Dubbed the dean of NBA play-by-play and now in his 50th season as the “Voice of the Suns,” Al McCoy holds the NBA’s longest consecutive run as a team broadcaster. He first hit the air during a 1972 preseason game and is now an indelible part of the Suns brand. From “Shazam” to “Zing Go the Strings” to “Heartbreak Hotel,” McCoy has cultivated an unparalleled style that fans love. Just last year, Phoenix Magazine readers named McCoy the best play-by-play announcer for the 23rd consecutive time.
His list of awards is long: in 2017, he was inducted into the Phoenix Suns Ring of Honor. He received the 18th Annual Curt Gowdy Media Award from the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, was honored by the Suns with the dedication of the Al McCoy Media Center, received a Silver Circle Award from the Arizona chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the House of Broadcasting. He is also the first play-by-play announcer to be inducted into the Arizona Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame.
A native of Iowa, McCoy played basketball and admired legendary sports broadcasters growing up. As fate would have it, he is one himself now, having done play by play for many Arizona teams, including the Phoenix Giants, Phoenix Roadrunners, ASU football and basketball, Arizona Diamondbacks and the Phoenix Mercury.
In his spare time, Al is an accomplished jazz pianist and culinary critic scouting gourmet restaurants around the league. He and his beloved wife Georgia, a Valley artist who passed away in 2012, have three sons: Mike, and twins Jay and Jerry.
Brian Cisek is the original Creative Services Director and Production Manager at AZTV 7, Arizona’s only locally-owned and operated independent station. Television and media were not Brian’s original plan for a career. He began his journey as an Astronomy/Physics major at the University of Arizona. The summer of his sophomore year he visited KUAT, the PBS station on campus, and was immediately hooked.
Brian began his television career in New York, where he worked as an engineer/operator at Staten Island Teleport before moving to production manager at WLIG, an independent station on Long Island. In 1995, Brian and his wife moved to Phoenix where he landed a part-time job at FOX10 working as master control, tape and audio operator. He then took a full-time job at KUTP and the new United Paramount Network (UPN) as a promotions producer and line-producer for Phoenix Suns games. He found himself back at FOX10 when FOX Broadcasting Company bought the station in 2001.
When KAZT-TV (AZTV) began in 2002, Brian was brought in to get the new start-up operating, and he never left. To Lynn Londen, station owner, “Brian has made himself indispensable as an integral part of all station operations and any success we achieve.” He is the creative force behind the station’s brand as well as wearing many other hats: producer, director, graphic designer, editor, photographer, promotions and outreach coordinator. “His willingness to provide whatever a client requests, and his desire to over-deliver has earned him incredibly strong relationships in the business,” says Rick Soltesz, station GM. Brian also developed and maintains the station’s internship program, and is proud to have helped in launching many promising careers. In addition, “Brian provides guidance to many independent program producers, helping to get their projects launched on broadcast TV,” according to Michael Petry, Creative Content Manager,
Brian is a board member with the Arizona Broadcasters Association, recipient of Vitalant’s Media Person for the Year award, and enjoys speaking with high school CTE students and educators about his broadcast knowledge and experiences. Brian is also a regular blood donor, supports local charities and enjoys coaching youth soccer. Brian and his wife Maureen have been married for 28 years and have three daughters: Nicole, Kathryn, and Emily.
It was a choice between working in the DA’s office or at a television station. For Parker Harms, that first big career choice out of college was an easy one, accepting her first job out of college at KOAA in Colorado Springs, Colorado. When she left Colorado what she took away from that first “promotions” job was a career-long belief in local news broadcast stations and their importance to our world.
After a couple of years doing award-winning creative work for an agency in Dallas and freelance writing for WXYZ in Detroit, Parker moved back to Colorado for a short radio stint. Then, in 1983 while visiting family in Santa Fe, an impulse call to a General Manager in Albuquerque, eventually landed her the top station marketing job at ABC affiliate KOAT. It was there that she began a career-long practice of working closely with news directors to blend marketing and public service efforts with the news product.
“When I was the News Director at KOAT-TV, Parker and I were locked at the hip”, remembers Mary Lynn Roper. “Parker was not shy to tell me when she thought our product was off the mark or that we were getting kicked by the competition. Parker cares about people, cares about her community, cares about informing the public, and her work is truly outstanding. Parker was a pleasure to work with, producing award winning, thoughtful and important marketing campaigns.”
