Media Watch

The election commercial blitzkrieg is finally almost done

In even numbered years, the great news about the first Wednesday in November is we get a long overdue reprieve from the relentless bombardment of election season ad campaigns.

And this campaign felt especially arduous for residents of Southern Arizona, who not only had to put up with two heavily funded races, the hotly contested Ron Barber/Martha McSally congressional seat and the broo ha ha for governor, but they had to pay witness to the onslaught on more media platforms.

Oh sure, the traditional outlets of newspaper, television and radio got inundated with ad buys, great news only for media companies still hurting in a market where a recession economy stubbornly perseveres, but for those who prefer their entertainment or news options via more modern platforms—whether internet based or by cutting the cable to utilize viewing options such as hulu—there was simply no escape.

It's no longer enough to simply funnel through print, have our eardrums pummeled via AM and FM and eyes assaulted by an avalanche of ads proclaiming the evils of the competition. Now, when all I want to do is stream "Danger 5," "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" or "24" on hulu (apparently only shows with numbers, but not the show "Numbers," are acceptable viewing), instead of learning about food deserts or actors telling me how to save energy in California during hulu's breaks, which generally include as many PSAs as ads, I have to sit through some old dude fixing a motorcycle who isn't going to vote "for a politician" like Martha McSally because she'll single-handedly raise his health insurance premiums, and probably steal his sparkplugs, or that Ron Barber, a democrat, actually had the audacity to vote along party lines more often than not.

And that's just Congress. Meanwhile, if I'm to believe the ads, the first name of the democratic candidate for governor is a "Lobbyist" and the Republican gubernatorial candidate is the corporate greed equivalent of Snidely Whiplash.

I had hoped this was one of the benefits of cutting the cord, saying aloha to print and bailing on repetitive radio in favor of Pandora or an mp3, but the bastards have the game figured out. I can't even watch the WWE Network and hope for a reprieve since it started running ads in addition to the $9.99 a month subscription fee, or goof on snapchat. Ads are everywhere, and it's only likely to get worse.

I'd like to think maybe something as mundane as reading a book, going to the park or accessing VHS copies of Marx Brothers classics might provide an escape, but at this rate, by the next election cycle the evil Koch brothers and George Soros will figure out how to imbed messages through Kindle, in grass sculptures and by lip-synching Harpo to proclaim the grave evils of the poor sap competitor, who will be the worst person in the whole darn world, all while candidates proclaim they're about running clean campaigns.

I fear time is our only salvation. November 5 can't get here fast enough.



When it became clear Kayla Anderson had her eyes on other markets, that allowed KGUN TV 9 to pinpoint her potential replacement with relative ease. Ashley Brewer, who had been handling spot duty in Anderson's absence, officially stepped in as the ABC affiliate's weekend sports anchor/reporter Oct. 25.

In addition to growing up in Arizona, Brewer brings a pretty impressive athletic pedigree to the position.

"I graduated this May from (the) University of Southern California, where I was on the women's swim team and an Olympic Trials swimmer," said Brewer via email.

Furthermore, older brother Charles is a pitcher in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization while younger brother Connor is a backup quarterback on the UA football team. The latter could potentially be a conflict of interest, but Ashley is confident in her abilities to maintain a level of professionalism.

"The other day I texted Connor asking about a teammate's injury," Brewer noted. "His response, 'Sorry, I can't tell you unless it's released to the media.' I was cracking up ... and of course dropped it because I don't want to put Connor in a position where he could get in trouble or do something unfair to the program.  I was a college athlete not too long ago and completely understand his position.  I have a job and Connor has a job as a student-athlete, which I will respect in this new position as a Tucson reporter."

Brewer grew up around athletes and reporters, so the career path into TV was an easy decision.

"I have dreamed of a career in television since I was a little girl watching my mother, Deborah Pyburn Brewer, who was a news anchor for CBS in Phoenix from 1980-1989," Brewer said. "I knew from an early age that I wanted to be a sportscaster someday. After graduation, I became a sideline reporter on Cox 7 Arizona, covering college football games in Phoenix.  I had been in touch with KGUN after reaching out to Tom Burke, our amazing news director, and was hoping and praying for this job as the weekend sports anchor.  In late September, I finally got the phone call offering me the job and I took it on the spot."


KIIM FM 99.5 afternoon drive DJ and program director Buzz Jackson will collect his first CMA award for medium market personality of the year this weekend. Jackson broke through with the win after two previous nominations. This award gives him something of a country music sweep. He also has an Academy of Country Music honor in the same category.

The CMA Awards will be broadcast this Sunday in Nashville. Jackson's honor is handled during off-air ceremonies earlier in the weekend.

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