Media Watch


Tucson's three major TV-news outlets each walked away with at least one Edward R. Murrow Award, given last week by the Radio Television Digital News Association.

The stations won in the small-market category for Region 3, which includes Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Colorado and Wyoming. Because they are in the small-market category, the Tucson stations didn't have to compete with outlets in Phoenix, Salt Lake City and Denver.

KGUN Channel 9 received a Murrow for Video Investigative Reporting for "PCC Investigation," in addition to awards for Best Newscast and Best Website.

KVOA Channel 4 won a Murrow in the Video Breaking News Coverage category for its coverage of the crash of a Pima County Sheriff's Department helicopter, and KOLD Channel 13 won an award in the Video Reporting: Hard News category for "Desperation in the Desert."


With an important TV-ratings book looming—May is much more significant than the summer book for Tucson television stations and, thus, is the last major ratings period until November—KVOA Channel 4 is counting on improving trends to close the gap with KOLD Channel 13, while KGUN Channel 9 hopes to rebound and make the battle for local TV-news supremacy a consistent three-channel race.

KOLD, still benefiting from the CBS network lead-in, dominated the weeknight 10 p.m. numbers among the all-important 25-to-54-year-old viewing demographic with a 4.5 rating, compared to KVOA's 3.1 and KGUN's 2.4. KOLD was up slightly from November (4.4), and KVOA climbed from 2.8. KGUN dipped from 3.2 in November.

A rating is the percentage of households with TVs in the viewing area.

KMSB Channel 11's news, now produced by Raycom from the KOLD studio as part of a shared-service agreement, delivered a 1.5 for its 9 p.m. newscast, the same as in November. But it still dominated KWBA Channel 58's replay of KGUN's 6 p.m. newscast.

KOLD took a big hit at 6 p.m., going from a 2.7 down to 1.6, which allowed KVOA to win the time slot with a 1.7. KGUN registered a 0.9 at 6 p.m.

KOLD won at 5 p.m., with a 2.4 compared to KVOA's 1.4 and KGUN's 1.0. But that was a significant drop for KOLD, which had a 3.6 in the time slot in the November book.

It's clear that KOLD isn't getting Oprah numbers at 4 p.m. anymore. The local newscast that replaced the talk-show juggernaut has struggled to find a foothold. The CBS affiliate and KVOA, which has run a 4 p.m. newscast for a number of years, both struggled to notch 1s for the time slot.

Local morning fare was weak across the board in the February book. KOLD registered a 1.2 to KVOA's 1.1 and KGUN's 0.9. The 6-to-7 a.m. window was slightly better for KVOA. KMSB's locally produced morning show delivered a 0.3.

For the 10 p.m. Saturday broadcast, KVOA bested KOLD 2.1 to 1.9, with KGUN getting a 1.0. On Sundays at 10 p.m., KOLD rolled with a 4.7 (KGUN 2.5; KVOA 2.1).


It's good to see that Lee Enterprises, the company that owns the Arizona Daily Star, maintains many of the amenities of the modern workplace, such as: top brass running the company into the ground by dramatically overextending its resources; laying off much of the workforce as a result of mismanagement; then surviving a business-friendly bankruptcy proceeding.

Through that process, Lee doled out healthy bonuses to chief executive officer Mary Junck and chief financial officer Carl Schmidt while continuing to "streamline" the organization.

Seems like a perfect way to create a sense of camaraderie among the workforce. What, you mean employees at the Lee-owned St. Louis Post-Dispatch didn't think so? How could that be?

A group of disgruntled Post-Dispatch employees gathered for a "Let Them Eat Cake" protest on April 12. Cupcakes were provided at the noon event, which featured speakers voicing their outrage over recent company practices.

Junck received a $500,000 post-bankruptcy bonus, while Schwartz received a $250,000 payout. On the same day the bonuses were awarded, Lee laid off a number of employees at newspapers throughout the company.

"Since when does tanking a company rate a bonus?" asked Shannon Duffy, a representative of United Media Guild, the largest union at the Post-Dispatch. "For a corporation that saw its stock plummet from $40 per share when it purchased the Pulitzer chain in 2005 to just over a buck a share today, it's unbelievable that Lee's board of directors would reward that kind of performance."

There's no word on whether Lee employees at the Arizona Daily Star gathered for cupcakes.

RADIOEXILES CELEBRATES THIRD ANNIVERSARY, Brian Baltosiewich's website for outcast radio personalities, celebrated its third anniversary on Friday, April 13.

The concept—a one-stop podcast platform mostly featuring professionals victimized by industry downsizing—started when Baltosiewich lived in Tucson. It continues to have a significant Old Pueblo presence, including a couple of podcasts involving me.

Two years ago, career opportunities guided Baltosiewich to Charlotte, N.C. Although some contributors have come and gone, Baltosiewich has remained committed to his project, which continues to grow. now hosts 17 podcasts, each produced once a week, and expects to add more soon. Website upgrades and streaming options are in the offing.

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