One of our favorite things about Arizona Gives Day – aside from having a small part in helping nonprofits across Arizona collectively raise nearly $1.4 million in 24 hours, of course – was working with media across Arizona who were all as “into” the project as we were.
A Tucson native and NAU alum, we just hit it off right away. I mean, his name alone is just so fun to type and say, so it was hard not to.
We think you will like him too – well, except for some die-hard Sun Devil fans when you see his love for the Wildcats below!
So, Zac, time to share!
What do you want to tell the blogosphere about yourself today?
First off, yes, that is my real name, and not some clever on-air name. I’ve gotten a lot of surprised looks when I tell people this. My parents always say they thought double Z initials would make my name catchy, and Zachary was their favorite ‘Z’ name. I’m just happy they didn’t go for the name my then-5-year-old brother lobbied for, Zorro.
I just passed my one-year anniversary with AZ Public Media, where I work as a reporter for both our NPR affiliate radio station and our PBS TV channel. I’m kind of our ‘jack of all trades’ reporter; I cover just about anything. My day today is a prime example: I just finished the script for a radio story about the U of A’s OSIRIS REx space mission, and next on my plate is a TV piece on a recent vintage base ball (yes, two words) tournament held in Bisbee. Boredom is the last word I’d use to describe my work.
Prior to my time with AZPM, I worked for Arizona Public Radio (similar names, different operations) as their reporter in Yavapai County, and before that I was a show producer for KCUB in Tucson.
I’m a born-and-raised Tucsonan who moved to Flagstaff after graduating high school. I spent 10 years in the North Country, then came back to Tucson for a year, found myself back in northern Arizona for the next year living in Prescott, and returned to Tucson after that. I bought a house a few months back and threw out all of my moving boxes, so I guess I’m here to stay.
I received both my bachelor’s and master’s degrees from NAU, and my first first gig out of school was with Arizona Public Radio, working as an operations assistant, and then as a weekend host. At the same time, I was co-hosting a sports talk show on KVNA-AM. It’s quite a change to go from talking sports to doing local breaks for Car Talk.
I met my wife while in school at NAU. Ashley and I are coming up on our seventh wedding anniversary; she is a physical therapist at a hospital here in Tucson. When it comes to her, I definitely outkicked my coverage. I have no clue how I ended up with someone who outclasses me in every way.
I’m an avid sports geek, and a diehard Wildcat fan (and all the Sun Devils stop reading and start writing me hate mail). Despite the fact that my knees are starting to give up the ghost, I still try to play basketball and soccer at least once a week.
What time I have left after sports and work, I spend playing music. I’m from a rather musical family, and it definitely rubbed off on me at a young age. I play eight instruments, though that is really just me compensating for not being able to sing or play the piano.
I think I became a reporter mainly because it is the only job that has enough variation to keep me from getting bored. I went through about seven majors in college because nothing would keep my interest. General assignment reporting is the perfect job for someone with a short attention span. I get to focus on a single subject for a day, a week, or sometimes a month, and then move on to something new. It’s also a great job because it makes me awesome at Trivial Pursuit, and if I ever make it on to Jeopardy, I’ll have a shot at winning.
Reach me anytime here.