Arizona's Family

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During the grief and chaos of this past week, a friend of mine (who does not work at 3tv) said to me that he was sick of hearing viewers say they were part of "Arizona's Family." He said those viewers don't know us, and "Arizona's Family" is just a creative marketing slogan. I love my friend but this comment really upset me.

Maybe it started out as a marketing slogan, but that's not what it means to any of us anymore. Channel 3 is a unique place. When you love where you work and who you work with, those people become family. When you go on "road trips" and spend many long days together, enjoying each others company while respecting each others work, you are like family. I am fairly new to 3TV, heading into my third year now in the weather department, but even when I first started here, I knew this place was different. Actually, I knew that *before I even started.

Channel 3 is known all over the country for several reasons. First, it's uncommon for an independent (non-affiliated) station to have such success in television ratings. But more than that, so many people who previously worked at 3TV, remember it as one of the best places they ever worked.

Then there are the people here now. At most stations, there are a few people who've been at a station for a long time. At 3TV there are many...and I think that says something. I grew up watching Dan Davis and Frank Camacho. (They hate hearing that :) Now, I work side-by-side with them. I also used to watch Patti Kirkpatrick and Royal Norman.

Soon after I started at 3TV, I caught a cold and had to call in sick. Royal brought me chicken soup....it was homemade! Olivia and Claudia took me out for drinks when I was stressed out planning my wedding. There are many little stories I can think of like this that make me think fondly of my co-workers. And just like family members, we don't always get along. We tell each other what we think and sometimes fight. I can think of a time or two when I've wanted to smack Brad Perry, in fact. :) But time goes by and we are friends... and family again. Brad even offered to work for me on a Sunday night this past December, so my new husband and I could go to the company holiday party.

As for viewers not being part of our family....that's just ridiculous. I think our whole goal is to "connect" with viewers, and judging by the public's reaction to this past week's tradgedy, I think we have. When I go to the grocery store, people I don't know congratulate me on my recent wedding. We are familiar to people, and because of that, they let us in their homes, not just when they watch the news, but sometimes to tell their own stories. Just the other day , I covered the story of a Valley family who lost their home to a monsoon thunderstorm. They were devastated, but yet they still let me and the photographer in to share their story. I am amazed at that. So many people these days don't trust the media, but our viewers are different. They know us and they treat us with respect. And I'd like to think that's because we treat them the same way.

Thank you to everyone who emailed condolences, dropped off flowers or food, and especially to those said a prayer for us this week. I may not know you, but I am thankful you are part of Arizona's family.