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NEW HOST, NEW MONIKER AT KFMA

Mishell Livio has joined Fook on the KFMA 92.1 FM morning team. Livio has long-time Tucson ties but spent the last five years in L.A., where she modeled, made TV appearances and had numerous stand-up comedy performances.

"I moved back to Tucson in September to regroup, visit with my family and friends, and meditate on everything I'd learned in L.A.," Livio said. "I didn't really know what the next step was or where it would be, but I came back home with the thought that I'd be here for a short hiatus. I found out Fook was looking for a comedian as a co-host, met with him, did a week long on-air audition and the rest is history."

Her comedy background—including stints with The Second City, iO West and UCB—has helped with the transition to the morning radio format.

"Like most of my entertainment adventures, radio found me and I'm having a blast," Livio said. "When I listened to the radio in the past, I never thought about all the work that went into putting on a four-hour show every day. There's a lot more scouring the Internet for interesting, topical material and rushing to write it up in a clever, entertaining, yet informative way than I ever thought. Luckily, there's also lots of room to relax and do improvised characters and bits, which is great. Getting up at 3:30 in the morning Monday through Friday isn't ideal, but I've always been a morning person so my body has adjusted pretty quickly."

The process is a style adjustment for Livio as well because the "live" part in radio takes on an unfamiliar context.

"Most of my career has been in front of an audience, so the radio is wildly different from the rest of my past entertainment experiences," Livio said. "When training at The Second City, I performed what I learned in front of the other classes at the end of every class. You know right away if what you're doing is funny or genuine because you have an audience, you have an instant reaction. On the radio, it's just Fook and I in a cold, silent room bouncing ideas off of each other. We're just two silly people hanging out, rehearsing for a show. Except there's no time for rehearsal. It's one take and you don't really get a sense of the audience. You just have to relax, listen and trust yourself and your partner."

Livio wouldn't mind returning to the stage for live performance opportunities, but in the meantime she's in somewhat of a settling-in process.

"Getting up at 3:30 a.m. has limited my live performance (opportunities) around town for sure. Once I've learned to master the afternoon nap, I'd like to start performing live around town again, because no one watches live comedy at 2 in the afternoon," Livio said. "Improv taught me to be open and positive to all ideas and opportunities while being true to myself and my own objective. I love performing, and as long as I can be creative, the outlet doesn't matter."

Meanwhile, perhaps in an effort to be a trendy hipster retro trendsetter, KFMA has recognized that much of its music library, which includes a healthy dose of material from the latter stages of the last century, doesn't necessarily fit under the moniker of "new" rock any longer.

So now KFMA is "Rock 92." As a result, it's channeled something else FM radio stations haven't done in at least 20 years, or since Nirvana actually was "new." It dropped the point-one after 92. During the era of turn-knob radio, stations didn't bother with point designations. If you got it close to the frequency, that was generally good enough. But then came digital, and radio stations had to be cool and include the point with everything because it was all about precision, not just getting close. KFMA probably figures point-one is about as close to 92 as one can get on the FM band.


THE FUTURE OF MUSIC RADIO IS...

A friend of mine who has since transitioned from a career in the media industry to a pay-scale upgrade as an elementary school teacher shared this story about a question that appeared on a standardized test.

"In said test was the term disc jockey. I have 110 sixth-grade students and I must have been asked 25 times, 'What's a disc jockey?' I said someone who plays music. For five or six students that was baffling. What do you mean someone who plays music? Like, is my iPod a disc jockey?"

Maybe it's just a sign of the times. A lot of music radio stations don't know what a disc jockey is either.


MARKET TIDBITS

Community radio station KXCI 91.3 FM starts a new membership drive on Thursday, Feb. 28. The station hopes to reach its goal of $120,000 by the middle of March.

KXCI's Cathy Rivers is also launching a "People and Playlists" segment at 5 p.m. on the first Friday of every month. Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild will be on hand for the inaugural endeavor.

Political talker KVOI 1030 AM welcomes syndicated talk show host Michael Medved to town next week. Medved will broadcast from the KVOI studios from 1 to 3 p.m. on Thursday, March 7. Medved's program is syndicated in more than 180 markets.

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