Media Watch

Rosenberg left lasting impression on Citizen, and Tucson

George Rosenberg died last week at the age of 99. His contributions to the community where he spent the majority of his life were much deeper than the two decades he spent with the Tucson Citizen.

Rosenberg received the city's Man of the Year honor in 1967 and the Governor's Arts Award in 1990. He spent time on the Board of Directors at the Tucson Medical Center, Tucson Citizens Water Advisory Council, was an administrator at St. Gregory's Prep and played important roles in the UA's humanities and poetry programs. Rosenberg was also deeply involved in the Tucson Symphony.

Rosenberg started his stint at the Tucson Citizen in 1947 and concluded his run as managing editor 20 years later. At the time, the Citizen was the city's highest circulation newspaper.

Rosenberg is survived by his wife of 70 years, five children, 10 grandchildren and a great-grandchild.

Stockholders not enamored with latest Lee financials

Lee Enterprises, the entity that publishes the Arizona Daily Star, continues to make a profit, but the numbers aren't nearly what investors had hoped.

Despite some figures that seem to reflect reasonably well, the number that caught the attention of stockholders was a 3.4 percent decrease in operating revenue when compared to the same period a year before. Lee argues the month-to-month revenue trend is showing improvement.

On the negative end of the slate, advertising and marketing revenue decreased nearly 9 percent, with classified and national advertising showing double-digit declines. The one-time money stream of classified advertising continues to get crushed in the updated newspaper model. Classified employment revenue was down 14.5 percent. Same with automotive classified. Real estate dipped 16 percent.

Hopefully, the real estate deal for Lee's attempt to get $15 million out of its sale of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch building is helping to defray some of those classified losses.

The positive side of the ledger includes a 9.4 percent subscription increase. The publishing company says digital subscribers across its multiple properties topped 1 million.

As bare bones as it's seemed for some time, Lee still managed to trim operating expenses by more than 5 percent.

The paper, however, is ahead on payment for its first Lien Term Loan as part of its bankruptcy settlement. It dedicated more than $19 million to debt in the spring quarter.

Upon receiving the news of the drop in operative revenue, investors bailed in a hurry. Prior to the information, Lee stock was regularly selling above $3 a share. Since then, it has lingered much closer to the $2.50 range. A year ago, the stock was creeping toward the $4 threshold. Its current selling level is still significantly greater than when the publishing company's stock slipped well below the $1 requirement to remain on the Stock Exchange. During that window, at the height of the recession, NYSE made numerous exceptions to that requirement.

R-Dub finds new home

It didn't take long for Sunday Night Slow Jams host R-Dub to find a new place on the dial for his popular syndicated program. Shortly after announcing iHeartMedia had ended its lengthy relationship with the long-time Tucson resident (he currently works in San Diego), world traveler, fledgling movie mogul and taco food reviewer, Dub (real name Randy Williams) agreed to terms with Cumulus-owned classic hip-hop format KSZR 97.5 FM.

"Even after self-syndicating the show and airing on over 100 radio stations every Sunday, anyone who knows me knows that Tucson is and always will be, the most important city to me. Both professionally and personally," said R-Dub in a statement announcing the move on "So while it came to me as a shock when I was informed that the company I had been with for 18 years was dropping my show ... I was actually super-excited and re-energized at the chance to join a radio station that really appreciates the music and understands Tucson's love for both Classic Hip-Hop and Sunday Night Slow Jams."

Slow Jams airs Sunday evenings from 6 p.m. until midnight.

It's the latest strong move for 97.5, which appears to have hit a chord among numerous listeners in the market. Vibe's first ratings book was very encouraging, and its appeal and recognition continues to increase.

"ONE FAVOR:  Now that I am on a new station, I am humbly asking for you to, 1)  Make the SWITCH over to 97.5 The Vibe, and 2)  Please share the news," said R-Dub in his statement.  "Please let all your friends and family know that the new home for Sunday Night Slow Jams is 97.5 The Vibe."

Scripps in market for new engineer

Scripps, which owns four radio stations and TV signals KGUN 9 and KWBA 58, is embarking on a search for a new chief engineer after RJ Russell announced he is leaving for Philadelphia.

"Since arriving here RJ has spent his time focusing on making sure that all of our properties were/are working to their best capacity," said Tucson Scripps Radio GM Leon Clark in a company memo. "Our engineering needs had been sorely neglected prior to his arrival. Along with the excellent team of engineers that he has brought on, we are in a much better place today because of him."

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