Arizona family news welcomes Derek Staahl back as presenter

Arizona family news welcomes Derek Staahl back as presenter
Arizona family news welcomes Derek Staahl back as presenter

Derek Staahl, who returns to Arizona’s family news stations as an anchor, has a cinematic way of describing his comeback.

“I am human ping pong,” Staahl said. “Maybe Scott Pasmore (anchor of ‘Good Morning Arizona’) will lend me a black leather jacket and a motorcycle so I can ride like the Terminator, because I’m back.”

Staahl talked about San Diego, where he has worked for four years. Before that, he worked at … The Arizona family. The University of Southern California graduate also worked in Madison, Wisconsin. It returns to Arizona stations on September 30 and will air on October 3.

It’s probably no surprise that Staahl is comfortable in front of the camera. Her mother and father are in show business. Her mother was in the Groundlings comedy troupe and her father had a small role in “Mork & Mindy,” among other jobs.

In fact, his dad, Jim, created the animated series “Bobby’s World,” starring Howie Mandel and Jim Fisher.

A character from the show ‘Bobby’s World’ is named after Staahl

“One of the characters is actually named after me,” Derek Staahl said. “Which is a matter of pride, but the character they named after me is Bobby’s mean older brother, who has a rat tail and is just not a nice guy. I guess if you’re going to have a character named after you it might not be your first choice, but I’m glad they did.

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Staahl plays drums in a local cover band in San Diego (now looking for a new drummer), but otherwise avoided show business. “I definitely could have done something in the show biz world,” he said. “Without wanting to denigrate what my dad did, my dad did an amazing job. But I really wanted to do something impactful.

Return to Arizona “to do work that matters”

At first he thought it might be sports journalism. But that changed once he discovered current affairs and politics.

“I got into journalism to do work that matters,” he said. “When I think about my career, the most impactful and meaningful work I’ve done was in Arizona.”

And so he’s back, and plans to pick up where he left off.

“During the pandemic, in the 2020 election, I kind of watched from afar from California (while) my colleagues in Arizona were really doing important, impactful journalism that really made sense for democracy,” a- he declared.

“When Arizona’s Family reached out to me about four weeks ago and asked me to come back for an even bigger role at a time when the station was expanding, I thought, ‘Absolutely, yeah.’ It was obvious. It was like a moment of excitement jumping up and down. »

It’s a moment that happened almost by accident.

A well-timed Instagram post and a stroke of luck

“It was kind of weird the way it happened,” Staahl said. “I basically posted a little thing on Instagram of me grounded here in San Diego. … It was like I was having fun with the other co-anchor.

A reporter from Arizona’s Family saw the message and messaged her. “It was like, ‘Oh, we miss you, you should come back,'” he said. “And I was like, ‘Well, my contract ends in two weeks. Do you have jobs? And she was like, ‘Yes!’ “

He didn’t think about it again – briefly. The next day, a Sunday, the news director of Arizona’s Family messaged him and asked if he was really interested or just kidding.

“I was like no, I’m serious,” Staahl said. “So the next day we had an interview, and on Tuesday I had a phone interview with the general manager and they offered me the job on Tuesday three hours later. Basically, the first contact was on a Saturday with this reporter, and they offered me the job on Tuesday. It went quickly.

Arizona as the “center of the national political universe”

In effect. Looks like he can’t wait to get back to Arizona.

“It’s the center of the national political universe,” he said. “And as someone who likes politics, that’s where you want to be. You want to be in Washington, DC, or a swing impact state. And this is Arizona.

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Of the two, Phoenix is ​​the more attractive option, at least for Staahl.

“The great thing about Arizona is that it has much better weather than Washington, DC,” he said, “and it’s much closer to parents and things like that. It’s a place I know. So it was kind of like, ‘Boom! Perfect.'”

Of course, it mattered that the Arizona family offered him a job as a presenter.

“It’s part of the career path for me. … Landing a key position in the #11 market was huge for me.

Staahl also plans to do investigative reporting, as he did during his previous stint in Phoenix. His training, first as a multimedia journalist and then as a reporter, is bearing fruit.

“To be a good anchor, you have to have those reporting roots,” he said. “Because you’re involved in editorial discussions with producers about where various stories should appear in the newscast. You are doing live interviews with reporters, so you need to have the skills of those reporters to ask insightful questions.

“We’re kind of at an inflection point in American journalism”

With Staahl’s love of politics, he’s certainly aware that many people don’t hold the media in high regard. “We’re kind of at an inflection point in American journalism, where trust in the media is historically low,” he said. “And I think some of my fellow journalists were put off by that. … I feel like this is an important moment in journalism.

“And I think that will shape our profession. And I really want to be downstairs while it’s happening.

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For him, it is a question of need.

“You can’t give up now,” he said. “That’s when the country and our communities need good journalists. … I have the impression that even if sometimes the public is more skeptical of journalists, they need us more than ever.

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. new family Arizona welcome new Derek Staahl tant presenter

. Arizona family news welcomes Derek Staahl presenter

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