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Tucson

Sean Mooney Named Weekend Anchor at KVOA

Sean Mooney has been hired as the weekend co-anchor at KVOA, the NBC-affiliate in Tucson, according to Inside Tucson Business.

Mooney runs his own production company, Moonrise Productions, in Tucson. He was most recently a reporter at Fox Sports Arizona, and has previously worked at WWOR in New Jersey and WBZ in Boston.

He will replace Brandon Gunnoe, who is leaving Tucscon for a job at WHDH, the NBC-affiliate in Boston. Mooney will co-anchor with Rebecca Taylor.

KVOA Anchor Busted for Shoplifting Enters Plea Deal

Longtime KVOA anchor Martha Vazquez, who resigned from the Tucson NBC-affiliate in February after getting busted for stealing clothes and jewelry at a local mall, has entered into a plea deal in her shoplifting case.

On Monday, Vazquez entered into a “diversion plea,” which will allow her to have the shoplifting charge dropped if she pays a $180 fee and attends 7.5 hours of counseling, reports the Arizona Daily Star.

“It’s the standard plea for someone in her situation,” Tucson City Prosecutor Baird Greene told the Daily Star. Read more

KVOA Shuffles Reporters on Morning Newscast

Tucson NBC-affiliate KVOA is making talent changes to the station’s morning newscast.

Starting Monday, Samantha Ptashkin (pictured) will cover breaking news for the newscast, according to TVNewsCheck. Ptashkin joined the station last month as a general assignment reporter.

The current field reporter, Nichole Szemerei, will become the newscast’s traffic anchor. She will replace Larissa Wohl, who will leave the morning newscast and become a general assignment reporter for the station.

KVOA plans to name a new field reporter for the morning show at a later date.

KVOA Hires Allison Alexander, Rebecca Taylor

Tucson NBC-affiliate KVOA has hired a pair of new anchors: Allison Alexander (pictured) and Rebecca Taylor.

Alexander replaces Martha Vazquez, who resigned last month following a shoplifting incident, as the station’s noon and 4 p.m. anchor. The move is a return to Tucson for Alexander, who worked at ABC-affiliate KGUN from 2002-04. More recently, she has been a reporter and fill-in anchor at KTVK in Phoenix. Her first day at KVOA will be March 19.

Taylor will be the weekend anchor at KVOA beginning on March 21. She returns to the station after leaving in 2010 to move to Nashville. Taylor replaces Emily Guggenmos, who joined Buffalo’s WIVB last month.

Busted for Speeding, KGUN Traffic Reporter Goes to Traffic School

Longtime KGUN traffic reporter Allen Kath, who’s known to Tucson viewers as “Big Al Your Traffic Pal,” recently attended traffic school after being busted for speeding last December.

Running late for a doctor’s appointment, Kath was pulled over for going 64 in a 45.  He opted to enroll in traffic school to avoid paying a big fine.

KGUN photojournalist Chris Miracle followed Kath to traffic school and reported on the speeding incident for the ABC-affiliate. Read more

Cured of Valley Fever, Meteorologist Erin Christiansen Returns to KGUN

KGUN chief meteorologist Erin Christiansen is back on the air after an extended bout of Valley Fever forced her to take a leave of absence from the station.

Christiansen was welcomed back on Monday evening’s newscasts by co-anchors Jennifer Waddell and Guy Atchley, who introduced Christiansen as someone who has “had a rough time of her own” lately.

“Rough is kind of an understatement!” Christiansen laughed. “I tell you what, it feels so good to be back.”

Christiansen will work on a partial schedule for now, but is expected to make a full recovery, according to KGUN.

Emily Guggenmos, Lou Raguse Join Buffalo’s WIVB

There are two new hires at Buffalo CBS-affiliate WIVB: Lou Raguse and Emily Guggenmos (pictured).

Raguse joins the station from KMSB in Tucson, where news operations were shut down earlier this month. Guggenmos also joins WIVB from Tucson, where she was the weekend co-anchor at KVOA.

The pair met while working in Sioux Falls — Guggenmos at KDLT and Raguse at KELO. They were married in 2010.

“Emily and Lou are both strong journalists who will fit in perfectly with our winning team here,” news director Joseph Schlaerth tells TVSpy via email.

KVOA Anchor Busted Trying to Steal $338 Hoodie

New details have emerged in the alleged shoplifting incident that led to KVOA anchor Martha Vazquez‘s resignation this week after 26 years with the station.

According to a police report, posted by Tucson Weekly, Vazquez was cited for stealing a hoodie and a pair of earrings from a Dillard’s department store.

A Dillard’s security officer observed the longtime Tucson anchor try on a $338 Eileen Fisher hoodie near a clothing rack and then conceal it inside of a sweater she had been wearing. She then purchased shoes and a few other items and attempted to leave the store without paying for the hoodie, at which point she was detained by security. Read more

Veteran KVOA Anchor Abruptly Resigns Following Alleged Shoplifting Incident

KVOA anchor Martha Vazquez, who has been a fixture on Tucson TV for three decades, abruptly resigned on Monday, following an alleged shoplifting incident that occurred over the weekend.

The Arizona Daily Star reports that a woman with the same name and birth date as Vazquez was cited Saturday on suspicion of shoplifting from the Tucson Mall.

After alerting staff of Vazquez’s resignation on Monday afternoon, KVOA news director Cathie Batbie-Loucks told the Daily Star that the veteran anchor’s departure was “due to personal reasons.”

A native Tucsonan, Vazquez began her broadcasting career with CBS-affiliate KOLD in the 70s, before moving on to KVOA in 1984. Most recently, she anchored the station’s 4 p.m. weekday newscast. Read more

Days After Leaving KMSB, Bob Simone Named General Manager of WLNS

Last week it was announced that Bob Simone was leaving his general manager post at Tucson’s KMSB amid the aftermath of the station’s shared services agreement with KOLD.  Today it was announced that Simone has been named vice president and general manager of WLNS, Young Broadcasting’s CBS-affiliate in Lansing, MI.

“Bob brings a lengthy track record of effectively managing stations while strategically building their revenue streams,” Deborah McDermott, President of Young Broadcasting, said.  “We look forward to having him aboard and leading WLNS‐TV to new levels of success in the greater Lansing marketplace.”

Simone brings 15 years of GM experience with him to Lansing.  Before joining KMSB in 2009, Simone was GM of three different Fox stations: KDVR in Denver, KPTV in Portland, and WTFX in Philadelphia.

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