It was three years ago this week that Bill Buckmaster started discussing a rather radical change. Buckmaster sat down with longtime local radio talk-show fixture John C. Scott to talk about taking a big chance. It involved abandoning the program through which he had become a known commodity, the program he had helped to launch a quarter-century earlier. He was ready to leave Arizona Illustrated on PBS affiliate KUAT Channel 6 and give the brokered radio talk-show venture a go.
After leaving Arizona Public Media six months later, he endured a bit of rough sledding as one of a number of hosts dealing with the management debacle during KJLL 1330′s (later KWFM 1330) final days as a talk station. But once he jumped to KVOI 1030 AM, Buckmaster’s show was on solid footing. He used his name recognition and a tried-and-true approach familiar to listeners from his long stint in the Arizona Illustrated anchor chair to gain strong advertising support and solid listener numbers. His hourlong show airs at noon weekdays…
Rum, Romanism and Rebellion:
If you haven’t caught his show yet, it’s a must listen for anyone that gives a darn about what goes on in our town. It’s on KVOI 1030 AM weekdays from noon to 1 pm.
Green Valley News:
Bill Buckmaster, host of the Buckmaster Show on KVOI AM 1030 radio, announced that he will not take any political advertising on his show as the campaign season heats up in Tucson.
Buckmaster, who was host of KUAT’s “Arizona Illustrated” for 23 years, returned to his roots in radio in January at KJLL in Tucson. He moved to KVOI in June, where he hosts an hourlong interview-based show at noon. The show reaches eight counties in Arizona, and into New Mexico.
Buckmaster said he made the decision after he was approached by candidates for Tucson’s Nov. 8 general election. He said he will continue to interview candidates from all parties but won’t air political commercials.
“We allow our listeners to make their own decisions and try very hard not to influence them in any way,” he said in a press release. “To my knowledge, no other commercial radio show has ever refused to air political ads.”
Arizona Daily Star:
Bill Buckmaster endured a turbulent first 10 months and change on the radio.
He left hosting duties on the “Arizona Illustrated” TV show after 23 years to start a talk-radio show on KJLL 1330-AM. After only three months, Buckmaster bolted to KVOI 1030-AM, where he’s since settled in. His show airs from noon to 1 on weekdays.
Via email, I asked Buckmaster what three things he’s learned in his first year on radio. Here’s his response:
1. “I have learned that running a small business is a 24/7 job and has given me a new respect for the people who run this country’s small businesses.”
2. “I have learned that guests are much more comfortable sitting behind a microphone in a radio studio than in front of a camera in a brightly lit studio, thus providing a better interview.”
3. “I have learned that live radio with its interactive caller component is much more fun and exciting than taping a television show days in advance of its airing.”
Inside Tucson Business:
After four months on the air, Bill Buckmaster is moving his hour-long weekday radio show to a new home.
Starting June 1, the radio show will air at noon on the Voice KVOI 1030-AM in Tucson, and on KAPR 930-AM in Douglas and KJAA 1240-AM in Globe.
He’ll finish out the next two weeks on the Jolt KJLL 1330-AM, where the show has been airing live at 9 a.m. weekdays since Jan. 3. During May, Buckmaster says he’s going to work with advertising clients and line up additional guests and regular contributors for the new show.
“I’m really excited about this,” Buckmaster said. “Part of our business plan from the very beginning was to try to syndicate this show to a wider audience and with this move we can reach an audience in at least eight counties all across Southern Arizona to the New Mexico border and even into Mexico. You can even listen to this station almost all the way to Sky Harbor (airport in Phoenix).”
Buckmaster had hosted “Arizona Illustrated” on KUAT-TV 6 for nearly 22 years and left that job in November to pursue the radio show. He said he’s been extremely pleased with the response from listeners who appreciate his informative and interview-driven style.
“I’m having a ball. You can keep notes at hand and not have to worry so much about looking into the camera plus, you don’t have to wear that high-definition make-up,” Buckmaster said.
Another plus is that the noon-time broadcast means his show will air at a time when more people are in their cars and can listen. It’s also easier for guests to stop by.
