Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Fox 11 - The Last Day

My time at Fox 11 KMSB is one of the shortest jobs I've had working at any of the broadcasting jobs in my career.  I got a lot out of the experience and I'm grateful for the opportunity to work there.

As it comes to an end today, I thought I'd share a few photos I've taken over the last few months.

I have had the privilege of working with some awesome people and for Belo, a great company.  Thanks for the memories... even though there only a few.

The Fox 11 / KTTU 18 building from the parking area facing north

Receptionist's desk

Commonly referred to as "the reporter room".
Everything is digital now so keeping the tapes in the yellow boxes is more for archival reasons.
Either that or someone thinks keeping yellow stuff around makes the place more cheerful.

Video editing bay

This used to be 'master control' where everything on the station ran out of.
That function was moved to KTVK Channel 3's offices in Phoenix a while back but some equipment remains.

Another view of the former master control room

The Fox 11 Sports Force office - which ended up doubling as a news room.
A newsroom was built but never used.
This is the space I worked in each day as a producer sharing the office.

One of the many long hallways inside the building

The fully built / outfitted newsroom that was never used.
The view from hallway window.
Had to take it out there because no one was allowed to work in or go in there.

Another view of the newsroom.

The newsroom now after a lot of the stuff inside has been removed
and taken over to the KOLD building for their use in the shared services agreement.

Second photo of the newsroom in its current state.

The main studio where the newscast is delivered each night.

The green screen wall where weather and other features are done like the Fox 11 Searchlight entertainment segment.

A look out the back door of the building where the live trucks were.

Sales department

News production room - where the newscast is produced each night

Another view of the news production room and the video monitors above

The booth where audio is controlled during the newscast

Christmas Day 2011 just before 1 p.m.
I'm the only one here! (that's my car in the lot)

Spotted this vehicle in the parking lot a few weeks ago.
Apparently its unsafe to drive.

One of the employees drives this to work every day.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Winning a jackpot

Here's what winning a $3000 jackpot on a dollar machine looks like at Casino of the Sun in Tucson.

I was four spins in when it hit for a total of 8 bucks spent.

Today was definitely a good day.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Grocery shopping with Anthony

It drives Anthony crazy when I take stealth photos of him at the grocery store with my Blackberry.

That's what makes it fun!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Fox 11 - The Informal Gathering

A handful of people who work at Fox 11 got together to hang out and have some food and drink.  Its the last few days for this group to be together so it was fun to socialize.

I tend to take very Kenparazzi style photos at these kinds of things and this was no exception.

At Union Public House -- at Campbell Ave. and River Rd. in Tucson:

Val and Carissa eat mussels.

Val eats mussels. I take photo. The end.

Mark and Kelly.

Val and Carissa.

Kelly looks at a menu.
Lee has a mouthful of pizza.
I told you I take very Kenparazzi photos at events like this.

Three people, one thumb.

Mark, Samantha, Marcelino, Kelly.

Samantha and Marcelino.

Mark eats some really cheesy macaroni and cheese.
From left: Carissa, Kevin, Mark, Samantha.

Hey Ken, we're eating.
Stop taking photos!

Kelly eats ahi tuna.

Kelly eats tuna.
Marcelino eats macaroni and cheese.
Lee crosses his arms.

Tuna strikes fear in the heart of Karen.

One of these two people ate a forkfull of tuna.
Hint: The one on the left.

Karen eats bread that looks like poop.
Mmm. Poop.

A great group of people having a really good time.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

My Rosie O'Donnell story

Jimmy Fallon has Rosie O'Donnell on as a guest tonight and it reminded me of my encounter with Rosie back in 1991.

I was the morning deejay on Kix 106 in Providence, Rhode Island.  I was asked if I would have Rosie on as a guest.  She was doing her stand-up act at a local comedy club and was making the rounds on local radio stations to promote the show.

At the time, she was the host of VH1's "Stand Up Spotlight".  She did a little standup comedy on each show and then brought other comedians on.  VH1 still played a lot of music videos at the time so it was a show that kind of stood out and was a big help in giving her national exposure.

My show was on from 5-10 a.m.  She came in with the promoter from the club who was appointed as her driver at around 7 a.m.