Although Parker left broadcasting a few times for jobs in public service, including 4 years of consensus work for non-profit New Mexico First, she always returned. Broadcasting touches what is most important to her, helping people get information and offering them a way to help or get help when needed. “I’ve never met a more intuitive person than Parker. She knows what our community needs, when they need it. And she follows through 100%” notes Michelle Donaldson, Vice President & General Manager at KOB 4
Among the major projects Parker Is most proud of is the launch and success of “KOATS for KIDS” which is still collecting warm clothes for needy children & a viewer-centric campaign to change DWI laws.
“Parker's passion is what makes her successful. As Creative Services Director, Parker does not see each station project or initiative as something to just cross off the list. Instead, she views each project as an opportunity to improve our world. Parker has worked at every major network affiliate in the Albuquerque market. It is safe to say that Parker's fingerprints are on every station's success”, notes KOB news director, Tim Maestas.
Outside of work, Parker and long-time partner Jeff are dedicated “critter” rescuers, counting dogs, cats, deer, horses, birds, turtles , frogs and insects among the species they’ve helped or homed.
In 1979 when a marketing internship during college in Milwaukee at WITI – TV turned into a job offer, Bill Anderson started his journey along an incredible career in the industry. From floor crew to news and production manager to director of promotion and operations and Station Marketing and Operations Manager, Bill learned the full spectrum of television station jobs at WQOW in Eau Claire, KCRG in Cedar Rapids and WGGB in Springfield Massachusetts. These station assignments cemented a career-long appreciation for the importance of ideas and determination over market limitations.
On the way to becoming a GM, Bill won an Emmy in 1993 when he created Flood Aid: Broadcast Across America for the American Red Cross, a National Telethon with 255 TV stations coast-to-coast agreeing to simulcast this program for the benefit of those ruined by the great Iowa floods that year. In just 11 days Bill enlisted the help of competitors and convinced NBC to lend Willard Scott, ABC to send Spencer Christian and CBS to provide actor-comedian Jay Thomas. Barry Manilow got involved with a song, and the NAB urged all its members to air it. In the end, Flood Aid raised $8.5M in one night and earned the distinction of being both the largest TV network in history but also one of the largest single-event Red Cross fundraisers.
For Bill personally, Flood Aid provided a glimpse of the power of Local TV to do good, and inspired a desire to become a GM who harnesses the talents of others to do well and to do good with a public license. He soon got his first GM posting in Tallahassee, FL at WTWC-TV and from there to WGME, Portland finally landing at KRQE in Albuquerque in 1999. Since then he has expanded the operation into a four Station “Quad” configuration which includes KRQE (CBS), FOXNM as well as KWBQ and KASY all known as KRQE Media.
Bill has always remembered those lessons from early in his career and focused on the community and supporting/encouraging individuals and their talents. His involvement in our region has included roles on the board of the Muscular Dystrophy Association, the March of Dimes, United Way Mission Families and he has been named New Mexico Broadcaster GM of the Year. Bill takes a personal interest in helping others and perhaps no better example is when he mentored and then hired a man transitioning back to society after a decade in the New Mexico state prison system. He did the same for a homeless man in the area.
Bill’s partner and wife, Debbie have been together 42 years and raised three children and enjoy 5 grandchildren.
Edward Ayala grew up in a small farming community in the Arizona/Sonora
Mexico border. The son of migrant farm workers, Edward learned to till the land and irrigate crops at the age of 10. When his parents became United States Citizens they opened an auto repair shop which would change Edward’s world and career path.
At 12, Edward met a photographer from a local television station at that repair shop.
What started as a hello ended up with him holding a TV camera on his
shoulder and seeing a whole new world through the viewfinder of that camera.
This was the beginning of Edward’s storytelling career.
Edward started his career in television at the age of 15 at KYMA in Yuma, Arizona as a part-time production tape operator. He went on to become a Technical Director and Director of the evening newscasts. At age 18 he was promoted to Production Manager leading the Production and Creative Services staff. At the age of 20 Edward moved to Tucson, AZ, working as a Photojournalist at KOLD and Chief Photographer at KGUN. He was recruited to the Phoenix market by KNXV as a Photojournalist then promoted to investigative and special projects. He is currently an Investigative Producer/Photojournalist at KPHO/KTVK.
Edward is a recipient of several Rocky Mountain Southwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Emmy® Awards. As well as multiple Edward R. Murrow awards, and an Alfred I DuPont award.
In 2016 Edward joined the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University where he is a highly regarded adjunct professor teaching videography and editing. He has taught and mentored hundreds of students who are now working Journalists in newsrooms across the country, including Phoenix.
