Media Watch

KXCI, Andy Morales and AZPM


Community radio station KXCI 91.3 FM is ready to significantly improve its market imprint. Last fall, in conjunction with its 30th anniversary, the station embarked on an ambitious fundraising campaign. Residents answered the call, and as a result KXCI can move ahead with planned enhancements that figure to dramatically increase the station's market reach.

"The station has now raised more than $434,000 in the Amplify! KXCI capital campaign, which includes the $16,000 prize that KXCI won for taking second place in overall number of donors in the statewide Arizona Gives Day event on April 9th," said KXCI GM Randy Peterson via e-mail. "The auxiliary transmitter, antenna and related equipment have been ordered and the station expects to begin installation and testing at the Los Altos tower site at the end of July."

That tower location will give KXCI a greater presence throughout the Tucson region, a significant benefit for an outlet that has spent three decades carving a following with limited community accessibility.

"The new auxiliary transmitter should extend our current reach in to the northwest to about Tangerine Road, although a bit further north in spots depending on terrain," Peterson said. "It will also help us fill in the Catalina Foothills area where we currently start to lose the signal north of River Road. It will also strengthen our signal in all areas we currently reach. No changes are being made to the current transmitter, so there's no risk that anyone who currently receives KXCI will lose the signal with these changes."

It's clearly already been a successful drive, but Peterson hopes the community will see fit to help with some final touches in the weeks ahead.

"There is still more fundraising to be done in the campaign, and we're proud to announce that between May 31 and July 4 we'll be holding a fundraising match challenge, where an individual donor has pledged to match every new gift to the capital campaign during the month of June, up to $35,000," Peterson said. "A successful effort in June will get us past the $500,000 total. Hitting the half-million mark fully funds the expansion of our signal and then we'll be able to enter the final part of our campaign, funding building and technology upgrades including an upgrade to our live performance studio."

The level of community support for the station was especially apparent during the Arizona Gives Day promotion, a drive that benefited numerous charities throughout the state.

"More than 1,000 non-profits participated. KXCI finished second in the whole state, behind only Ben's Bells," Peterson said. "Four of the top five non-profits for most overall donors were Tucson non-profits. The other two were the Humane Society and GAP Ministries."

Additionally, KXCI promoted Cathy Rivers to the role of Program Director, freeing Peterson from dual responsibilities.

"I have been serving as KXCI's acting program director since Jason Repko left the position in August 2011," Peterson said. "Since then many PD duties at the station have been shared across the entire full-time staff. We simply felt like it was time to begin to consolidate those responsibilities back in to one full-time position, and Cathy Rivers was the obvious and excellent choice to assume that role. She has the respect of our programmers and my complete support as we look to continue to improve and grow the station and its impact in our community. In her role as PD, Cathy will have primary responsibility for training and reviewing programmers, selecting new programmers and shows, developing initiatives like our teen show The Kids Are Alright, and the establishment in the coming months of the on-demand archive area for our website.

"We don't anticipate any changes in our eclectic nature, but we do want to work to make what we do even better for the audience. Additionally, in utilizing volunteers there are always openings coming up on our programming schedule as people's availability and interest level change over time."


Andy Morales of, the city's standard-bearer for high school sports coverage, was recognized for his diligent efforts by the Arizona Interscholastic Association, which honored him with the Skip Bryant Award for high school reporting.

"The award is meant to recognize the top person in the media who has promoted high school sports and recognized athletes," said Morales via e-mail. "My goal has always been to recognize all athletes regardless of school size, gender, sport, all star or competitor and I hope I have accomplished that. I believe this award recognizes my efforts on behalf of the families from Southern Arizona and it makes me want to do even more.  It also recognizes the sacrifices my own family has made on behalf of others."

Along with brother Javier, is what the name intimates, a voluminous collection of stories focusing on the sports scene, with emphasis on high school and the UA, in and around the Old Pueblo.


The Arizona Community Action Association paid special appreciation to Arizona Public Media for coverage of issues related to the state's poverty situation. The organization presented AZPM with the Media Leadership accolade during its conference in Phoenix earlier this month.

The award was the result of AZPM's partnership alongside the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona in a poverty forum hosted by the Fox Theater in February.

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