Rosie was wearing overalls and immediately announced she was tired and didn't know how I could be so cheery that early.  It made sense at the time -- she was primarily a stand-up comedienne and that meant working late nights at comedy clubs doing her routine.

She was gracious and funny.  We were on about 4-5 minutes and then I had to get a commercial break and traffic report on before chatting with her some more.

During the break, she looked at me and said "I know you make a lot of money".  I stared at her in disbelief.  I asked "Did I leave my paystub lying around?"

She said, "No.  But I just turned down an offer to be on the Howard and Stephanie morning show on Hot 97 in New York for $500,000.  I thought it would tie me down too much from my stand-up and TV career which is really taking off so I turned it down.  Plus, I'm working on some possible movie deals."

I was making $27,000 a year at the time.

We finished up her time on the air and after she left I wondered if she made the right choice.

I think its obvious looking back... that she did.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

My new job is...

I've been telling you a little about searching for my next career opportunity after my employment ends at Fox 11 KMSB on January 31.

After weeks of searching and interviewing, I'm excited to announce that I have accepted an offer to be the Executive Producer of the Morning Blend TV show on KGUN 9 here in Tucson starting February 6.  If you haven't watched the show, it airs at 11 a.m. weekdays (with a replay at noon on CW Channel 58) and its a one hour local lifestyle/entertainment show.

I made the transition from radio to television in October 2011 after my job ended at Mega 106.3.  Working as a news producer at Fox 11 gave me the opportunity to learn new skills.  It also demonstrated that I could successfully transition to television.  That turned out to be an important component in landing this position.

I will be returning to Journal Broadcast Group, the company I worked for before Fox 11, but on the television side.  Its an amazing opportunity and I am excited to get started.  The people who work on the show are fantastic.  Plus, I will be working again with the same wonderful group of people I had the privilege of working with for six years during my first run at Journal.

Who says you can't go home?

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Gabrielle Giffords Resigns

A sad day for many in the Tucson area and around the country.

Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords announcing she'll resign from her seat in the House of Representatives.

Some people agree with her political views and some don't... but one thing that is obvious through the shooting incident on January 8, 2011 and the last year of her recovery:  She's a strong woman full of fight.

There will be a special election to replace her in the near future.  Here's hoping that someone runs who is as extraordinary as she is.  Or else I'm writing in a name.  Justin Bieber?

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Anthony ate ANOTHER whole cake!

I am endlessly fascinated by Anthony's eating habits.

Back on January 5th I posted a photo of an empty Pepperidge Farm Lemon Cake box.  It was empty because Anth ate the entire cake by himself.  It only took hours for him to do it.  Click here for that story.

He's done it... AGAIN!

He's totally happy having cake for breakfast.  He's also thin and healthy.  Its fascinating.

He just polished off another cake.  This one was Red Velvet.

This is the cake Anthony ate all by himself.
He also had four giant cupcakes in the last two days.
Total rockstar move.

Friday, January 20, 2012

11 Days Left - at Fox 11

Today marks 11 days left at Fox 11.

Its been an extraordinary experience.  Everyone I've had the privilege to work with is awesome.  My co-workers have been patient, kind to me, and willing to teach me a brand new set of job skills.  Its a really good group of people.

Even though this job was short in its tenure, I've gotten the opportunity to learn how to produce a newscast.  Plus, I've gotten the chance to show that I can successfully make a career change (working as a news producer is very much a career change compared to programming a radio station and working as an on-air talent).

The most extraordinary part of my time at Fox 11 is seeing how professional and together everyone has been knowing its about to end.  It won't end for people who watch each day.  Viewers will still get their news at 9 p.m. plus two new hours of programming in the morning.  But, it will look different and will feature a different cast of people delivering the news stories on camera.  Most people won't know the blood, sweat and tears that went into putting together the newscasts prior to February 1 with a small, hardworking, dedicated staff.  It will be done by a different company and different people at that time.  The newscast will also be in high definition for the first time.

The part that will end is the group of people who work together now.  Some are getting hired at Raycom (the company that owns KOLD and will be responsible for producing newscasts starting February 1), some at other stations in Tucson, some in other cities, and some will be going on to other jobs other than in television news.

