Sunday, April 26, 2009

The End Is The Beginning

I can not believe that I am about to graduate college. I never thought it would get to this point.

In just 3 short weeks I will be a "real" person and contributing member of society. Whether I am actually contributing something good is yet to be seen.

I would like to thank Jay for teaching BorderBeat and letting us have the freedom to do whatever we wanted in the class and trusted that we would try to do the best that we could.

BorderBeat was by far the best class I took at UofA. I learned the most in BorderBeat than I did in any other class I took during college career. I will be able to take a lot of things I learned and bring them out into the real world.

So with that said, I'm glad that the UA basketball coaching situation settled. It's just too bad my college experience was tainted by whatever the last 3 years have been.

I am truly going to miss Tucson and know that I will be back to visit a lot to check out UA football and basketball games. I can't imagine a better place to spend 4 years in college and my only regret is that I won't be able to get to spend more time here.

For the final time, Namaste.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Rupert Pacheco

While I was doing a story for BorderBeat on Tejano 1600 AM here in Tucson, I had the pleasure to talk to Rupert Pacheco.

Mr. Pacheco is the programming director of Tejano 1600 and the morning show host on the station, working a long stretch from 6am-12pm.

He got an interesting start in the radio business. He always wanted to be a DJ and as a high schooler created a fake show on tape that included songs.

This continued through his tour of duty with the Army. He would play the tapes for people and they would ask him what radio station they were listening to. He would laugh and tell them it was a tape of him.

In 1999, Pacheco got his big break in radio. While working for UPS, he heard an opening for a part time DJ was available at Tejano 1600. He sent in one of his old tapes.

He got the job and started doing what every DJ does when they start in the business; overnights, weekends and filling in.

Eventually Pacheco worked his way up to the position that he is in today.

Here is what Tejano music sounds like

Until next time, Namaste.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

A New Voice In The White House

Some shocking news came my way this past week while watching one of my favorite show this past week House.

The actor Kal Penn, who has appeared in such classic movies as Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle and its sequel, has put his acting career on hiatus so that he can work with Barack Obama in the White House.

Penn will work as the assistant director of the White House Office of Public Liaison.

Penn worked with the Obama campaign during the his run toward the presidency. He grew so interested and close to the Obama camp that he asked if there was anything more he could do for the new president. Penn went to the President with the idea of reaching out to artists (mainly in the acting community) and Asian-Americans.

This is not the first time that an actor has jumped into a political office (Ronald Reagan and (Clint Eastwood) but in recent years it is the first time we have seen a celebrity do more than just voice their opinion about politics.

Al Franken and the radio show hosts for La Sabrosita in Nashville are some radio personalities who have made the jump to Washington to fight for what they believe.

Artisits like Penn are a rare few, people who are willing to go and help out something they believe strongly enough about that they quit their job in order to pursue it. Sure, Penn has likely made a nice chump of change from his acting and can afford to pursue this while others might not be able to.

It is nice to see someone willing to do more than just talk about what they think but to act on it and pursue it further.

Until next week, Namaste.

Sunday, April 5, 2009


For a story I am doing for Borderbeat I wrote about Celestino Fernandez and corridos.

A corrido is the Mexican musical genre that is a mix of a poem and a song. Corridos typically have musical accompaniment, usually a guitar.

Corridos are based on true events and can range from political topics to baseball players. The point of a corrido is that you try to and get a message across.

Something that was not included was about corridos on the radio.

Fernandez and I discussed how corridos had been shortened since when they first came around.

"No one wants to listen to a 10 to 15 minute song on the radio," Fernandez said. "So a lot of them have been shortened."

Typically a corrido that is heard on the radio last 3-5 minutes. In today's musical age, a corrido ca range from having mariachis or to the traditional single guitar.

Fernandez said that an untrained ear will not be able to tell the difference between a Hispanic song and a corrido.

He said the way to tell the difference is that a corrido will begin with an introduction that says that it is a corrido or it is a true story.

Fernandez told me that when corridos where first recorded they were recorded on 45 rpm records. The length of corridos then did not allow for the entire song to be recorded on one side of the record. So halfway through the corrido the listener would have to flip over the record to hear the end.

There are many different kinds of corridos. Narcocorridos are corridos about drug smuggling and migracorridos are about immigration.

Fernandez told me that the Border Patrol went so far as to hire a corrido writer to write five migracorridos to try and scare illegal immigrants from illegally crossing the border.

Here is a corrido from Valentin Elizade.

This video is goes a little bit more in depth about corridos with Tucson local Jesus Garcia and some more corridos.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Border Issues in Mid America

A little but of humor before getting to the blog. (Also go see I Love You Man, that movie is hilarious.)

