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Media Watch

New Season Brings Changes in Abundance

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In the television industry, September is generally the year's most anticipated time. The networks unveil their new slate of programming and hope audiences approve.

This month features the death of two entire networks--and the birth of two new ones. As a result, it's been something of a harrowing time for the graphics folks at two Tucson television outlets, as they've had to make changes to the identity of their stations.

Even though it retains the call letters most identifiable with the now-defunct "Frog," KWBA Channel 58 (cable Channel 8) is operating as an affiliate of the newly formed CW. Meanwhile, Belo-owned KTTU Channel 18 (cable Channel 2), the former UPN affiliate, is the new local home for MyNetworkTV programming.

In addition to network changes, a couple of local news outlets are in the process of enhancing their visual imagery. Maria Navarro joined the KUAT Communications Group as graphic producer and designer in late August, and it didn't take long to see the difference on the PBS affiliate's local news program, Arizona Illustrated.

"Maria brings a new level of professionalism to the organization's graphic design projects," said Michael Serres, director of communications and creative services, in a press release. "She'll touch literally every aspect of visual design to present a fresh, professional and graphically pleasing presentation of the KUAT Communications Group and its media brands."

Meanwhile, KGUN Channel 9 has visual changes in the works as well. The ABC affiliate has been constructing an updated news studio slated to go online this Monday, Sept. 11.

IN THE WORLD OF SPORTS

Longtime UA football beat writer Charles Durrenberger leaves the Arizona Daily Star effective Sunday, Sept. 10, bringing a close to a 21-year journalism career, 10 of which was spent in Tucson.

"Getting out of the media was a tough decision, but the timing was right for a career shift," said Durrenberger, who will be working out of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage's brand new foothills office. "This is a great opportunity, and I'm excited about the future."

Durrenberger covered Wildcat football for five years with the Tucson Citizen before jumping to the Star, where he handled the same beat through the 2005 season.

Ryan Finley is the Star's new football beat writer. Sarah Trotto joins the Star as its new general assignment sports reporter. She comes to Tucson from Fort Wayne, Ind.

For fans of high school sports, KCUB AM 1290 (The Source) is broadcasting Salpointe High School football games every Friday at 7 p.m. Jim Edwards handles play-by-play while Don Tatman tackles commentary.

A high school wrap-up show will follow the Salpointe broadcast. Brad Allis, my co-host on the UA football and basketball pregame and postgame shows, will host the program, featuring live scores, updates and interviews with coaches and players from prep venues throughout Southern Arizona.

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