Paul Horton has done thousands of live shots in Arizona and considers the valley his forever home. He was the morning meteorologist and host of the CBS 5 morning show for nine years. Paul now brings you the weather forecast on Good Evening Arizona at 4 p.m., and helps host “The Extra Point” sports show each evening. He also does a weekly segment for the “Pay It Forward” program that highlights people doing great things in our community.
Paul is a graduate of the communication/broadcasting program at George Fox University and received his meteorology degree from Mississippi State University.He is a nine-time Emmy award winner and recipient of the Rocky Mountain Southwest Chapter of the National Television of Arts & Sciences Governor’s Award for his work on his annual car wash. Being involved in the community is very important to Paul. In the last 14 years, Paul's car wash has raised close to 2 million dollars for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Arizona.
Paul is originally from Portland, Oregon and was a weather anchor in Spokane and Cincinnati before moving to Phoenix. On the weekends, you can find Paul hosting events, coaching his kids teams, and exploring the great state of Arizona with his wife Jennifer, and their two children Jake and Samantha.
Gilbert “Gibby” Parra
A long time ago Gilbert “Gibby” Parra’s mother told him 'If you love what you do, then you'll never work a day in your life.' and after 34 years in broadcasting, Gibby still doesn’t feel like it’s work. Not that he hasn’t been busy.
From his first job, at the age of 17, at a Yuma television station, to over 25 years at KTVK in Phoenix, he has continued to be an asset to the television community. Gibby has shot and edited stories across Arizona, then above it, establishing himself as the go-to helicopter photographer. Then one day, after years behind the camera, he had the opportunity to move in front of it, and the truth be told, he was just a born storyteller.
Gibby is a serious reporter who can quickly turn a live report on a difficult situation with integrity and professionalism, but he is also a reporter who can take a human interest story and brighten the day for all who are watching. In fact he is at his best when he has the opportunity to interact with people in the story. His ability to elicit an emotional reaction from the person he is interviewing and translate that emotional feeling to the viewer is a unique connection not many journalists have been able to achieve.
John Warren wrote, “As an assignment editor at TV3 I had the opportunity to watch Gibby work daily and was impressed from the beginning with his work ethic and desire to experience all aspects of television news. As a photojournalist and video editor Gibby had a knack for storytelling and has always tried to push himself to do more.”
Now, as Good Morning Arizona’s Chief Photographer, Gibby supervises about 10 news photographers every morning, while still working in the field every day, on both sides of the camera. As technology has evolved over the years, so has Gibby’s knowledge, whether it’s cameras, editing, flying drones or new computer skills he loves being the first to master the latest thing, and then sharing it with his colleagues.
On the street, Gibby is recognized by many people in the community and has been an excellent ambassador for the television industry throughout his career. Even with his busy schedule, Gibby has never forgotten his roots, hometown or the people who helped him along the way. Every year he brings journalism students from his high school in Yuma to tour the AZfamily studios and encourages them to work hard and become the best version of themselves. He is the first to volunteer to speak at schools and every week he produces his church’s Sunday service so it can be viewed on TV and has done so for over a dozen years. Gibby also enjoys family time with his wife, Davina, their children and grandchildren.
While Gibby is truly living his dream job, the NATAS Silver Circle might have been beyond those dreams when he started out in Yuma all those years ago, so he is humbled and honored to be included in the 2022 class of Silver Circle inductees.
Jose “Big Joe” Teposte is a fixture in the Yuma television scene. A native of that southern Arizona city, Jose began his broadcasting journey at the local NBC affiliate right after high school. In his 25 + years at KYMA, Jose has held a dozen different jobs from Floor Director to Photographer to News Operations Manager, but his biggest contribution to broadcasting may be the people he has helped along the way.
Jose’s nomination was filled with accolades about his mentoring, both seeking the right mentor and being one to others. His success as a newsroom leader has positioned him as one of the most sought-after mentors for journalists. Many careers were launched and flourished because he took the time and interest to guide young broadcasters along the right path, but Jose’s desire to give back extends beyond his journalistic ethos. Because of his strong roots in the community he created the Dezert Syndicate Car and Bike Club in 2018. The club brings together members with an interest in philanthropic work to help those who need a helping hand. As a founder of this organization, he has facilitated the development of food pantries in neighborhoods that face food insecurity and coordinated efforts to raise funds, gather supplies, and bring awareness to social issues within Yuma County. Jose is always willing to pitch in for the good of the community regardless of the mission.
His philosophy has remained the same since the day he first looked through a viewfinder, community is everything. He is a trailblazer, both as a journalist and as a role model for young professionals. His passion for leadership, commitment to the professional development of others and focus on providing high-quality talent make him a perfect addition to the Silver Circle.