He said that idea came from Doug Martin, president and general manager, of the group that owns KVOI, KAPR and KJAA.
Buckmaster said he leaves the Jolt with no ill-feelings.
“I’m very grateful for the opportunity John C. Scott has given me and I think he understands the reasons and is supportive of the move,” he said.
Arizona Daily Star:
After decades of stability, broadcast veteran Bill Buckmaster’s career has become as active as a pinball.
A little more than three months into his new radio venture, having started the round-table news show “Buckmaster” on KJLL 1330-AM in January, Buckmaster announced he’s uprooting his show and headed over to KVOI 1030-AM, where his program will be simulcast to KAPR 930-AM in Douglas and KJAA 1240-AM in Globe.
The latest announcement comes after Buckmaster spent 23 years hosting “Arizona Illustrated” on KUAT.
“This is not about KJLL. I am grateful for the opportunity given to me by my friend (KJLL general manager) John C. Scott to transition from TV to talk radio. After all, John is the dean of Tucson radio news,” Buckmaster said via email. “But as John well understands, this is about taking my business to the next level.”
When I spoke to Scott on the phone, he indeed seemed to understand the reason for Buckmaster’s departure and harbors no ill will toward him.
“KVOI made him a great offer. … I’m really happy for him,” Scott said. “We are going to miss him.”
A reader called in and speculated that Scott was also on his way out, unhappy with the climate at the station, but Scott said, “I haven’t made any decision at all.”
Dawn Avalon, vice president of KJLL owner Hudson Communications, did not return repeated calls.
Buckmaster will stay on KJLL in the 9 to 10 a.m. slot through the end of the month, then go off the air in May to retool the show before re-emerging on KVOI June 1. The show will air weekdays from noon to 1 p.m.
Bill Buckmaster, who left his anchor gig with Arizona Illustrated last year after more than two decades to launch his own radio show, is again on the move.
The Buckmaster Show, which airs from 9 to 10 a.m. on KJLL AM 1330, will be heard from noon to 1 p.m. on KVOI AM 1030 beginning in June. He’ll also syndicate the show on KAPR in Douglas and KJAA in Globe.
“I am really excited about this move,” Buckmaster says. “It expands the reach of the show from one end of Southern Arizona to the other, and one of my goals was to get the program into syndication.”
Buckmaster will remain on KJLL through the end of April and will take May off to retool the show. The format will mostly remain the same, with your Skinny scribe continuing to join a roundtable of local journalists on Fridays.
Buckmaster thanked KJLL general manager, talk-show host and friend of The Skinny John C. Scott for helping him launch the show.
“John C. Scott is the dean of local talk shows and a living legend in Tucson,” Buckmaster said. “He was the reason I decided to go with KJLL in the first place, and I’ll always been indebted to him for making the transition from TV news to radio as smooth as it has been.”
Green Valley News & Sun:
Talk radio is about to get a whole lot smarter, but it took a local TV icon to get us there.
Bill Buckmaster recently ended a 23-year run as host of “Arizona Illustrated” on KUAT’s Channel 6.
Now the guy who was a fixture on your TV screen is headed back to his roots in radio.
You can listen online at www.buckmastershow.com, where you’ll find archived recordings of past shows, a list of upcoming guests and information about what’s going on in the area.
Buckmaster is all about asking the right questions of the right people to get the answers we need to make informed decisions.
If you tune in expecting to hear the kind of preaching-to-the-choir rhetoric you get on nearly every talk-radio show in town, forget it.
Buckmaster is single-handedly upping the IQ of Tucson talk radio, and we’ve needed it for a long time.
He’s been busy lining up guests, but I managed to corral him for a bit.
Here’s some of what he has to say about his new start:
Q: You’re headed back to your roots. Has much changed in radio since you last were on the air regularly?
A: Of course, since I left all-news radio in 1980 in San Jose, the technology has improved dramatically, but as for content, radio remains a very personal way of communicating. In TV, folks would say, “I love the tie you were wearing last night,” and say nothing about the content of the interview I was conducting.
Q: Talk radio is heavily partisan and not always accurate. In fact, mostly not accurate. Can we expect better from you?
