Xfinity Home will make a house a ‘smarthome’ - Inside Tucson Business: Media Watch

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Xfinity Home will make a house a ‘smarthome’

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Posted: Friday, December 7, 2012 6:00 am

Cable TV companies aren’t just cable companies anymore. In addition to that basic service they’re now also Internet service providers, phone companies and going in whatever new direction technology allows. The latest direction for Comcast begins Wednesday (Dec. 12) — 12/12/12 — when it launches Xfinity Home in the Tucson market.

Kelle Maslyn, corporate affairs manager at Comcast Tucson, says that while the heart of it is a home security system, it does more, turning your home into a “smarthome.”

Among the features available it allows subscribers to keep tabs on what’s going on in the home via alarms, including smoke alarms, and video cameras as well as control the thermostat and lighting. These features can be accessed both through a central control system within the house or remotely online or through mobile devices.

Pricing starts at $29.95 per month for the basic system. The premiere package that includes controllers for thermostats, lights and two video cameras starts at $49.95 per month.

Names in news

Some changes at Cox Communications where director of public relations Bob Janus and director of media relations Michael Dunne have left their positions as part of a broader company-wide reorganization. Janus left in October and Dunne left at the end of November. In their places, Cox has named Stephanie Barat Healy as director of public affairs. Healy comes from the Southern Arizona Leadership Council where she was an executive vice president. Prevously she had been president of the Hospital Council of Southern Arizona and director of economic development for the Tucson Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, now known as the Tucson Metro Chamber.

KGUN 9’s newest reporter is Liz Kotalik, a new graduate from Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication where she was an anchor and reporter on Cronkite NewsWatch, a nightly 30-minute newscast produced by ASU students. She grew up in Phoenix and starts to work at KGUN on Jan. 2.

Former “Good Morning Tucson” co-host Steve Nuñez is the new news director at KSWT, the CBS affiliate in Yuma. He left KGUN in October and started in Yuma two weeks ago.

Delivery weight: 5lb, 2½oz

The results are in: The Thanksgiving day edition of the Arizona Daily Star weighed in at 5 pounds, 2½ ounces. Darrell Durham, director of market development, reports the record-setting edition contained 1,020 pages of news and advertising, including up to 103 advertising inserts depending on the delivery zone. The inserts alone represented 876 pages.

Additionally, the Star broke some new ground with the Nov. 22 issue, which was available to home delivery subscribers and through more than 500 retail outlets. That day’s newspaper was not sold in news racks.

The Thanksgiving day edition was the culmination of a 10-week advertising sales and production effort that began just after Labor Day.

TeleFutura makeover

TeleFutura, a Spanish-language network Southern Arizonans see on KFTU 34/3, is rebranding itself as the UniMas Network as of Jan. 7. Parent company Univision Communications Inc. made the announcement this week culminating a year of expansion that has included the launch of four other new networks: Univision Deportes, Univision tlnovelas, Foro TV and UVideos. Delivery of those networks is mostly through cable and satellite companies.

Programming on the new UniMas will include content from Spanish-language producers around the world including Caracol Television, RTI Colombia and Televisa, including “Made in Cartagena” produced by Caracol Television and “Quien Eres Tu” (“Who are You”) from RTI Colombia. Also in development is a project based on the novel “Diablo Guardian” by Xavier Velasco.

Ratings update

The latest TV ratings for the Tucson market are due out just before the end of the month — Nielsen’s way of saying Merry Christmas — but judging from trends nationally and in other markets, NBC and KVOA 4 are probably crossing their fingers for what could be one of their best showings in nine years.

NBC was along among the major networks in seeing audience growth during November, winding up close but No. 1 among viewers 18-49. Among all viewers, CBS remained No. 1 with an estimated 10.28 million, ABC was second with 7.93 million, NBC close behind with 7.92 million and Fox suffering some of the bigger setbacks, down 25 percent to 6.25 million.

Along the way, more shows have been cancelled: “Partners,“ (CBS, 7:30 p.m. Mondays , KOLD 13), “666 Park Avenue” (ABC, 9 p.m. Sundays, KGUN 9), “Last Resort” (ABC, 7 p.m. Thursdays, KGUN) and “Emily Owens M.D.” (CW, 8 p.m. Tuesdays, KWBA 58).

Contact David Hatfield at or (520) 295-4237. Inside Tucson Media appears weekly.

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