WEEKLY ENDS THREE-DECADE RELATIONSHIP WITH VANDERPOOL
Tim Vanderpool started writing articles for the Tucson Weekly in 1985. But that ended in October when the Weekly severed his role with the paper. And while neither party wanted to get into specifics, it's clear the split was not particularly amicable.
"Obviously, I am very disappointed in how this was handled," Vanderpool said via email. "But I'm busy working on a book, and writing for national publications including Preservation magazine, US Airways, The Progressive and, potentially The Christian Science Monitor where I've been a frequent contributor in the past."
Among his accolades, Vanderpool received first- and second-place reporting awards from the Arizona Newspapers Association for a story focusing on child-molestation prosecutions, a first-place honor in 2009 from the Arizona Press Club for immigration reporting, and a second place short-form award from the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies for his reports on Border Patrol agent Ephraim Cruz.
"Tim Vanderpool is a freelancer and doesn't have an employment contract with the Weekly," Tucson Weekly editor Dan Gibson said via email. "While his work isn't currently scheduled to appear in the paper, like any freelancer, that could change in the future."
RIVERA NAMED HOST OF ARIZONA WEEK
Southern Arizona native Lorraine Rivera has been pegged by Arizona Public Media to host Arizona Week, the Friday evening current-events television show launched by Michael Chihak, who was promoted to news director in October.
"AZPM jumped on the opportunity to bring Rivera on board as producer and host of Arizona Week," said AZPM general manager Jack Gibson in a press release. "She is a highly respected journalist and newscaster and will bring a fresh viewpoint to the public affairs conversation, with the focus on engaging and informing our audience on statewide issues."
Rivera's broadcast career spans the better part of the last decade, much of it with KVOA Channel 4. Rivera handled a variety of reporting and anchoring responsibilities for the station.
Arizona Week airs at 8:30 p.m. Friday and 10:30 a.m. Sunday on KUAT Channel 6. It also airs in Phoenix at 7:30 p.m. Friday on KAET Channel 8.
AND TONIGHT'S COLOR COMMENTATOR IS ...
If you're a consistent listener to UA men's basketball radio broadcasts, you may have noticed a couple of recurring themes. Top-ranked Arizona continues to win, and there seems to be a new color commentator alongside Brian Jeffries on a game-by-game basis.
Arizona's radio broadcasts, aired locally on KCUB 1290 AM and KHYT 107.5 FM, featured three different color commentators over the first five games.
And that trend is going to continue. The reason? The Pac-12 Networks and other television opportunities.
Matt Muehlebach, hired a couple of years ago to handle color commentary on radio broadcasts, has become something of a hot commodity for the fledgling television operation. Last season he assisted with analyst duties on a handful of UA and ASU games. This year that role has been expanded to include Utah basketball broadcasts.
"Muehlebach is very good and has excelled at television just as he has on radio," said Brian Jeffries, the UA's director of broadcasting and radio play-by-play commentator.
So a fallback option is Corey Williams. Well, except when Williams has his own television responsibilities, highlighted by ESPNU basketball broadcasts beginning in early January sprinkled in with the occasional game on FoxSports1. Williams sat alongside Jeffries for the San Diego State matchup and the NIT games in New York City.
When Muehlebach and Williams are otherwise occupied, Jeffries can fall back on Ryan Hansen, who generally acts as network pregame show host for IMG's radio broadcasts. At the moment, Hansen is scheduled to handle color for 14 games this season, which is two more than Muehlebach. That accounts for most of the slate, although there are a couple of scheduling uncertainties for road games in February and March.
The three-headed analyst is two less than last year, when former color commentator Joe Nehls or former UA assistant coach Jim Rosborough stepped in when Jeffries was in a pinch.
"I stole the idea from UCLA," Jeffries said. "Don McLean and Tracy Murray rotate as the Bruins radio analysts due to McLean's television work with the Pac-12. It has worked well for the Bruins Radio Network and so far it's been ideal for us."
KORPELA GOES POOF
Jack Korpela's time in Tucson was short. We all remember Jack Korpela, right? Weekend sports dude, KVOA Channel 4? Yes, that Jack Korpela.
Well, Korpela is no longer the weekend sports dude at KVOA, which makes his stint at KVOA quite short. He started in May.
Korpela worked in Pittsburgh and spent some time with the WWE prior to his tenure with the local NBC affiliate.
Citing employee confidentiality, KVOA would not comment. Korpela did not respond to requests for comment.
KVOI ADJUSTS TO HUCKABEE DEPARTURE
Former Arkansas governor and GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee closes shop on his nationally syndicated radio show on Friday, Dec. 13. The show dissolved largely due to contract issues with Cumulus Media. It's the latest example of increasing volatility among hosts and syndicators over how to split dwindling revenues.
KVOI 1030 AM has a short-term answer: Dennis Miller. Miller will lock down Huckabee's former slot from 8 to 10 a.m., but that will just be a brief holiday thing. At the onset of the new year, the station will push Miller back to late night, add syndicated host Mike Gallagher and another hour of local talk featuring Chris DeSimone.