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KCMT PROGRAM DIRECTOR LEAVES FOR SAN DIEGO

In the radio-ratings game, the top of Tucson's pecking order is pretty predictable: Some combination of adult-contemporary KMXZ FM 94.9 (MixFM), country KIIM FM 99.5 and Top 40 KRQQ FM 93.7 will occupy the top three spots. Been that way for a long time. Will continue that way for the foreseeable future.

But among Tucson's significant Hispanic community, Spanish-language music format KCMT FM 102.1, aka La Caliente, is every bit as dominant. That success has led to recognition for program director Enrique Mayans, who—after five years of handling the day-to-day management of the station—has accepted a similar position overseeing numerous Spanish-language formats for a cluster of stations in San Diego.

"It's real hard to leave Tucson. It's a nice place," Mayans said. "Here, there is quality of life, not like in big cities where Monday through Friday, all you think about is work, and that's it. ... Here, I see people leaving work at 5:30, going to the gym, going to the movies, a restaurant, whether it's a Tuesday or Wednesday. People live life here."

He admits he may not find the same qualities in a bigger city, but San Diego is roughly an hour and a half drive from his hometown, Ensenada, in Baja California. With the added financial benefits and management responsibilities, there was no way he could pass up the opportunity.

"Two years ago, I got an offer to go to San Francisco," Mayans said. "I was so comfortable here that I turned it down, but when I got the offer for San Diego, which is kind of my hometown, I couldn't say no. It is a big challenge. I like that. It will be a lot of work, but it's a step up in my career."

Mayans saw plenty of success during his five years in management at KCMT. In addition to dominating Tucson ratings for the format—a trend that began even before his arrival—KCMT was awarded Best Latin Station honors for the market size in 2008 by Radio and Records.

"That was the bible for radio. Getting that R and R award for the station has also made me get a couple of good offers for my career. Prospective employers want to know: 'What is this guy doing, and why are they so successful?' Mayans said. "First, musically, we cater to the audience here. It's a different type of audience. I've been in different markets in the U.S., and the other markets are similar, but in Tucson, you get a high concentration of people from northern Mexico. Sonoran people are about 85 percent of our audience. Our radio station caters to the musical taste of the Sonoran people. The company provides research tools and music-testing. We believe in a lot of that instead of just having a gut feeling of what to play. We try to know very well our people, and what it is they really like.

"We get involved in the community. Our listeners in Tucson, they know when there's something relevant, like the struggles with immigration, they can tune to our station and find out what's happening and what's important to their families, bad and good. Their voice is our station. We are very involved with our community. We love to do that. Our people are so loyal to our station. It's incredible how long they listen to our station—many hours a day. I've never seen numbers like that in any other market."

Arbitron numbers for Tucson stations with Hispanic listening patterns have notorious fluctuations. Two ratings books ago, KCMT registered an astounding 7.0 share among listeners 12 and older. That was good for fourth overall in the market, and it scored remarkably high in the coveted 25-to-54 demographic. But in the book after that, the number dipped to 6.0. For the fall 2011 ratings cycle, KCMT netted a 4.5—a dramatic drop, to be sure, but still good enough to be the top Spanish-language format in the market.

One of Mayans' last management duties with KCMT will be to travel to Memphis, Tenn., later this month to see the station honored for its charitable contributions. KCMT set a single-market fundraising record by collecting $150,000 for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

Lotus Communications Corp., which operates KCMT, has Spanish stations in other markets, but KCMT is among the most-successful, Mayans said. "I think they're very happy with what we've done, not just me, but our staff."


JEFFRIES NAMED KOLD SALES MANAGER

Lynn Jeffries, KVOA Channel 4's national sales manager for the past 10 years, has left to take the sales-manager position at KOLD Channel 13.

Before arriving at KVOA, Jeffries was in radio sales at Slone Broadcasting, and later Citadel Broadcasting.

She also worked for a group of Oklahoma radio stations in the mid-1990s. Jeffries started at KOLD on Dec. 30.


KOLD MOURNS LOSS OF MONAHAN

Denny Monahan, a video journalist at KOLD Channel 13, died on Dec. 22 after a battle with cancer.

Monahan, 54, had worked at the station for 27 years.

"Denny was a consummate professional who you could always count on to come through, even in the toughest of situations," news director Michelle Germano said in an internal memo. "Many would say Denny was a private person ... but get Denny started on his Minnesota Vikings or just about any sports team, and you could guarantee a conversation.

"We are all better people for having known and worked with Denny. We were Denny's family, and he was part of ours. He will be missed."

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