Media Watch

McClusky brings talk of the town style format to KVOI

News/talk station KVOI AM 1030 welcomes another daily local show to the fold starting Monday. Shaun McClusky will occupy the 9 to 10 a.m. weekday time slot.

That opening became available thanks to the time change, which pushes syndicated talk host Dennis Prager's start time to 10 a.m.

"I was doing Hammer Time on Sundays from 2 to 3 p.m. on KVOI," said McClusky, who was approached by GM Doug Martin about the potential of a daily program some months back. "Doug liked what I did there, he said I did well when I was on. 'Would you like your own show?' I fill in for (other KVOI hosts). That's no problem. I just turn on the microphone and talk, but I've never had to do the whole production of booking guests and getting the show to work on a daily basis."

Behind the scenes he'll benefit from the assistance of Harry and Ed Alexander, who help KVOI with numerous other programs. On the mic, McClusky hopes to delve deeper into the successes and philosophies of some of the area's surrounding communities.

"That's one of the things the other shows don't do. I want to go a little deeper. I want to hit the council members from Sahuarita, from Marana, from Oro Valley," McClusky said. "I know I'm sometimes adversarial to the Democrats, but I want to give everyone a fair interview. We'll have all the transportation directors on throughout the communities in the county to do some comparative analysis about what's going on there vs. here. I'll do the same with the City Council members; I'll do the same with the mayors."

Much of that analysis and conversation will focus on success stories in Sahuarita and Marana, and why it seems so difficult for Tucson and Pima County to replicate those results.

"Look at Sahuarita. Sahuarita is killing it," McClusky said. "They are one of the nicest cities in Arizona. Their debt flow, their crime rate, their streets are great. If you want an example, that's a pretty damn good example. Look at the flipside, and Marana is crushing it. They were a little foolish and aggressive on the half-cent sales tax, but the mayor assured me they always handle their tax load early. Hang on and bear with me, give me six months. The mall (at Tangerine Road) opens and they're projecting $2.3 million a month. That is going to reduce their debt on the new police station in a rather quick way. What other economic generators can do that? Why can't the City of Tucson do that? Pima County thrives from that too."

McClusky hopes to thrive in the time slot as well. If all goes as planned, this won't be a seasonal show that gives way to Prager once daylight savings goes into effect in March. He plans on being there for awhile, contrasting differences among the economic and philosophical approaches in the region while hoping his voice adds to the conversation in light of Southern Arizona's lingering economic struggles.

"I do believe what I'm saying. I think it's important we do whatever we can to get out of this recession and create some real jobs," McClusky said. "I live here, I love it here. My goodness, it's 80 degrees and I'm walking around in shorts in late October. If we can bottle that we should. We need to accentuate our positives. Marana and Sahuarita seem to understand that. We're ready to rock and roll."

Dan Ryan named best sportscaster in Tucson Weekly's Best of voting

Former KVOA TV 4 sportscaster Dan Ryan, who passed away earlier this year, ranked as the top vote getter in the Tucson Weekly's best sportscaster category. He ousted long-time UA play-by-play announcer Brian Jeffries and current KVOA sports anchor Paul Cicala.

As votes arrive without explanation, it's hard to project an exact reason folks tabulated the forms they way they did. It could simply be their way of honoring a figure who ranked as one of the best-known sports reporters in the market during his long Tucson tenure.

In some ways, it's also a reminder of the impact local television news once had. Ryan was bringing sports scores to Tucsonans during a period when KVOA enjoyed unprecedented ratings numbers. That's when people watched local news.

Those days have been gone for some time, and they will almost certainly not return. When there were limited television choices, and limited access to breaking stories, and no such thing as the Internet and DVR, local TV news played an immense role in the market landscape because it beat newspapers to the punch with its ability to often report stories first. That timeliness made the model viable for stations, and a cash cow as it attracted advertisers by the droves.

Now, local TV might add newscasts and content as much out of desperation as a need to provide constantly updating content. There was a time—Ryan's time—when local TV news brought in big bucks. Now, privately, a lot of sales folk lament how difficult it can be to even attract advertisers to the product on a consistent basis.

There was a certain local stardom that came with that kind of viewership as well, a stardom that has dwindled as less eyes sample the product in an era when an aging few remain. As the next wave of anchors occupy those studio chairs, will they be remembered like Ryan—who last worked at KVOA nearly 10 years ago—in a Tucson Weekly best of many decades from now?

For those of you reading the print issue of the Tucson Weekly, you'll notice the best of insert is a week late due to a production snafu. Other media based winners included KGUN TV's Guy Atchley as best TV news anchor, KGUN's Erin Christiansen as best television weatherperson, Bobby Rich at KMXZ 94.9 Mixfm as best radio personality and Bill Buckmaster as best radio talk show host.

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