I found this story on New American Media. While it is not a border radio station I'm talking about, it is an issue that we deal with every day in Tucson and on the border.

The story is about a Spanish language radio station La Sabrosita who are taking the issue of immigration not only on the air but to Washington (D.C. of course).

Nashville, TN has been cracking down on illegal immigrants in their city. Deporting and making arrests of people found to be illegally in America.

La Sabrosita is one the more popular Spanish language radio stations in Nashville and one of their hot topics is immigration reform. Many callers call in wondering if and when it will ever happen.

La Sabrosita has decided that enough is enough. They have become tired of waiting for lawmakers to do something so they have decided to go to the lawmakers.

According to police reports more than 5,000 undocumented immigrants have had removal (i.e. deportation) proceedings started since December.

Latinos are not the only group who have been affected by immigration reform, as Nashville has seen an influx of Asian, Middle Eastern and African immigrants in recent years.

The radio station says that if local lawmakers do not step up that they will go to Washington and that is what they are doing.

Juan Castro, a show host on La Sabrosita, along with two others from the station are headed to Washington to be at an immigration conference in late March.

Until next time, Namaste.

Monday, March 23, 2009

El Lider Mundil de Deportes

ESPN, the self-proclaimed worldwide leader in
sports, started a venture into delivering sports news to their spanish speaking

Calling themselves ESPN Deportes
started in 2004, the sports channel broadcasts sports and sports news solely in

Starting the channel was a considerable risk for the sports media giant. The
worries over whether or not there would be a market for the a Spanish sports
channel? Would there be enough people out there who would pony up the money to
pay extra in order to get their sports in Spanish.

These worries turned out to be all for naught as the Spanish Worldwide Leader in
Sports ended up not only being profitable but being popular enough for ESPN
Deportes to branch off to become a sports magazine and its own national radio.

ESPN Deportes' Tucson affiliate is broadcast on 990 AM, where they are the
Spanish speaking home of the Arizona Wildcats football and basketball games.

Tucson has something that no other radio station in Arizona has. They are the
only Arizona radio station that has an ESPN Deportes affiliation.

ESPN Deportes has become the Spanish speaking leader in sports in only a few
quick years. While having the ESPN name helps, they have been able to separate
themselves into their own money maker and their own name where you do not think
of the as ESPN but as ESPN Deportes.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

My Experiences In Radio

I just got back from a weekend trip to Vegas, so as you can imagine I feel awesome (insert sarcasm). Lost some money but well worth it. A lot of fun and can't wait to go back.

I don't really have anything planned for this week so I thought I would share my experiences while working at radio stations.

I have worked at 2 stations (both of which are sports stations) Sports 620 KTAR out of Phoenix and 1490 The Fan in Tucson.

Both of my experiences were fantastic and I could not have worked with nicer people.

I have interned at Sports 620 for the past 3 summers. The first summer there I worked on the Diamondbacks post game show and the 620 Sportsline hosted by Dave Burns. Here I learned to use a lot of the audio editing programs that are used and became pretty good at it. I also worked very closely with the show's producer Eric Sorenson. I had a lot of fun watching baseball games and hanging out with people who were interested in the same things that I was. I had so much fun that I decided to do it again.

The following summer I again worked at KTAR. There was a big difference though as the radio station was no longer one station but had split into two stations (a news station and a sports statio) I worked a lot of 12 hour days that summer (waking up at 5:30 am, working 6am-12:30pm, working at the radio station from 1-6, then doing it all over again the next day). I worked closely with E and worked on the show that inspired me to get into radio, Gambo and Ash. These guys are the longest tenured radio show in Phoenix and are really nice and went out of their way to make me feel welcome and part of the show.

Last spring (2008) I interned for 1490 The Fan in Tucson. I worked very closely (literally) with the show host Jody Oehler. This was a different experience for me because the studio size was different from KTAR's. KFFN's studio was the size of a walk-in closet, so imagine fitting 3 people in there (and once a week 4 people) in the space. Just because the studio was small did not mean that it wasn't a good work environment. I had a lot of fun and Jody is an awesome guy. He is funny and gave me a lot of advice that I will use when I get into the business.

This past summer I again pulled off the 12 hour days and worked for G&A again. I worked with the same people and started to pick their brain and get a feel for the business. Working closely with more of the people at the station and gaining more responsibility on the show and even getting the title of assoicate producer.

Well I'm exhausted from Vegas and will probably fall asleep on the couch tonight.

Until next time, Namaste.