It has been a mad rush but come Wednesday (Feb. 1), KOLD 13 officially takes over production of the newscasts on KMSB 11, includiing the debut of a new morning morning show, "Fox 11 Daybreak," that will air from 7-9 a.m. weekdays.
The KOLD effort has been fast-tracked since the Nov. 14 announcement that its parent company, Raycom, and Belo Corp., owner of both KMSB and KTTU 18, had signed a shared services agreement.
There's a couple of loose ends that won't meet the Feb. 1 deadline.
It will be another two weeks or so before KOLD takes over the master control switching operations for the Belo stations. Debbie Bush, vice president and general manager at KOLD, said her station is test-running the switching equipment so in the meantime, Belo will continue to handle the master control operations from Phoenix for both KMSB and KTTU.
And construction to house Belo's sales staff at KOLD's studios isn't finished so they will remain at the KMSB/KTTU building until the end of February.
Some of the other final details:
• Chris Holmstrom has been named the anchor of the weekend newscasts, at 5:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday on KOLD and at 9 p.m. both days on KMSB. Holmstrom came to KOLD in August as a reporter. A graduate of Northern Arizona University, had been in southeastern Washington state working for the NBC affiliate serving the cities of Pasco, Richland and Kennewick.
• Cuyler Diggs is moving over from KMSB to do the weather on both the KOLD and KMSB newscasts on Saturdays. KOLD's Aaron Pickering will do the same on Sundays.
• David Kelly, who has been doing sports at KMSB, will do weekend sports on both KOLD and KMSB.
• The 20-minute "Fox 11 Sports Force" show that has been airing at 9:40 p.m. Sundays on KMSB will go away, replaced by a traditional hour-long newscast from 9 to 10 p.m.
• "Good Morning Arizona," the Phoenix-based live morning show that has been airing from 5-9 a.m. on KMSB, will no longer air in Tucson. Coupled with the launch of the new live local show starting at 7 a.m., Belo has decided to replace the first two hours with repeats of the nationally syndicated programs.
Star parent's bankruptcy
No creditors objected in bankruptcy court to Lee Enterprises restructuring plan of almost $1 billion in debt so U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kevin Gross on Monday approved it and said it could begin immediately. Ken Kansa, an attorney with Sidley Austin representing Lee Enterprises, said he anticipates getting everything in order and officially exiting bankruptcy on Monday (Jan. 30).
Although not all creditors had agreed to the plan, Lee Enterprises had agreements from enough to force the issue, which refinances the debt out to 2015 and allows for conversion of some of it for to a 15 percent equity stake in the reorganized company.
Lee Enterprises, based in Davenport, Iowa, owns 48 daily newspapers including the Arizona Daily Star, the assets of which were not part of the Dec. 12 bankruptcy filing.
Earlier this month, Lee Enterprises reported its operating revenue for the quarter ended Dec. 25, 2011, were down 3.9 percent from a year earlier to $199.6 million.
Names in news
Jane Amari, the last publisher and editor of the Arizona Daily Star under Pulitzer ownership, has hung up the spurs, so to speak, from her 45-year newspaper career. For the past seven years she has been publisher of the San Pedro Valley News-Sun in Benson and Arizona Range News in Willcox, both of which are owned by Wick Communications, the same company that owns Inside Tucson Business. Amari was at the Star from 1999 to 2005, leaving when Pulitzer Inc. was sold to Lee Enterprises. She and her husband, Roberto, bought a 460-acre ranch near Benson where they own American Saddlebred horses. Pior to the Star, Amari held management positions with Gannett, Knight-Ridder, Times Mirror and the Kansas City Star.
The rumors can stop with the announcement from Journal Broadcast Group that it has re-upped Jon Justice to continue hosting his 6-10 a.m. weekday radio show on the Truth, KQTH 104.1-FM. Terms of the new deal were not announced. There had been rumblings in media circles that Journal might not be able to hold on to Justice. It was even suggested that the company launched James T. Harris' 10 a.m.-noon show in October to establish him as a potential replacement for Justice. Of course the Journal folks never acknowledged the rumors.
Adam Weyne, who gained friends in the Tucson market during his four years as general sales manager at KOLD until November 2007, has moved on yet again and is now the director of sales at KFMB-TV, the CBS affiliate in San Diego. Since leaving KOLD, Weyne had been the director of sales at KNXV, the ABC affiliate in Phoenix.
Addy special awards
When media types start to get an inferiority complex about the Tucson market, I often point out that in the 1980s the advertising agency of record for the multimillion dollar Arizona Office of Tourism account was not a Phoenix firm but Taylor Advertising, headquartered in Tucson. And that wasn't the only big-time account the agency had either. In a long overdue acknowledgement, the American Advertising Federation Tucson is giving Jay Taylor its Silver Medal Award this year. The Ad Fed has been handing out the Silver Medal Award since 1959 in recognition of outstanding contributions to advertising and who have been active in furthering the industry's standards, creative excellence and responsibility in areas of social concern.
Other recipients of special Ad Fed awards this year: Fran Katz, associate publisher of Tucson Lifestyle magazine, will receive the Phyllis Ehlinger Women of Excellence Award; Allen Kath, best known now as "Big Al our Traffic Pal" for the Journal Broadcast Group, will get the Golden Mic Award; and Kevin Madden, CEO and founder of Madden Publishing, is getting this year's Golden Pen award.
The awards will be handed out as part of the 31st annual Addy Awards gala Feb. 18 at the Fox Tucson Theatre, 17 W. Congress St. Information about the event is on the Ad Fed's website: www.aaftucson.org/.
Contact David Hatfield at firstname.lastname@example.org or (520) 295-4237.
Inside Tucson Media appears weekly.