Two promoted at ABC15

March 12, 2015 (Phoenix) — Chris Kline has been named news director at ABC15, where he will oversee all cross-platform story gathering. In his new position, Kline will lead the newsroom to distribute stories across both television and digital channels to better serve Arizona communities and meet changing audience habits.

Chris Kline

Chris Kline

For the past three years, Kline has served as director of new media at ABC15, managing the station’s growing digital strategy. He’s also served as an executive producer, web producer and reporter during his eight-year tenure at the station.

Before joining ABC15, Kline worked as a convergence journalist for the Arizona Republic and at CNN’s Crossfire in Washington, D.C. He’s also been an adjunct faculty member at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism.

Kline, who is an Arizona native, received his Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism from The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. He moves into the news director role effective immediately.

Danielle Lerner

Danielle Lerner

In related news, Danielle Lerner has been promoted to co-anchor of ABC15 Mornings. She is an award-winning journalist who has been with ABC15 since the fall of 2014 as a weekend anchor and reporter.

“She has been anchoring on a temporary basis with the ABC15 Mornings crew for the past few months and the response to the team has been terrific,” said Anita Helt, vice-president and general manager at ABC15.

Lerner has studied and worked in five different states stretching from Washington, D.C., to California. Before joining ABC15, Lerner was most recently a morning anchor at KVOA-TV in Tucson. She also worked at KSBY-TV in San Luis Obispo, Calif.

Lerner grew up in Phoenix and is a graduate of Chaparral High School. She attended Saint Mary’s College in South Bend and received her Master’s Degree in Broadcast Journalism from Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism.

Valley of the Sun SPJ presents Freedom of Information Awards in Scottsdale

Phoenix, AZ, Sept. 20, 2014 — The Valley of the Sun Chapter, Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) honored nine journalists, two newspapers and two television stations with its 2014 Freedom of Information Awards winners Saturday, Sept. 20, recognizing outstanding work done by members of the state’s media that substantially made use of public records in 2013.

The awards were presented during the Arizona Newspapers Association’s 75th annual fall convention and meeting at the Chaparral Suites in Scottsdale. Valley of the Sun SPJ joined in partnership with ANA for awards presentations for the first time this year, joining the Arizona Associated Press Managing Editors, who have been making its awards presentations at the annual ANA event for several years.

In addition to its First Amendment Awards for outstanding journalism based significantly on access to public records and/or open meetings, Valley of the Sun SPJ also honored with induction into the Order of the Silver Key media professionals who have had long and distinguished careers in Arizona.

Gary Nelson, retired from The Arizona Republic, received the chapter’s highest honor, the Phil Alvidrez Award for Excellence in Journalism.

Here are the awards Valley of the Sun SPJ presented on Sept. 20, 2014:

First Amendment Awards:

  • Morgan Loew, CBS 5/AZ-KPHO, for “Sheriff Arpaio’s SVU”
  • Craig Harris, Beth Duckett and Dustin Gardiner, The Arizona Republic, for “Arizona’s public pension systems”
  • Wendy Halloran, KPNX-TV, for “Phoenix Fire Department arson squad members’ false claims”
  • Craig Harris and Rob O’Dell, The Arizona Republic, for “Troubled youths abused at residential treatment centers”
  • Arizona Daily Star, and education reporter Alexis Huicochea, team leader Joe Burchell, and Editor Bobbie Jo Buel, for lawsuit, “Pressing TUSD to release superintendent candidates’ names”

The First Amendment Awards recognize efforts that substantially relied on public records and open meetings to produce top-quality journalism.

Order of the Silver Key Society:

  • Pete Aleshire, Editor-in-Chief, Payson Roundup
  • Ed Sharpe of the Glendale Daily Planet
  • Kathy Tulumello, Business editor, The Arizona Republic

The Order of the Silver Key honors journalists who have been in the profession for at least 25 years, a significant majority of which were in Arizona, who have conspicuously contributed to the journalism profession and have inspired fellow journalists.

Phil Alvidrez Award for Excellence in Journalism:

Gary Nelson, retired from of The Arizona Republic

   The Phil Alvidrez Award for Excellence in Journalism recognizes the career of an Arizona journalist whose body of work has served to inspire fellow journalists, including a notable commitment to the cause of freedom of information. The award is named for Phil Alvidrez, who retired as news director at Phoenix’s KTVK-TV (Channel 3) after 20 years in that position. Alvidrez was a tireless campaigner for the free flow of government information, often committing his station’s financial resources to fight numerous court battles to open closed documents and meetings.

