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Herreras named new Tucson Weekly editor

After seven years with the Tucson Weekly, Mari Herreras has been promoted to editor.

"To me it's more than just being an editor of an alternative newsweekly," said Herreras via email. "Alt runs in my blood, but so does Tucson caliche. This is my hometown and I returned more than seven years ago for many of the same reasons many of us come back—we just can't get this place out of our hearts or heads."

During her tenure as a reporter, Herreras penned many of the publication's cover stories, which included investigative reports, human interest and culture driven pieces. Many of those elements figure to play a prominent role again as she puts her touch on the publication.

Two new staff writers join Herreras. Heather Hoch, who came to Tucson from the Phoenix New Times, is focused the Old Pueblo's culinary, libation and nightlife aspects. A second staff writer, focusing on news, joins them officially on Monday, Dec. 15.

"(Hoch) has reached out to sources and gotten to know our food scene," Herreras said. "Heather can write just about anything, but she's shaping up to be our food and cocktail queen and that's perfectly fine with me. We need one. Next week we will formally announce the addition of another new staff writer, who will focus on the kind of news and human interest stories we also like doing at the Weekly."

"I can't imagine that I'd ever neglect news. With an additional staff writer interested in the same stories that I know our readers love--investigative pieces, border-related issues, LGBT-community news and more--we're going to be in an amazing place."

And while she continues to get accustomed to her new role with the publication, seven years on staff has given Herreras a good idea of what she'd like to see implemented or tweaked.

"There are other changes ahead, but most will be gradual," said Herreras. "Some are in this issue, like bringing Chow, our food section up front behind news and a few additional design changes that we haven't had a chance to complete since the initial redesign we did after our purchase by 10/13. In the Editor's Note this week, I'll be letting people know that we're returning to letters to the editor and occasional locally written guest opinion pieces. I've missed those and believe in reader and community voices being part of the paper."

Herreras replaces Dan Gibson, who has accepted the position of Director of Corporate Communications for visittucson.org. Gibson spent nearly two years as editor of the Weekly, which included the paper's purchase from Wick Communications by 10/13 Publications, which utilizes the moniker Tucson Local Media as an umbrella for its multiple area publications, which include The Explorer, Foothills News and Marana News, among others.

"While I'll miss the Weekly and its staff something terrible, I'm excited for new opportunities and the continuing chance to tell stories about Tucson and share the great things happening here," said Gibson on his Facebook post.

Gibson replaced long-time editor Jimmy Boegle, who launched the Coachella Valley Independent.

Said Herreras, "I'm grateful for the position I find myself in as managing editor--grateful to my former editors Jimmy Boegle and Dan Gibson, whom I love. Each came in with their own visions for the Weekly. That's what editors do, so here I am, addressing challenges and planning."

KEVT adds Rich Eisen to lineup

KEVT AM 1210, the independently owned radio station which airs a combination of locally produced politically driven talk, early afternoon liberal syndication and the Fox Sports Network, has added syndicated sports talker Rich Eisen to its lineup.

Eisen, known for his work covering the NFL, launched his radio product last month. And so far so good. Even though there's an increasingly cluttered collection of sports chat options on radio, Eisen's quick wit and often self-effacing sarcasm fits well into the model. Just how much of a demand is there for sports talk? Eisen already has 145 station affiliates nationwide.

Eisen airs on KEVT weekdays from 10-noon.

TeleXitos added to Telemundo lineup

Since the advent of high-definition and the transition to digital television signals, numerous local stations have added syndicated programming networks to their lineups.

Generally speaking, these stations, which piggyback off the additional bandwidth made available by the digital transition, air cheap to purchase programming that dominated more limited airwaves and had popular runs decades ago. If you're into the nostalgia and old TV thing, it's pretty enjoyable. Viewers with simple over-the-air antenna access (stations are available more inconsistently depending on the cable or satellite provider) can check out the likes of Marcus Welby and the Six Million Dollar Man on COZI TV 4.2, which is the piggyback signal for KVOA; Sanford and Son, Mork and Mindy and a variety of classic sit-coms on Antenna TV on 9.2 (the KGUN piggyback): or The Rockford Files on MeTV (13.2, KOLD piggyback).

Now Telemundo has joined the party with TeleXitos, which airs a combination of easy-to-access American movies and television shows. Not that I speak Spanish, but as I type this I'm pretty sure TeleXitos is airing Kull The Conqueror, which features Kevin Sorbo in hair extensions, so I'm pretty stoked.

It also airs infomercials in Spanish, and right now I'm dangerously close to purchasing the Hurricane Spin Mop by checking out comprespinmop.com. I think you can pick up two of these babies for $19.99 plus additional shipping and handling.

Anyway, back to TeleXitos.

"We are excited to unveil TeleXitos – our exciting, new national network – to Spanish-language viewers all across the country. This expansion allows us to once again better serve our local communities with more programming that is relevant, exciting and of interest to them," said Manuel Martinez, President of the Telemundo Station Group in a quote from the obligatory press release I cut and pasted while watching Kevin Sorbo in Kull the Conqueror.

Sorbo must have a stake in the venture. Hercules is part of the station's syndicated lineup, along with Xena, the A-Team and Miami Vice.

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