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Media Watch

A new voice before and after Wildcat games

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THOMAE REPLACES RECKER ON IMG PRE- AND POST-GAME

Ryan Recker's departure as KVOA Channel 4 sports director left more than just a void at the local NBC affiliate. It also opened a slot on the IMG Network's radio pregame show. So to fill the position, IMG moved a versatile talent from within to handle host duties.

Eric Thomae, who many years ago got smart and pursued a law degree that eventually led to a gig that's significantly more lucrative than local radio, has managed to carve himself a nice place with IMG in a broadcast capacity.

Thomae was strong in his debut as a pregame show host and, like Recker before him, did a nice job of balancing everything and keeping his segments flowing.

Thomae is comfortable in front of the mic and behind the scenes. It's in the latter role where he has helped IMG the most. He is the network's chief engineer and is responsible for setting up the equipment for UA home and away football and men's basketball broadcasts.

But recently, he's been given more airtime. Thomae substituted for Brian Jeffries on a number of UA baseball broadcasts last season and handled it well. So when Recker's departure left the void on IMG's football pregame team, it probably didn't take the powers-that-be very long to approach Thomae.

In addition to Thomae, the first radio broadcast of the year featured the voices of three athletes. Former UA football players Lamonte Hunley and John Fina made appearances on the network program and former UA player Glenn Howell debuted on the local pre- and postgame show on KCUB 1290 AM.

MOJO MOVES HIS MORNING SHOW

For a guy who hasn't lived in Tucson for more than a decade, Mojo Morales sure knows his way around the market's FM dial. Mojo in the Morning is now being broadcast on its third Clear Channel station. Prior to the Johnjay and Rich era, Mojo was the local morning offering on top-40 station KRQQ 93.7 FM, but then he moved to larger markets and has been in Detroit for years.

But from Detroit he's managed to find a spot on two other Tucson signals, first with KOHT FM 98.3 and now on KMIY FM 92.9. Meanwhile, 98.3 is airing another syndicated morning show, The Breakfast Club.

Clear Channel loves syndicating its morning offerings, and also loves pretending its listeners don't care or won't notice that hosts that used to be in Tucson aren't actually in Tucson anymore.

It must be really lonely for Garret Lewis, the morning guy at KNST AM 790 AM. He's probably one of, at most, three people in the building between 5 and 8 a.m.

Moving Mojo, and, earlier, Ryan Seacrest's syndicated afternoon program to KMIY seems to indicate a move on Clear Channel's part to try to grab a specific demographic. The cluster gets consistently strong numbers from KRQ, decent overall numbers from KOHT and embarrassingly underperforming numbers from KMIY, typically the lowest rated 100,000-watt FM stick in the market. However, if it can give KMIY a hip makeover, maybe it can convince advertisers it has the corner on the 18-34 demo.

And that 18-34 demo might not mind so much if it occasionally hears segments of the previous morning show, Valentine, where a Mojo segment is supposed to be. Heck, by now listeners are probably accustomed to hearing the occasional "local" traffic report from Albuquerque, so hearing some other show's morning segment shouldn't be disconcerting at all.

FLICK MAKING THE TRUE CRIME ROUNDS

Fresh off a TV interview regarding the Dr. Bradley Schwartz murder trial, former Tucson Citizen reporter A.J. Flick is gearing up for another true crime TV appearance, this time for Snapped, a program that airs on the Oxygen Channel and focuses on murders carried out by women.

Snapped producers interviewed Flick a couple of weeks ago. However, Snapped is not asking for her expertise on the Schwartz trial. Instead, her guest spot will help set the scene for the 1999 murder of Tucsonan Kurt Imel, in a conspiracy by family members Teresa and Tiffanie Imel that was carried out by Tiffanie Imel's former boyfriend Troy Bertling and former drug supplier Daniel Averett.

Flick was not on the Imel trial beat, but did interview Tiffanie Imel a few years later. An airdate for the Snapped episode has yet to be determined.

IS THE FOX ON THE RUN?

A month or so ago, KRDX 98.5 FM popped up briefly on another frequency: 103.7 FM. Shortly thereafter it returned to the 98.5 location and has been there since.

It's just the latest occurrence at one of the area's more mysterious radio properties. An eventual move to 103.7 has been rumored on Tucson radio message boards for some time, and the brief flirtation seems to suggest something may very well be in the works.

The 98.5 signal, licensed in Sierra Vista, reaches only certain parts of Tucson. The 103.7 frequency has connections to Vail, which presumably would significantly improve its penetration in the Tucson marketplace.

Good thing, since the fox985.com website, which has had nothing more than a logo on its otherwise stagnant front page for years, labels the property as Tucson's Oldies Station. But if something is in the works, owner Ted Tucker might want to get moving on his new domain name. Earlier this week, fox1037.com and fox103.7.com were still available domains.

On the air, The Fox added professional sounding liners some months back, but still is basically like an iPod with an FM stick. Albeit, an iPod with much better musical rotation than most of the corporate-programmed stations on the band.

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