Arizona Community
Media Foundation (AzCMF)

About Us
More on the M&M's
Tom Coulson Interview
Walt Richardson Interview

Our philosophy and goals

    Arizona Community Media Foundation (AzCMF) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization formed by concerned citizens who desire to provide access to independent, educational, community-focused broadcast media outlets serving Arizona.  We exist to provide a voice for traditionally underrepresented groups and perspectives unavailable within mainstream media.  The Foundation supports the development of independent community media and promotes a network of these media outlets throughout the Southwest.

    The organization was founded by a coalition of individuals and community groups that gradually came together to explore and develop more effective ways to encourage and support independent broadcast media in Phoenix and other underserved communities in Arizona.  The coalition formally incorporated on January 22, 2004 and is pursuing multiple projects that will enable independent broadcast media coverage of the local arts and music communities, as well as local, national and international cultural/ethnic/foreign language, news/public affairs and related programming not currently available to most of the state.

    AzCMF's initial efforts secured leased time from a commercial station in Phoenix.  During this ten week experiment, many local organizations which had never had access to the airwaves were able to bring their message to a radio audience through free public service announcements.   AzCMF has filed an application with the FCC for a full power FM radio license that will be utilized to serve communities throughout the state with an independent, community radio network.

    Today, AzCMF operates Radio Phoenix, a twenty four hour, seven day a week internet radio station, staffed by over 25 volunteers.  Radio Phoenix offers a wide variety of news, views, and music never heard on local radio, and is the largest community-based internet station in Arizona. To find out more about Radio Phoenix or to tune into our broadcasting, go to

1. To seek peace and social justice in all our practices, including seeking persons who share these principles in our governance and operations;

2. To recognize that all persons do not have equal access to the public airwaves or other mass media to communicate with their respective communities and that we exist to provide such access to traditionally underrepresented persons within the communities we serve;

3. To respect the culture, faith, ideas and unique differences of all persons within our communities; and

4. To prohibit discrimination of all types based on age, race, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, physical handicap or disability.

Arizona Community Media Foundation is governed by a diverse group of people with broad experiences in the broadcasting, business, legal, and financial industries.

Victor Aronow (President), a native son of Brooklyn and resident of Phoenix for over 35 years, graduated from Boston College Law School and came out West to seek his fortune.  He practiced criminal, civil rights and labor law for 25 years, and then entered the teaching field where he taught adult education in a local school district for over ten years.  He is a member of the board of many non-profit organizations, including the Southwest Heritage Foundation and the Arizona Alliance for Peace and Justice.

Kaja Brown is currently employed by a local radio station.  He has worked on the air and in management positions in media markets in New York City, Phoenix, and Portland, Oregon.  One of the original founders of AzCMF, he received his degree in communications from ASU, and has worked with public art, educational. and media organizations in Phoenix and Oregon, including the A. Philip Randolph Institute Phoenix. 

Jeanne Frieden (Secretary) has been a nurse for over 30 years and has worked in acute care hospitals and in public health and currently works as an Infection Control Practitioner in a Phoenix hospital.  Her introduction to community radio was soon after she moved to Phoenix from Boston in 1970, when she collaborated with several friends to produce a weekly show about women’s rights on KDKB.

Bill Morgan graduated from college and then attended Infantry Officer Candidate School after which he served in Vietnam as a First Lieutenant, receiving many awards, including the Bronze Star and the Air Medal.  Upon his return to civilian life, he attended law school and entered law practice.  Eventually, he established a practice in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he was employed as executive vice-president and counsel at St. John Health System and as president of Utica Services.  He is presently a director at UNIT Corp.  He served on many boards and civic organizations in Tulsa, including the Town and Country School for Learning Disabilities, Theater Tulsa, and the Tulsa Arts and Humanities Council.  Since moving to Phoenix, he has served as a board member for the Institute of Environmental Innovation and is a business counselor with Phoenix SCORE.  He is the recipient of a 2010 SCORE Distinguished Service Award.

Allen Sklar (Executive Vice President, station engineer) has more than 35 years of experience working in various engineering, freelance production, and operations management positions within the film, radio and television industries.  He began his media career at WHFH-FM in Flossmoor, Illinois, moving on to other markets including Boise, Phoenix and Chicago.  During the late 1970's he began working with various feelance production crews, which resulted in the creation of content broadcast by notable media outlets including CBS, CNN, ESPN and NBC.  In addition to his major network experience, Allen has also contributed to productions of major sporting events for the NCAA, NFL and PGA.  A champion of independent media in Arizona, while not working on projects with AzCMF, he also serves on the executive committee for the Arizona Production Association Inc., a trade group for working professionals in the local film and video industry.

