Familiar Faces of Phoenix Airwaves Disappearing

Apr 1, 2009

One by one, the familiar faces of Phoenix's airwaves are disappearing.

It started in December when the Phoenix Business Journal announced that two of the Valley's most well-known radio hosts would be stepping down from the microphone for good. Disc jockeys Dave Pratt of KUPD and Camelback Jack of KOOL-FM would not be getting their contracts renewed.

This was a real bummer because I grew up listening to Camelback Jack, who has been providing Phoenix with good times and great oldies for nearly 20 years. Though I never listened to KUPD much, I was familiar with Dave Pratt and the KUPD Red Card that was good for a variety of discounts all over town.

Both contracts were not renewed by parent company Clear Channel Communications, a radio and billboard giant that owns eight radio stations in the Phoenix area. The stations will be reworking their programs to focus more on music according to the Business Journal article.

The other shoe dropped earlier this month when the Phoenix Business Journal reported that television hosts Brad Perry and Dan Davis were let go from KTVK Channel 3. Both men were veterans of the broadcast TV news industry and were with the station for over 10 years each. They were best known for their roles in Good Morning Arizona, a daily news program that brought a fun and casual attitude to a serious subject.

Both moves were likely part of cost-cutting measures by each station. I understand that times are tough in the radio and television industries, but at the same time I am saddened that our familiar faces of the airwaves will not be around to entertain us any longer.

By bringing in a new group of faces at lower salaries, these media giants can save money in the short run. If cutting these favorite faces and voices from the airwaves will save a few bucks but will disappoint viewers and listeners, is it really worth it? I don't think so. We wish Camelback Jack, Dave Pratt, Brad Perry, and Dan Davis good luck in their future endeavors.

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