atlanta-based Cumulus now ranks as the No. 2 radio conglomerate in the country, with 570 stations under its banner. Only Clear Channel has more.
Citadel's downfall was due to classic overexpansion. Not content to be a profitable operator of stations in medium-sized markets, it got itself into deep debt by swallowing Disney's ABC Radio. Shortly thereafter, the economic bubble burst.
Cumulus stock traded around $2.35 on Monday, Sept. 19, near its low for the year.
Obligatory disclosure: I work for Cumulus' KCUB AM 1290 in a pregame and postgame capacity for UA football and men's basketball broadcasts.
Meanwhile, troubled Davenport, Iowa, newspaper publisher Lee Enterprises, which operates the Arizona Daily Star, has bought itself some time.
Lee has successfully pushed back some of its debt—two liens originally due in April 2012—to June 2015 and April 2017. A first-lien term loan of $689.5 million comes due in June 2015. A second loan of $175 million matures in April 2017—and the interest rates aren't low.
Lee stock, which was threatened with delisting last month due to its inability to maintain the New York Stock Exchange requirement of trading at $1 or more, jumped from 60 to 90 cents on the day of the news, but has since leveled off in the 80-cent range.
Lee laid off 52 Arizona Daily Star employees in July.