SEAN MOONEY RETURNS TO TUCSON FOR KVOA ANCHOR ROLE
Sean Mooney has worked in major markets and for significant national organizations in a broadcast career that has spanned the better part of three decades. He's also worked for ad agencies with clients in places like Las Vegas and Los Angeles.
But none of it was the same as being in Tucson.
"It's a city I've cursed; it's a city I've loved. But it's home and always has been," Mooney said. "Even in all my travels, there's something about Tucson."
So when Brandon Gunnoe left for Boston, and a weekend anchor/reporter position opened at KVOA Channel 4, Mooney pushed hard, turning down gigs in places as diverse as Salt Lake City and Jacksonville, Fla. He learned KVOA said yes during an ad-rep meeting in Las Vegas.
"I was outside this office, ready to go into this meeting, when (KVOA news director Cathie Batbie-Loucks) called me, and I was trying to be cool, calm and collected," Mooney said. "So after holding it in for this whole meeting, where I can't say anything to anybody, I get in the elevator and—yes! I drop to my knees, and the door opens, and three people are waiting outside. 'There's no one else in the elevator. Who's this guy talking to?'"
Mooney grew up in Tucson and went to the UA, majoring in radio and television, "which they actually gave you a degree in at the time." He once had an internship at Channel 4.
"Talk about full circle—leaving the UA, going back to working in New York City and back East for 18 years with Major League Baseball Productions and the World Wrestling Federation, and then news in Boston, and now I'm back at KVOA," he said. "I know this city, and the city knows me. I'm really excited about it."
Mooney is an excellent hire for KVOA. The station landed a talent with experience in front of and behind the camera who has deep connections to the community and doesn't flinch when asked to shoot his own footage.
Mooney has been in Tucson on and off for a number of years, most recently thanks to Fox Sports Arizona and UA sports broadcasts. But when Fox Sports lost its contract with the Pac-10 (now the Pac-12), it severely damaged Mooney's ability to function in a profitable way locally. He didn't want to move, but he didn't really have a choice.
So Mooney commuted and cobbled together a number of freelance gigs in a variety of locations. But returning to Tucson was always a priority, because in addition to his love for the community, he has family here.
"I'm a divorced father, so it's been really tough not being around my kids and not being in the city as much. I'm used to being very much a part of their lives," Mooney said. "When it came down to it, I just could not see leaving Tucson."