Phoenix’s KJZZ opens second bureau south of the border

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KJZZ in Phoenix is expanding its cross-border news coverage with the addition of a second bureau in Mexico.

The bureau is in Hermosillo, the capital of the northwest Sonora state. Reporters at the bureau are covering “the fast-growing market between Arizona and Mexico” to help listeners “better understand economic globalization and its impact on the Southwest,” according to a press release.

KJZZ and Rio Salado College, where the station is based, opened the bureau July 10 in partnership with Universidad Tecnológica de Hermosillo, a local university.

“There are massive energy projects invested in by both states, hundreds of miles of modern highway rolling out across the Sonoran desert toward the border and cross border trade discussions,” said Fronteras Desk Senior Editor Michel Marizco in a statement to Current. “KJZZ’s bureau reporters in Sonora’s capital will be there to report on the pace of the two states’ progress and deliver the analysis our audience has come to expect.”

The bureau is staffed by two newly hired full-time employees, Kendal Blust and Murphy Woodhouse. Blust formerly reported for Nogales International in Arizona, and Woodhouse reported for the Arizona Daily Star in Tucson and Nogales International.

The station has included the Hermosillo bureau in its budget planning for two years, according to Linda Pastori, KJZZ GM of development. The station is currently seeking funding for the bureau. Conversations with potential funders have been “encouraging,” Pastori said. “We are hopeful that ultimately, support for a news bureau in the state of Sonora will afford us the opportunity to remain in Hermosillo indefinitely.”

The Hermosillo bureau is KJZZ’s second in Mexico. In 2016, KJZZ opened a Mexico City bureau. “Our Mexico City bureau has focused heavily on the constant turmoil of the U.S.’s relationship with Mexico, especially in the months leading up to Mexico’s own elections,” said Marizco.

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