EDIBLE BAJA ARIZONA GAINS TRACTION
Nearly nine months ago, Doug Biggers, co-founder of the Tucson Weekly, embarked on something rather crazy. He launched a print magazine in the digital age.
And then something really crazy happened. As the fourth issue hits the streets this week, interest in Edible Baja Arizona has exploded. The page count has nearly doubled and advertising has tripled.
"To see the growth in advertisers from 60 in the first issue to 175 in the last issue, we must have touched a nerve," Biggers said. "I think the main thing is the editorial quality, from the quality of content to the quality of printing. There are a lot of magazines, but there's nothing quite like it. The community was very ready to have this celebratory, substantive communication focused on growing the local economy. That's a very broad spectrum, from growing little tiny businesses into larger companies, to addressing how we feed ourselves here. Ninety-five percent of the things you eat are trucked in. If that was to stop, this place would be a Hohokam village 100 years after they were gone. It's addressing on a fundamental level how we can change the food system."
Like-focused publications have popped up in a number of communities across the country. Biggers pays a small fee for the rights to the Edibles banner, but beyond that, the content and the approach of the magazine are his.
"I think we're plugging into a zeitgeist out there as more people find local food increasingly important to add to an improved quality of life and strong local economies," Biggers said.
Edible Baja is available at locations throughout town. For more info, check out ediblebajaarizona.com.
DeSIMONE ADDS NEW SHOW AT KVOI
Chris DeSimone, co-host of Wake Up Tucson on KVOI 1030 AM, has added a show from 8 to 9 a.m. weekdays that will focus on a variety of issues pertinent to the community. DeSimone said he will be assisted by a rotating band of co-hosts who will provide different takes on the issues.
"We'll talk about certain things with certain people in their area of expertise," DeSimone said. "Of all the morning shows, even though we're labeled conservative Republicans, we have Democrats on all the time," he said, naming Mayor Jonathan Rothschild, Tucson City Councilman Paul Cunningham and state Sen. Steve Farley. He said other regulars will range from Dan Gibson, editor of the Tucson Weekly, to Rocco DiGrazia, the owner of Rocco's Little Chicago Pizza and current president of Tucson Originals. "Rocco and I will do one hour a month and all we'll do is food and restaurants. Herb Stratford will talk arts; Jerry Bustamante on small business. It's a format where we'll find out what's bugging them right now, what are they working on."
But politics will still occupy a large portion of the conversation. "That will be fun," he said.
DeSimone and his Wake Up Tucson partner, Joe Higgins, continue to carve a niche for themselves in the local talk arena. Wake Up Tucson, which airs from 6 to 8 a.m. weekdays, is a few months away from celebrating its fifth year on the air, and DeSimone says the program has the ear of area movers and shakers.
"Our show has gotten amazing feedback," he said. "On the government side we know that 90-something percent of staff and almost all elected employees listen to the show. Tucson is made up of all these different voices, and we don't shy away from anything. We want straight answers. If you're a political person, do you live to serve? Whatever you say you do, are you good at it? That's what we want."
ESPN TUCSON TO LAUNCH UA PRE- AND POSTGAME SHOW
For the better part of the last decade, Brad Allis and I were co-hosts for the UA football and men's basketball pre- and postgame broadcasts on KCUB 1290 AM. That relationship dissolved over the summer, but we're scheduled to launch a programming alternative on ESPN sports affiliate KFFN 1490 AM/104.9 FM.
Arizona Game Day will start an hour before tipoff of UA men's basketball games. A two-hour call-in postgame show will begin shortly after the final whistle. This gives listeners the opportunity to comment about what they watched almost instantaneously.
KCUB is restricted in its call-in options due to network responsibilities. Its call-in show generally doesn't start until at least 50 minutes after the game ends. KFFN hopes to attract an audience that lately hasn't had the opportunity to give immediate feedback on the games.
I've co-hosted UA pre- and postgame shows on KNST 790 AM and KCUB, sans a couple of hiccups, since 1998. Allis is the editor of Wildcatsportsreport.com, a UA sports website connected to the 247 network. In addition to his decade behind the mic breaking down Arizona sports in the Tucson market, he is a regular guest on regional radio talk shows and has made numerous appearances on the Pac-12 Networks.
Arizona Game Day begins its broadcast run in time for No. 1 Arizona's highly anticipated Thursday, Jan. 9, matchup at UCLA.