Media Watch


Talk show host Jim Parisi, who last summer told the Tucson Weekly he was pursuing efforts to operate a radio station, has made good on that promise.

Parisi launches Power Talk KEVT 1210 AM on Monday, Feb. 17.

"We looked at three stations, two of them very seriously," Parisi said. "We were talking with money folks for a while, but it was tough to get it going and get everybody to shake hands and get it done. A lot of people don't get the business done because they'll haggle over what I think is a relatively small amount of money in the big picture, so I think the reason we finally got something done is maybe we'll pay a couple grand more than the last group that tried to get it done. I would rather drive the car than not, and we're in a situation where we can have some success."

Parisi will act as station manager as part of a local marketing agreement. The 10,000-watt daytime signal, which reduces power to 1,000 watts at night, will remain under the ownership of Armando Zamora, but Parisi has total control over content.

"I've come to a point that the only way to be happy is doing what I believe in. I'm not doing anything that doesn't reflect how I truly feel, so it will be the most genuine station I can be a part of," Parisi said. "We should have more local programming than most anyone in town. We want to be as local, but as budget conscious, as we can so that we don't go away."

Parisi is attempting to build a local lineup weekdays from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m., and he's off to a strong start. Steve Kass will begin the morning with a two-hour Tucson-focused show, even though he's located in Providence, R.I. Parisi will take to the airwaves from 7 to 10 a.m. And John C. Scott has been resurrected for an afternoon slot from 3 to 5.

"I'm out of the grave," said Scott, who figured his long Tucson radio career had come to an end when KVOI 1030 AM severed its arrangement with him in December. "It's like staring at your funeral listening to people say nice things about you, and then you think, wow, that's me. The eulogies were great." Speaking of his new gig, Scott said, "We'll do fine, and since it's a political year there ought to be greater interest. It's a good time to do this."

This will the be the fifth local AM frequency where Scott has broadcast his show. Since starting the talk-show portion of his radio career in 1989, Scott has been on KTUC 1400, KTKT 990, KJLL (now KWFM) 1330 and KVOI.

Following Scott on KEVT will be former Marine Matthew Conde, who will host a local show from 5 to 7 p.m.

"I think the average person is deeper than just politics," Parisi said. "I don't want it to be just politics."

It won't be. KEVT will play Fox Sports syndicated programming overnight and for the most part on weekends.

"That's one of the reasons I went with sports as opposed to unknown national hosts overnight that only people who are political addicts would enjoy. I want to have all kinds of topics," Parisi said. "The only rule I'm going to have is be open minded. I don't care if you lean left or right. Be open-minded. Listen to the callers, engage with them. You can be funny and give them grief, but be open-minded. Some may see it as weakness. I see it as legit. If you really like the far-right mandate right down the line, you'll find fault in what we do. But we'll have more women listening, we'll have more well-rounded people listening. ... If someone is some kind of activist, I respect what you're doing but you don't define yourself by it. Our catch phrase is the power to think for yourself. We're bringing an alternative in."