Media Watch

It had to get out Som-time

Monday, June 27 was the day the story finally went public. That's when, the website home of KOLD TV 13, first officially reported what every media outlet in the market had known for the better part of six weeks.

Their former crime reporter, a TV fixture for 16 years, had been charged, along with his wife, on counts of child abuse and cocaine possession that Oro Valley Police allege led to their four-month-old child having cocaine in the system, the apparent result of a breastfeeding incident the night of a drug binge at the parents' house.

By now, the details are well known. The story is all over the place, and not surprisingly, given its salacious nature, has even received a pretty significant national run. The predictable outrage followed as well. Som Lisaius and his wife Krystin (who once worked as an on-air personality for KGUN's morning show before leaving the business altogether) are lucky their child is still alive, and not that one compares to the other, but his up to this point successful career in news—a career that included civic, humanitarian and journalism honors, highlighted by earning an Arizona Associated Press Reporter of the Year accolade—was done the moment irony hit the wire.

That irony: Lisaius was the crime reporter for KOLD. The first paragraph in his station bio, removed from the tucsonnewsnow website once his employment was severed, read "Som Lisaius is KOLD News 13's Crime Specialist and the face of Tucson's Most Wanted: the longest running, most successful Crime Stopper segment in Southern Arizona today."

The way it looks, he spent an entire career packaging 80-second most wanted segments, which obviously involved dealing with local law enforcement, only to think it was quite fine to embark on a lifestyle that wasn't so much on the up and up.

Local media knew about this story the day after it happened, and had most of the incident as eventually reported by police on the ready. But then it was a waiting game. And for a while, it was almost as if folks had forgotten. June 9 arrived, the day they were indicted, and still nothing. Lisaius and his wife had to appear in court June 27 before the news finally broke.

And it's gotten exactly the result one would expect.

According to Lisaius' removed KOLD bio, "Som doesn't ... like the stigma of reporters as disaster profiteers, and stresses that their primary goal is to discover what can be learned from even the worst situations. Reporting also has a dramatic appeal for Som, 'I like trying to get to the bottom of things—and finding the real truth in people,' he says. 'We all have stories ... I look at this not only as problem solving, but storytelling.'"

Lisaius and his wife didn't plan on sharing the truth in this real story, but their immediate future, and the future of their family, certainly faces the specter of a heap of problems they have to solve.

Groove names new morning show host

After parting ways with Matt "Rascal" Condie, Scripps owned R&B format 106.3 FM The Groove nabbed a name with Tucson connections for its morning show void.

Krystal Pino returns to the market from a radio music director position in Denver. Pino co-hosted a morning offering at KOHT 98.3 FM prior to the transition to the Mile High City.

"Krystal is excited to start "Groove Mornings with Krystal," that will be a fun, upbeat, positive morning show," said Scripps Tucson Music Director Lois Leslie in an internal memo.

Pino's first day was June 27. The move also allows Dee Cortez to return to full-time weather responsibilities. Cortez had handled Groove morning show duties during the transition.

Elsewhere in the scripps compound ...

The company hired Danyelle Thornton as Digital Manager, a move designed to improve the cluster's internet and social media presence.

"This is a game changer for us," Scripps Tucson Radio GM Leon Clark told staff while noting that Thornton was plucked from iHeart Media, where her role involved many of the same responsibilities.

On the TV side, KGUN 9 promoted Alan Pablic to executive producer of its local news product.

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