Media Watch


Sally Shamrell grew up in Southern Arizona and spent many years as a reporter and anchor at Tucson NBC affiliate KVOA TV 4. But she had other aspirations. Specifically, the pursuit of an acting career, and to do that it meant leaving the position and making a move to Los Angeles.

"I had a good run the first time," Shamrell recalled. "I was in The Young and the Restless six times and did a national infomercial for a brain supplement that paid my rent for a couple years. We lived briefly in New Mexico and I even appeared as a reporter on the Crash TV show on Starz with Dennis Hopper."

"We" was the addition of her husband, which led to something of a detour in her pursuits. And a detour on the global map to spend time with her Australian— born mate. A little over a year ago they returned to the States, and Tucson more specifically. He made a run at an Australian restaurant on Sixth Street, and she returned to local television, this time as co-host of The Morning Blend, the hour-long daily entertainment/brokered program that airs weekdays at 11 on KGUN TV 9.

"I was at the Morning Blend for a year, and there weren't really any opportunities for advancement," Shamrell said. "I went to all the local TV stations and they're all locked into contracts, so I had to look elsewhere and go west, young woman."

West would be a return to LA and a second pursuit of the acting dream.

"I've had a few auditions since being back," Shamrell said. "I feel more comfortable because I know exactly what needs to be done. There's such a learning curve when you first come out about what websites to put your headshots on, the time frame of getting new head shots, updating your resumé. I already know all that so I'm more comfortable getting back into it, and I've already been in front of a couple casting directors that I knew from last time. I think I'll be able to jump back into the thick of it sooner this time rather than last time."

And in the interim, she's landed an opportunity in a familiar profession. Shamrell started a reporting gig for KTLA TV Monday.

"That took a month of pounding the pavement at all the stations," said Shamrell. "I'm excited to get back to work. But it's always the balancing act of working to earn a living and having time to audition."

Yet it's her work experience that might ultimately give her an in for acting opportunities in front of the camera.

"My agent likes that I have that niche of being a real reporter, and he submits me on a lot of TV reporter and anchor roles," said Shamrell, who would like the opportunity, naturally, to get a nice paycheck in pursuits of her dream. But along the way legitimizing the way television news reporting is often portrayed in cinema and on television would be a nice bonus. "Before, it seemed almost every reporter role I auditioned for for independent movies, I'd ask if they wanted me to rewrite this. That's not how we would really say this. In one independent film they said do one take scripted, and one take ad-libbing as if you were really a reporter on scene, and they ended using that take."

So if all goes well, Tucsonans might be able to see Shamrell again. Not reading real news, but reading lines written for her as part of a plum role she landed the second time around.

"I'm an Arizona girl. I grew up in Bisbee," said Shamrell. "There's a soft spot in Tucson, no matter what."

KGUN is still in the market for Shamrell's Morning Blend replacement.


If you were tuning into KEVT 1210 AM between 10 and noon this week hoping to hear former KGUN news director Forrest Carr's addition to local radio, then noticed it wasn't there, don't be terribly alarmed.

According to station manager Jim Parisi, Carr needed an extra week to get up to speed, but that decision occurred past deadline in last week's Media Watch. Hence the mention the program would launch July 7. Carr's radio show is scheduled to debut July 14.


Neglected in the shadows of the great Linkin Park/Sublime snarkfest Twitter war at May's KFMA Day, the event's sponsor radio station helped to raise more than 1,000 pounds of non-perishable food items for the Community Food Bank.

KFMA Day, one of the station's two yearly major concerts, remains the benchmark for radio—sponsored music events in Tucson. Since country station KIIM 99.5 FM decided some years ago it couldn't be bothered with the logistics of attempting to put on an annual country music showcase around the Fourth of July, the KFMA events have separated themselves as a rare example of the impact radio still might be able to generate in terms of playing a role in bringing well-known live acts to town.

Across the hall, classic rocker KLPX 96.1 FM has launched its annual Socks for Soldiers campaign. The station hopes to exceed last year's donation of 2,000 pairs of black, green, tan or navy blue socks. Miller's Surplus, Dunkin Donuts and Larry H. Miller Chrysler-Jeep are participating as drop-off locations. Further information is available at The collection drive concludes August 4.

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