The Bottom Line: Westmoreland studying options, touring nation - East Valley Tribune: Business

The Bottom Line: Westmoreland studying options, touring nation

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Posted: Wednesday, September 29, 2004 6:19 am | Updated: 6:04 pm, Thu Oct 6, 2011.

Longtime Valley radio personality Preston Westmoreland is traveling the country while he waits out a noncompete clause he signed with

KTAR (620 AM).

Westmoreland was on the air locally for 26 years until August when KTAR decided to remove him from his afternoon drive-time slot and offer him a night job. Westmoreland, 57, quit instead, saying he was most likely the victim of a youth movement at the station.

"My wife and I just decided, because I can’t work for three months and they’re going to pay me, it’s like a once-in-alifetime opportunity just to travel around the country," said Westmoreland, who was reached on a New York State thruway after visiting Niagara Falls. "We loaded up the RV and seeing all the sights.

Westmoreland says he mulling a couple of new job offers.

"I can’t talk about these things yet, but it could be interesting," he said. "One’s in radio and one’s in TV and I might do them both at the same time. I’m actually emailing people back and forth and faxing stuff. I’ve had a firm contract offer already in radio, but I’m deciding whether I’m going to take it. It would be probably around December 1. That’s when my noncompete expires."

Westmoreland, the longest-running radio personality in Phoenix at one station, told the Tribune last year that he had done more than 26,000 interviews, including ones with Milton Berle, Jimmy Carter, Bob Hope and Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Last year Westmoreland received the Marconi Award, radio’s acknowledgment of the best large-market personality in the United States.

HERITAGE REDEVELOPMENT

Gilbert received three proposals for the redevelopment of the former Boys and Girls Club at the northwest corner of Gilbert and Elliot roads in the Heritage District.

Gilbert’s Calvary Chapel idea would be turn the 40-year-old, 40,000 square-foot building into a church, said Greg Tilque, the town’s economic development director. Another proposal from the Gilbert Fine Arts Association would use part of the building for plays and practices. A third proposal by Talent Team would renovate the building to accommodate a youth performing arts center that would include a charter school for children in kindergarten through eighth grade, a preschool-kindergarten center and a community education program.

The site is being offered for school, arts and cultural uses.

The proposals will be reviewed by a committee that includes Tilque before a recommendation is made to the town’s Redevelopment Commission in October or November.

BOTTOM’S UP

Here comes the Fourth Estate.

The Tempe Mission Palms Hotel is booked solid Oct. 11-13, with Fox News and other media outlets wanting to be close to the presidential debate Oct. 13 at Arizona State University.

A full house is always a winner, said Mission Palms general manager Ken McKenzie, but he said he wasn’t worried about empty rooms this month anyway.

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