One thing that has been unusual is the open nature of finding employment.  There hasn't been a day that has gone by since mid-November where I haven't heard co-workers ask each other things like "Did you get a new job?" or "How's the job hunt going?" and get to hear real candid conversations.  I've never experienced anything like it.

It was a gamble for the company to hire an inexperienced producer and it was a gamble for me to take on the job.  I'd like to think the gamble was a successful one for both sides.  I'm grateful that I've had the opportunity even if its only been for a short time.

I work nine of the last eleven days.  I imagine it'll be a one of a kind experience.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Flashback: Mega Movie - "Mouth Hunt"

I hosted the Mega Movie on the CW Channel 58 for 2 1/2 years and some nights of filming my mouth just wouldn't work right.

Here's a Ken Carr flashback:  An out take from March 2009 when "Mouse Hunt" turned into "Mouth Hunt".


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

January 2012 Winter Rain in Tucson

A cool cloudy day with rain in Tucson, Arizona... is an event.

If you are from somewhere else you probably think this is ridiculous.

This is one of the sunniest climates in America.  There are more than 200 days on average each year where clouds cover less than a third of the sky.  That puts Tucson in sixth place overall.  The least cloudy city in America is Yuma, Arizona in case you were wondering.

I put up the occasional photo of rain or clouds because its unusual.  Its mostly sunny, mostly warm compared to most cities.  Today it was 61 and rainy from morning until late afternoon.  Brrrr.

I was driving to work yesterday and a few drops hit my windshield so I grabbed my camera for a photo.  Its not terribly safe to take a picture while driving but I live dangerously.  Ahem.

Grant Road in Tucson driving west of Tucson Blvd on a grey cloudy rainy day

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Flashback: My brand new cooler

Here's a photo of my brother Mike in one of his first apartments in Kansas City.  It was around 1990 I believe.

He moved there to go to school at DeVry and there are several funny elements (to me anyway) about this picture.

He was making a twelve egg omelette.  In this photo he's cutting up potatoes.  Who is this thin and can pack away a twelve egg omelette?!

He's also wearing a t-shirt from a bar called "Caboose".  I believe that was a stolen (ok, discarded) item from his big brother Ken.

Here's the thing that really caught my eye - the cooler on the counter.  I still have it more than twenty years later!

Here's a toast to the chickens... who had to produce all those eggs.

Twelve egg omelettes - all the rage back in the day.

Flashback: Christmas 2003

Here's a photo I found from my days at 93.7 KRQ.  It was a staff photo at the Tucson Mall with Santa in December 2003.

It was then Program Director Steve King's idea for all of us to go to the mall for this photo.

I was the big dork in the back doing a fake ear licking of Polo.

Good times!

KRQ crew - December 2003

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Fantasy Bachelor

I overheard a conversation here at Fox 11 and have to share.

A couple of my co-workers participate in "Fantasy Bachelor".

Fantasy Bachelor is kind of like fantasy football.  You draft women contestants when the season starts, there's some sort of point system, and as they're eliminated you lose your players.

I asked to have it explained to me and I don't understand it any more than what I just described.

I can tell you I won't be participating.  I watched one episode of that show a few years ago and I thought it was awful.

Monday, January 9, 2012

You caught my eye

A man is dining in a fancy restaurant and there is a gorgeous redhead sitting at the next table. He has been checking her out since he sat down.

Suddenly she sneezes, and her glass eye comes flying out of its socket toward the man. He reflexively reaches out, grabs it out of the air, and hands it back.

'Oh my, I am so sorry,' the woman says as she pops her eye back in place. 'Let me buy your dinner to make it up to you,' she says.

They enjoy a wonderful dinner, afterwards they go to the theater followed by drinks. They talk, they laugh, they share their deepest dreams. She pays for everything and asks him if he would like a nightcap. The next morning, she cooks a gourmet meal with all the trimmings. The guy is amazed. Everything had been SO incredible!

'You know,' he said, 'you are the perfect woman. Are you this nice to every guy you meet?'

'No,' she replies. . .'You just happened to catch my eye.'

The joy of January 8

One year ago on January 8 a terrible incident happened in Tucson.  The shooting in front of the Safeway at Ina Road and Oracle Road that left six dead and many injured including Representative Gabrielle Giffords.

