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Media Watch




For nearly a decade, Randy Garsee and Kris Pickel co-anchored KOLD Channel 13's primetime newscasts. When they started behind the desks at the CBS affiliate in 1997, KOLD was third in a three-station local news race. By the time Garsee's tenure had concluded, KOLD had the market's top-rated newscast.

Garsee died last week at age 50 in his home in Virginia.

"He was brilliant and complicated and it was always entertaining to get him fired up on a topic and watch him go," Pickel, now a news anchor in Cleveland, said on Facebook. "For nearly 10 years at KOLD in Tucson we sat back to back at our desks but spent more time with our chairs turned around talking about news and family."

Garsee was fired from KOLD in 2006 and worked in TV news at a small station in Texas before landing a position as a communications and public affairs adviser for the Center for Naval Analyses in Alexandria, Va. Although he didn't grow up in Tucson, Garsee had a soft spot for the city.

He has family here, and started a blog that catalogs murals in and around Tucson. The Tucson Murals Project, now operated by Jerry Peek, is still going strong.

In addition to an outpouring of condolences, Garsee's Facebook page also has a link to video outtakes of entertaining moments. The brief video synopsis, produced in 2004 and introduced by Scott Kilbury, provides a glimpse of a man who brought intellect, wit and a certain Texas charm to Tucson households.


After more than three decades in the business, Forrest Carr has decided to step away from television news.

"I'm now in my 34th year as a TV news professional, and my 24th as a TV news manager," Carr, the news director for KGUN Channel 9, said in a post on Facebook.

"This profession is incredibly demanding, and the management side of it is more so. I have not routinely worked an eight-hour day since 1989. As news director, you can leave the office, but you're never really off duty. Even a weekend trip—scheduled on your nominal "days off" takes careful coordination, and can't happen during a sweeps month. The business and competitive pressures are constant—and in today's Internet and social media age, the stress has never been higher. The job tries its best to consume every waking moment, and there are days and even weeks where it not only succeeds, but cuts into what would have been and should have been nonwaking moments, too. It is a high-pressure, high-stress, high-turnover gig. The news industry trade magazines, websites and newsletters are filled with example after example of news directors leaving after only two years or less on the job, having originally replaced someone who also worked for two years or so, and so on."

Carr, 55, lasted almost four years as news director at KGUN. It was his second stint with the station. Carr is largely responsible for returning KGUN to its Nine on Your Side investigative reporting focus. But for Carr, it's time now to focus on something else.

"There are things I'd like to accomplish in life that I just haven't found the time to do. The occasional deaths of colleagues about my age serve as a reminder that it's not safe to wait until retirement to do the things you want to do; you may not make it. You may not even get close," Carr said in his Facebook post.

"I plan to take a long road trip and reconnect with some friends, some of whom I haven't seen in quite a while. After that, I will work on my 'bucket list' project, which will be to finish up two novels, possibly write a third that I'm carrying around in my head, and make a concerted effort to get them published. I don't know if I have what it takes to succeed in such an endeavor, but I'm going to find out, once and for all.

"At some point down the road, I may or may not circle back around to TV news. There are other possibilities as well. But I don't really plan to think about any of that for a while."


The revolving door at Clear Channel radio continues to spin. Operations manager Chris Kelly has parted ways with the Tucson radio cluster.

"This was my last week with Clear Channel," Kelly said in an internal email. "While I love this business and always will, and am very appreciative of such an amazing company and the opportunities they've given me, I've just come to a place where I feel it's the right time for me personally to do something else for a while."

Kelly is relocating to northern Colorado.


The Journal Broadcast Group's Tucson radio cluster is searching for a program director to replace Ryan McCredden. McCredden, who handled PD duties for news/talker KQTH 104.1 FM and ESPN sport-talk affiliate KFFN 1490 AM/104.9 FM, has accepted a position as program director for a pair of CBS-owned sports-radio formats in Houston. He starts there Monday, March 25.

"I'm leaving a top-notch staff that whoever Journal hires will be lucky to have," McCredden said via email. "Working with (KQTH morning host) Jon (Justice) and developing a TV simulcast of his show (which airs on KWBA Channel 58), bringing (afternoon-drive host) James T. Harris to Tucson for a full-time show that hit No. 1 in the fall book and growing (KFFN sports-talk host) Jody (Oehler's) show to consistently beat the other sports station in town ... very proud of what those guys have done."

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