Media Watch

New openings at KXCI; 1290 AM shuffles gigs


Things seem to be progressing rather well at community radio station KXCI 91.3 FM. With the station making headway on its massive Amplify Tucson fundraising drive, the eclectic FM believes now is the time to focus on further financial gift-giving by adding a full-time director of development whose chief responsibility will be to enhance the bottom line.

"The development job functions have been divided among several staff members for a few years," KXCI GM Randy Peterson said via email. "With the ongoing economic recovery and our own maturing as a non-profit organization, KXCI is in a position to add an additional full-time position. I'm looking for experience and enthusiasm, (and) knowledge of the local giving community would be a plus. The job would include the ongoing capital campaign, major giving, helping us establish a legacy gift program and securing sponsorships. Deadline to apply is February 18th."


Apparently, it takes at least two voices to replace outgoing program director Rob Lantz, who last week left sports-talker KCUB 1290 AM for a morning news anchor position at NPR affiliate KUAZ 89.1 FM.

Lantz was the only on-air talent in a management position in the building who worked two separate air shifts. Although other talents who combined their duties paired their management responsibilities with a DJ air shift, Lantz acted as co-host of the weekday afternoon talk show In the House and UA football and men's basketball pre- and post-game shows.

With his departure, the station has filled those slots with two different personalities. Steve Rivera, formerly the UA men's basketball beat writer for the Tucson Citizen and currently a regular contributor of UA men's basketball stories for, joins new host Kevin Woodman (who is now also doing double air shift duty) and analyst Kelvin Eafon for pregame broadcasts, and sporadically for postgame broadcasts, for the remainder of the year. Rivera's writing duties will cut into his ability to consistently contribute to the station's postgame offering, although he'll make it when he can.

"I'm excited about the chance to do this," Rivera said via email. "I get to do one of the things I've always wanted to do—write about sports. I do that and now get to talk about one of the best teams in the country. What's not to like? It's about having fun, being fair and accurate and hopefully being clever and insightful."

Rivera has covered UA men's basketball for more than two decades. He's the author of three books tracking the history of the program.

Mike Luke joins Woodman as co-host of In the House. Luke has worked at the station in a production capacity for the last two years in addition to occasionally contributing on the air.

A double-major graduate in history and journalism from the UA, Luke writes about UA athletics, with a focus on recruiting, for affiliate and has dabbled in a number of other freelance ventures. A sports junkie, Luke possesses a savant-like comprehension that stretches well beyond the confines of Arizona sports.

"My passion for sports and gift for gab will be a quality addition to the show," Luke said. "This is an opportunity I've been visualizing for years and I am incredibly grateful to 1290 and Kevin Woodman for giving me this chance. I intend to make the most of it."

KCUB has yet to make a decision on program director.


For the better part of 20 years, Dino has been a familiar figure in Tucson radio circles. But as with many in the dwindling profession, automation doomed his air time. He has popped back up at Lotus-owned KFMA 92.1 FM, but so far in a limited capacity.

"It's good to be back on the radio in Tucson after an unceremonious bouncing at Journal," Dino said. "I'll show up on the weekend and play loud rock 'n' roll for the Tucsonans who want to hear it. It was fun to get in and talk to people again. For now I'm just another arm in their bullpen."

Dino's radio career started at KRQQ 93.7 FM in 1991. He left briefly for a stint at Lotus in the mid-'90s, then returned to become KRQ's music director and later promotions manager. He left to work for a music tracking service in the mid-2000s, but returned to radio work when that job went belly up in 2010. He worked for Journal's Mega 106.3 FM format, but was let go in October 2011 when the station transitioned to The Groove.

"They decided to totally change the format to The Groove (but) they did the exact same thing other than adding a couple Seal and Wham records," Dino said. "They decided the best way to promote a brand-new shine on the radio station is to get rid of every live person. But now I'm back in the game."


The Cumulus Nash Country imprint continues to creep into the product at local country station KIIM 99.5 FM. The market's top-rated station has removed its former syndicated evening fare and replaced it with different syndicated fare. The change brings Kickin' it with Kix to the market. The format is similar to shows like Nights with Alice Cooper, which fits into the rock format at KLPX 96.1 FM, or Delilah's long-running dedication program, which has aired for years on KMXZ 94.9 FM.

The difference, however, is that Kickin' it with Kix, hosted by Kix Brooks and Donna Britt, is mandated by Cumulus as the evening syndicated option across its country stations nationwide. Beyond the music, the hosts resort to a litany of embarrassing puns during their banter segments, so it's pretty much an evening representation of the worst of morning-drive radio. But if you're into that, and need your fix of Kix in the evening, you know where to find it.

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