A: There is no question the journey I am beginning is an experiment in what I call “intelligent talk.” “The Buckmaster Show” is not about what Bill Buckmaster thinks.
Instead, it is about presenting a host of top-quality guests and newsmakers and letting my listeners make the decision on the important issues of the day. We will see if there is a place for this type of civil discourse.
Q: You’ll have a lot of the same voices on the air that you had in studio at KUAT. How will the radio format be different from what we saw on TV?
A: In many ways, the studio segments on “Arizona Illustrated” were radio on television. Other than checking out how the interviewee looked, it was about what they had to say and that sounds like radio to me folks.
So I have put together a long list of contributors who were regulars on “Arizona Illustrated” who will join me at least once a month on the radio.
Q: Any new voices we’ll be hearing? How’d you decide on the lineup?
A: I decided to expand the list of contributors because I want a very well-rounded show that covers a lot of bases in Southern Arizona. We have added Keith Rosenblum, former Arizona Republic and Arizona Daily Star reporter, who will be our border contributor. Jack Challem, who is known as the “Nutrition Reporter.” Other new voices include UA Education Professor Dr. Robert Hendricks on education, historian Ken Scoville, will bring an understanding of why Tucson is the city it is today, and Dr. Mark Sublette will be doing arts and culture segments.
Q: Green Valley and Sahuarita are important for many reasons. What do you want to hear from this area?
A: Green Valley and Sahuarita are very important not only because of the enormous growth going on there but the environmental impact with the planned Rosemont Mine. I encourage all my friends who supported me on “Arizona Illustrated” to call the radio show.
Buckmaster, an Army veteran, likes to talk about his guests, but let me talk about him for a minute, because he recently collected a couple of notable and well-deserved honors.
He won the 2011 Golden Mic Award from the American Advertising Federation, Tucson Chapter, and the Citizen Medal from the Pima County Sheriff’s Department.
He didn’t win the awards because he’s a nice guy or because it was his turn.
He won them because he’s fair, he’s accurate, and he understands that journalism done the right way contributes to building a strong community.
Our best wishes to Buckmaster, because when his new show succeeds we’re all going to be that much better off.
Sheriff’s Department’s Citizen Medal Recipient:
On December 16, 2010, Pima County Sheriff Clarence W. Dupnik, presented Mr. Bill Buckmaster with the Sheriff’s Department’s Citizen Medal. The presentation was done as a result of Mr. Buckmaster’s outstanding achievements as Managing Editor and Anchor for KUAT TV’s nightly news program, Arizona Illustrated.
Mr. Buckmaster served as the Managing Editor and Anchor for more than 22 years and will be leaving the program after tomorrow’s edition. The Sheriff’s Department congratulates Mr. Buckmaster for his outstanding contribution to journalism, informing the public on a vast variety of subjects, and his direct support of public safety in Tucson and Pima County for the past two decades.
The Pima County Sheriff’s Department wishes Mr. Buckmaster the best of luck in all his future endeavors.
American Advertising Foundation Tucson:
American Advertising Federation Tucson (AAF Tucson) has announced the selection of Bill Buckmaster as recipient of its 2011 Golden Mic Award. For the past 23 years, Buckmaster has been managing editor and anchor for “Arizona Illustrated” on KUAT-TV PBS 6. On January 3, he launches his new broadcast venture “Buckmaster”, a live, daily radio talk show at 9am on KJLL Radio. The award will be officially presented at AAF Tucson’s 30th Annual ADDY® Awards gala event on Saturday, February 19, 2011 at The Fox Tucson Theatre.
The Golden Mic award was established to recognize local media personalities who have given selflessly of their time to help raise awareness and contributions for area charities. The American Advertising Federation Tucson Board of Directors annually accepts nominations for this award. Previous recipients of the award include Alan Michaels, Bobby Rich, Colleen Bagnall & Patty Weiss, Johnjay VanEs & Rich Berra, Guy Atchley, Brian Jeffries, Chuck George and Ed Alexander.
AAF Tucson and Ad2 Tucson are comprised of more than 400 local advertising and media professionals.