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Media Watch

Green to Head Up New Slone Station

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Even though radio earns its reputation as a nomadic industry, Cathy Green thought she'd retire as an employee of Jim Slone. Nearly six years after Slone left the radio business, she'll get that chance.

Green currently works in sales at the Journal Broadcast Group, but will handle general manager duties for KEVT AM 1030.

"Mr. Slone has such a wonderful reputation and is such a wonderful person, and then he sold the stations to Citadel," said Green, who started her working relationship with Slone about 12 years ago. "I told him if he ever got bored and decided to buy another station, 'I'd go back to work for you in a heartbeat.'"

And basically that's what happened.

Slone got bored, and dropped $1.5 million--of the $63 million he made when he sold his conglomerate to Citadel--to buy the 1030 AM frequency. The deal awaits the formality of Federal Communications Commission approval. When he made the phone call to Green, the wheels were set in motion.

"He didn't want to insult me, because, 'You're working for a big group of stations, and you're always working for the top dogs, and you've been the top dog,' Green said. "I'm at the point in my career where I pretty much want to do what I want to do now."

Green was Slone's general sales manager prior to his sale to Citadel. She took a position with Journal that allowed her to make more personal contact with clients. In the new foray, she'll do a little of everything.

"I'll be doing some selling myself until we hire somebody, since we're going to be kind of small and lean and mean," Green said.

Slone is nothing short of a legend in Tucson radio circles. He's invested more than 40 years in the industry locally, and that time paid off when Citadel purchased his mini-empire. Country monster KIIM 99.5 FM was the plum, and it continues to act as the anchor at Citadel.

KEVT is not in that category. As a small AM station, it will almost certainly not bring in the ratings numbers achieved by Slone's more high-profile signals, but it can reach goals in a way slightly different than the corporate-radio structure.

"The (personal) relationships help, and the one station means you're not going to have the level of expense you do (at a larger conglomerate)," Green said. "We're not going to be greedy and be looking at going at it the same way the big stations do. (Slone) wants something to be able to have fun and hopefully make a profit. In no way, shape or form do we expect to compete with any of the FM stations at all."


'STAR' REPORTER HAS RUN-IN WITH BORDER PATROL

It seems Arizona Daily Star border reporter Brady McCombs caught some Border Patrol agents off guard during a recent encounter. Instead of agents apprehending illegal immigrants, they almost apprehended McCombs and an accompanying Star photographer instead.

The incident occurred because agents were not expecting any media presence in the border area. McCombs, who has gone through the Border Patrol public information office on numerous occasions before, did not in this instance. Unsuspecting agents approached McCombs and the photographer. No arrests were made.

"It's a matter of our guy not expecting anybody to show up," said Rob Daniels, the public information officer for the Border Patrol's Tucson sector. "They're allowed to take photos, video, what have you, in a public place. That's not the issue. It's just that we want to make sure everyone is safe."

The incident led to a conversation between Daniels and management at the Star, including metro team leader Ignacio Ibarra.

"Once we talked, everything was resolved. I can't think of a journalist who I respect more than Ignacio Ibarra. He and I have had long and candid conversations over the years, and I respect his opinion a great deal," Daniels said. "I have met and talked several times with Mr. McCombs since he came to Tucson. He comes highly recommended by (Ibarra).

"The Border Patrol has had occasional disagreements with the Star over the years. I don't think that should be considered to be unusual. As a former member of the media, I feel that I have a unique understanding on what, how and why the media does whatever they do. I feel the Star has a thorough understanding of how to do their jobs."

In the Star's estimation, that job entails going through PIOs when it deems fit.

"The Arizona Daily Star is a leader in border coverage because its reporters regularly spend time along the line investigating and reporting," said Star metro editor Hipolito Corella. "We do not rely on press releases and guided tours. We do not interfere with the efforts of the Border Patrol or break laws in the course of our reporting, but we will continue to exercise our right to be on public lands and roads in the course of doing our job."

Said Daniels, "There is no agency that makes more use of press releases to our local media outlets. This is meant to be proactive in letting the media outlets know of activity that may be newsworthy. This has been the case in the Tucson Sector since prior to my arrival in October 1994. Because of this M.O., the Border Patrol may have become a casualty of our own actions.

"The use of media 'ride-alongs' is a tool to give working journalists from across the globe a chance to see agents at work. The media ride-along continues to be highly requested by other outlets, and is in no way leading them into a sanitized, orchestrated event. Like other local media entities, the Arizona Daily Star has requested and been given access to see every area of the Tucson Sector of the U.S. Border Patrol. We do not expect this to change in the future."

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