For more information, contact Teri Carnicelli, Valley of the Sun SPJ treasurer, at 602-410-1267 or

Founded in 1909 as Sigma Delta Chi, SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to a well-informed citizenry; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and protects First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. Our Valley of the Sun chapter has been doing the same since 1958.

Job openings in Arizona

General assignment reporter sought in Prescott

Prescott Newspapers, Inc., featuring the award-winning 17K circulation The Daily Courier, in the mountain environment of Prescott, AZ, is looking for a reporter to cover general news and feature assignments. Beats could range from public safety to education, depending on the applicant’s strengths. The right candidate will have a degree in journalism or commensurate experience, knowledge of Associated Press style, and strong verbal and customer relation skills. Excellent benefits.
Send resume and clippings to:
Human Resources
Prescott Newspapers, Inc.
8303 E Highway 69
Prescott Valley, AZ 86314
or you may Fax 928-777-8625 or Email to

AP seeks an editor on the West Desk

Editors on the West Desk edit and file the top news in a 13-state region comprised of Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, Nevada, California, Alaska and Hawaii. They are part of a dynamic, 24/7 operation and work with editors from photo, multimedia, video and broadcast to ensure AP owns the coverage in all formats. Editors report to the assistant editor, and they work closely with news editors and reporters in bureaus around the region to make sure AP content is accurate, well-written, packaged creatively and timely. Editors ensure that urgent news is filed promptly, while keeping an eye toward developing the story throughout the news cycle and beyond.

The ideal candidates will have two or more years of professional news experience, including editing.

For more information or to apply, click here:,false

Univision seeks video journalist

Univision Television Group – KTVW Univision Arizona is seeking a video journalist. The right person will be responsible for reporting, shooting and editing video news stories and producing content for use in multiple outlets. Candidate will write and post across various platforms including updating web site and mobile products.

Job functions include: Gather information, conduct interviews, shoot video, produce, report and edit assigned stories daily; Post video, pictures and stories to website, Facebook and other social media outlets; Maintain strong familiarity with local, national and International news and issues of the day. Establish and maintain news contacts in the community.

Education: BA degree in communication, journalism, television broadcasting preferred. Experience: 1 year newsroom experience required, or equivalent combination of education and experience.

Email a resume and links to your most powerful stories to:

AZ media professionals, students and others honored for 1st Amendment use & support at May 18 event

The Valley of the Sun Chapter, Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) pays tribute to working journalists and others with its annual Arizona First Amendment Awards and other recognition awards. This year, the Valley of the Sun SPJ has partnered with the Arizona Press Club and will co-present its awards at a reception set for 6:30 p.m. Saturday, May 18 at The Duce, 525 S. Central Ave., Phoenix. We are expecting more than 100 attendees. Tickets are $15 may be purchased at: Ticket price includes sliders and chips; there also will be three cash bars available.

Those being honored include:

First Amendment AwardKarina Bland, The Arizona Republic, for “Domestic violence deaths in Arizona tragically consistent”; Bob Ortega, The Arizona Republic, for his four-part series on “The Price of Prisons”; Carol Ann Alaimo, the Arizona Daily Star, for “PCC legal costs skyrocket”; and the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication’s News21 Project Team for “Who Can Vote?” The First Amendment Award honors published or broadcast work in 2012 that involved significant reliance on public records and open meetings

The Order of the Silver Key SocietyJill Jorden Spitz, senior editor, Arizona Daily Star; Bret McKeand, publisher & president of Operations, Independent Newspapers Inc., and Randi Weinstein, managing editor, Phoenix Business Journal (posthumous). The award pays tribute to journalists from any medium with at least 25 years of experience in the state of Arizona (consecutive or cumulative) whose careers exemplify high standards and consistent, top-quality journalism.

The Phil Alvidrez Award for Excellence in JournalismMark Casey, VP and News Director, KPNX-TV Channel 12. The award honors an Arizona journalist who has demonstrated a continuous commitment over time of high standards of ethical professional conduct and a spirited defense of the First Amendment.