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Media Watch




It's enjoyable to watch just how much companies "value" their customers when they're in the midst of a negotiations temper tantrum. That was the situation between Raycom, owner of KOLD Channel 13, and Cox Cable for a few days before and after New Year's.

In what seems to be a nearly annual occurrence, Raycom and a channel provider were in an auld-lang-syne contract spat. But instead of the inevitable 11th-hour agreement, Cox let the deal lapse. As a result, Raycom/KOLD pulled transmission of its programming from Cox for a few days.

Cox used the unused channel space to run a two-minute video chastising Raycom for asking for a 200 percent increase in its viewing fee. Cox noted in said video that free TV, like that from the networks, persuaded evil Congress to allow networks to charge providers for their programing as well. Now, here's a free over-the-air network signal sticking it to our beloved customers. Cox doesn't think that's fair.

Or something like that.

Add the obligatory mention about how the "big corporation" is trying to gouge the cable company—and therefore Cox has no choice but to pass these fees on to you in your cable bill—and you have a nifty 120-second monologue detailing how Raycom execs are a bunch of meanies.

Meanwhile, KOLD was begging its beloved customers to consider other provider options because, golly, you don't want to miss checking out Kat Dennings' rack in 2 Broke Girls.

And if you had Cox and felt slighted by the absence of KOLD's local news, KOLD suggested, with painstaking regularity, that viewers could head to one of the station's seemingly endless Facebook pages.

Or ... if you had Cox and really wanted to get an idea of what KOLD was broadcasting, you could have just checked out the news on KMSB Channel 11. KMSB and KOLD's shared-services agreement is supposed to create the illusion of different products—even though they emanate from the same building—but there sure seems to be a lot of crossover material.

In promos currently running on the station, KOLD is thanking its many loyal customers for stepping up and putting pressure on Cox. It was nice of the two parties to find a way to put a deal together just 36 hours before an NFL playoff game.


Radio isn't exactly known for its stability, but Bobby Rich has somehow managed to stay onboard as the morning host at KMXZ FM 94.9 for the past two decades. Rich, who started at the popular station in January 1993, has seen his share of co-hosts come and go, but he's been the focal point of a program that has garnered strong morning ratings since his arrival.

Rich, however, recently ceded the title of program director to longtime station music director Leslie Lois.

KMXZ is consistently among Tucson's top three in the quarterly Arbitron ratings.


New-rock format KFMA 92.1 FM has promoted Pete McNair to the position of music director. McNair is better known to KFMA listeners by his on-air moniker, Creepy Pete. No, really, it is. Because trendy "new rock" stations that play 20-year-old Metallica songs have on-air personalities with names like Creepy Pete.

McNair, who has been with the station for 10 years, seems like a nice enough guy. He looks trendy and new rockish in his shirt, tie and vest ensemble in his promo photo at Come to think of it, I used to know a guy who went by the moniker Promo Pete when he worked at KFMA, at a time when Metallica was still churning out relevant material.

"I'm extremely stoked to have Pete on board," KFMA program director Chris Firmage said in a press release. (I quote the release only because it included the word stoked, which is what someone from a trendy, new-rock station like KFMA might say.) I'm disappointed that Firmage used his real name, as opposed to something new rockish and trendy like "Creepy Chris." Too bad "Creepy" was already taken. The alliteration would have been sweet.


Oser Communications Group, a publisher of trade magazines, has representatives on hand at the massive Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this month.

The Tucson-based company's return to the event was in doubt after CES organizers had concerns about how Oser promoted its publications. They said Oser trade magazines were labeled in a way that suggested they were sanctioned by show organizers. They weren't.

Not having access to CES could have been a big blow to Oser, but it came to terms with CES last year. Details of the deal were not made public. But it probably did not involve anything related to health-care benefits, which the company is reportedly yanking from a number of employees starting Feb. 1. It's just one of myriad reasons for Oser's staggering turnover rate.

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