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Former KTAR executive ‘Taz’ named to Arizona Broadcasters Hall of Fame

PHOENIX — The Arizona Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame announced four people who are going to be inducted into the 2016 class.

Those set to be inducted into the 27th annual class are Jineane Ford, Bill Mortimer, Dave Munsey and Jim “Taz” Taszarek, who passed away in February.

“Our board of directors put in countless hours picking a perfect class for 2016,” ABA President and CEO Art Brooks said. “This group represents Arizona’s broadcasting community well. We are thrilled to invite Jineane, Bill, Dave and Taz to this exclusive group.”

Taz was one of the most respected men in the broadcasting business in the Valley, hired by Pulitzer Broadcasting in 1981 to run KTAR and K-Lite. He was vice president and general manager of both for 10 years, and during his tenure both stations set ratings and revenue records.

Taz brought Arizona State University sports to KTAR, negotiated the first Arizona Cardinals contract, introduced Pat McMahon to radio, brought Jude LaCava to Phoenix and won a Peabody Award for broadcast excellence.

Ford’s broadcasting career began after winning Miss Arizona and Miss USA in 1980. She worked at several stations around the Valley, including KTVK and KPNX-TV, and also did work with “Good Morning America.”

Mortimer and Munsey each contributed at least 50 years to the radio and television business.

Mortimer was well known in the Tucson area as on-air character Chef Morte. He works at KGVY AM/FM laying oldies in Green Valley, Arizona.

Munsey celebrated 40 years at KSAZ-TV in 2015 after starting on KOOL-FM radio.

Inductees will be honored at a luncheon Oct. 13 at Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale.

McMahon will be the master of ceremonies. Tickets are $100 a seat and $1,000 for a table of 10.

Proceeds from the luncheon will support the organization’s programs, including AZ AMBER Alert, broadcast scholarships at ASU, Northern Arizona University and the University of Arizona, the Summer High School Broadcast Institute at ASU and the Andy Harvey Native American Broadcast Workshop at NAU.

Tickets can be purchased online, or by contacting Jennifer Latko at 602-252-4833 or jlatko@azbroadcasters.org.

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