Jon F. Ruby changed the face of Tucson TV during his 28 years as general manager of KVOA. Ruby was born in Oak Park, IL. and graduated from Indiana University before serving in the Army. From there, he joined a Chicago advertising agency and ventured into television when he joined WLS-TV, the ABC-owned station in Chicago, as an account executive. He eventually worked his way up to general sales manager.
Ruby was hired as general manager for KVOA in 1974. The station was struggling financially and was the market’s lowest-rated news station when he arrived. Within two years both the 10:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. newscasts were rated No. 1. He’s also known for creating the first logo for the station. He drew it on a cocktail napkin.
Ruby retired from the station in August 2002. “Jon was known to be competitive and tough as nails on the outside while a big teddy bear on the inside,” said KVOA-TV News Director Cathie Batbie. “He appreciated hard work. Professionally, he served a term as president of the Tucson Broadcasters Association and was on the board of the Arizona Broadcasters Association. In 2002, Ruby was inducted into the Silver Circle Society of the Rocky Mountain Southwest Chapter of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and in 2004 he was named to the Arizona Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame.
Jon died May 17, 2011, at the age of 73.