The incident happened on January 8, 2011 at 10:11 a.m.  I was asleep.

I was Program Director of Mega 106.3 at the time and Dino, who usually worked Saturdays from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. was in the studio when it occured, starting getting calls from station listeners asking what was going on.  He did an excellent job of getting information out about the incident.

It was one of the darkest days in Tucson's history.

I think most viewers of television, or listeners or radio, don't know the amount of work that is involved to generate programming that centers around unusual events.  It involves a lot of planning and coordination.

Now that I work in TV news I realize how stressful covering this sort of thing can be.

I'm sad for the victims... but glad its over.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Anthony ate a whole lemon cake

I know one person who didn't make a New Year's resolution to lose weight:  Anthony.

He doesn't need it to begin with.  He's thin.  But, if he'd made a resolution like that it would have already been broken.

We went to the grocery store last night and among the items purchased was a Pepperidge Farm Lemon Cake.

He ate the entire thing by himself in less than 18 hours.

All that is left is the box.

One man... three layers... one pound two ounces of lemon cake.
At least it had luscious lemon flavor.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Cracking 10,000

I hit a big milestone to start 2012!

More than 10,000 friends and followers on Facebook and Twitter.  In the media business... numbers and reach mean a lot.

As of this writing I have 2,568 Facebook friends and exactly 7,500 followers between my two Twitter accounts.

If you're part of that group... thank you.  I hope you find my posts / information helpful, informative, or you just get a good laugh.

I appreciate you!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Years Eve 2011

2011 was quite a year in my life.

I didn't travel far last year (I think the biggest drive I made was about 30 miles and no airplane trips).  I didn't have to travel to have plenty of life adventures however.

The year included long hours working at Journal / Mega 106.3, moving in together with Anthony, guest hosting Cosmic Bingo, leaky roof issues in my apartment finally getting fixed, getting a couple of new digital cameras, my first call to jury duty since I've lived in Arizona, being nominated Tucson's Most Influential Man by Arizona Foothills Magazine (I came in third in the voting), my laptop dying and my brother Mike doing a rockstar job at fixing it, photos with Boyz II Men and the San Diego Chicken, getting a shout out from Patti LaBelle at her Tucson concert and I wasn't even at the show, doing stage announcements at the Old School Summer Jam in front of 5000 people, and the biggest bombshell of the year... getting let go from my six year job at Journal Broadcast Group... followed by quickly being hired at Fox 11 KMSB.

The last moments of 2011 were spent at Leslie's New Year's Eve party where at the stroke of midnight Anthony asked me to marry him.  It was amazing.  And I said yes.

The Kenparazzi photos:

Laura and Anthony

A little bit o' conversation

Holly turns her back on the half bottle of champagne she drank

Leslie and Aaron

Holly doesn't feel well.
I have a sad face... and an Elmo hat.
Holly takes medication.

Goat cheese coated in blueberries.
Or as I like to call it:  poop.

I'm still wearing the Elmo hat and Anthony's hand is stuck in my armpit.

Leslie's neighbors show up right before midnight to join in the festivities.

Holly blows... her noisemaker.
It gets excited.

Anthony sporting a crown lookin' thing.

Holly's still blowing the noisemaker.
She's wearing it out.

Toasting the champagne at midnight

Laura... spilling in the New Year.

Aaron and Leslie with a Happy New Year hug.

Everyone yells Happy New Year!
I feel a tug on my pant leg... look down...
and this is what I see.
A man holding a ring.

I think this is meant for me!

Together nearly three years...
Anthony asks me to marry him.

I'm still in shock!

The ring is awesome!
And.... I said yes!

It does look good on my finger!

Pepperoni pizza is the rockstar way to bring in a new year!

The ring, the box in came in, and the foam thingy that holds cold drinks.
I may not be on that station anymore but I got the foam thingy for free.
And free is for me!

After eating snacks I need a paper towel to keep my hand grease free so it doesn't
mess up the ring.
Oops... I bumped my ass into Leslie.
That may... or may not... have been on purpose.

A pepperoni cheese French loaf thingy.
That's the biggest one of those... I've ever seen.