  More on the M&M's

   Marilyn was born into a musical family, and music has always been an integral part of her being.  “Our music was unique in the fact that it had Yugoslavian roots.  The instruments my father and uncles played are called Tamburas.  Most are in the shape of a guitar varying in size.  The prim and brac were mainly melodic instruments.  The bugarija and large bass fiddle were the rhythm instruments.  The whole time I was growing up, there was not only the Yugoslavian music that filled the air, but opera, big band and marches.  My family were also gifted vocalists.  My father recorded two LP’s in the 60’s where he played all the instruments and sang four-part harmony (sound –on-sound).  He did this with one tape recorder so if he made a mistake on the last part, he had to start all over again. When I was a youngster, he had me dabble in the sound-on-sound approach which was very challenging. I experienced sound recording at its very beginnings.

    I have been singing since I was a toddler.  In elementary school, I sang in the choir and also the girls’ ensemble which required yearly auditions. In high school, I joined our Serbian Orthodox choir which was strictly a cappella.  The choir sang responses to the priest because no instruments are allowed in an Eastern Orthodox Church.  Besides sacred music, we also performed folk music and are invited to other cities to perform concerts.

    While in Detroit, I earned an Elementary Teaching Certificate from Wayne State University, and taught in the inner city for 31 years.  As my students would enter the room, I always had Mozart playing.  Surprisingly, the children loved it.  Whenever they would be doing silent reading for several minutes, they always requested that they have classical background music.

    My husband, Michael who is Yugoslavian and to whom I’ve been married 36 years, was at that time pursuing a musical degree and career.  We listened, and still do, to a many genres of music and attended a wide variety of musical concerts.

    In 2005, we moved to Gilbert, Arizona.  My musical involvements increased.  Here I sing in the St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church in Phoenix. I also travel with this choir at least once a year to other cities and perform just as in Detroit.  I decided to take voice lessons to help me improve my techniques.  In addition, I sing in the Riznica Chamber Choir out of ASU which was formed in 2008.  This group’s objective is to preserve the rich culture and heritage of music from Balkan countries. We also present a Cabaret Night which has popular tunes and skits from musicals and operas. Radio Phoenix graciously advertises the dates of these concerts.

  That brings me to Radio Phoenix.   My husband was involved with this organization before I was.  A little over two years ago, I became involved in helping my husband with membership.  I have volunteered in at least five activities and I realize that everyone working these functions is volunteering their time for such a worthy project and WE HAVE FUN.”

Meet the DJ's:  Tom Coulson

    I arrived in Phoenix from Denver at the age 7.  As a child, I liked top 40 KRIZ and KRUX, later album/free-form KCAC and KDKB.  Eventually, I discovered jazz on KXTC, especially DJ’s Herb Johnson and his son Michael Duffy.  I studied jazz drums high school, radio and music at Phoenix College and ASU, landing an on-air job at KMCR-FM in ‘70s.  After that, I spent three years on-air at jazz KXTC, then other formats and stations.  I met my wife Genny at Two Lips Café, Central and Willetta, at a New Moon Jazz Quintet gig.  My own show “Jazz Mechanic” ran on KXIV, KJZZ (over a decade), KLFF and KXAM, Phoenix, into the mid-‘90s.

    My own band “Hacksaw’s Blues” debuted in ‘80s with singers David Andrews and Linda Brooks, playing the local clubs like Warsaw Wally’s, Purple Turtle, and the Rhythm Room.  As a drummer, I joined Jimmy Peyton’s Midnite Blues and Buddy Reed into the ‘90s.  The band hit the road around Arizona, Colorado, and California.  When Linda Brooks reunited with Hacksaw’s Blues, we won second place in the 1994 Phoenix Blues Society (PBS) Showdown.


    But life on the road and playing in clubs didn’t bring in the income I needed to support my jazz addiction, so I became the full-time manager at KTAR in the mid-‘90s for over a decade.  In 1999, I joined with (the late) Cadillac Mike Moses, winning first place in the Phoenix Blues Society Showdown, which sent us on to compete in Memphis in 2001.

    When my Phoenix radio work allowed, we went on the road early 2000’s to Tennessee Arkansas, and Mississippi for the International Blues Competition, King Biscuit Time radio and blues festival, then returned south to play King Biscuit Festival twice.

In 2007 the Second Saturday live jazz and blues in my own central Phoenix community of Sunnyslope started, and eventually, I became the live music director for the semi-annual Sunnyslope Art Walk with help from John C. Lincoln Hospital Community Relations.  At these events Full Moon Jazz (sextet) was formed combining members of New Moon Jazz Quintet and Hacksaw’s Blues.

    But I couldn’t stay away from radio, so I went back on the air in 2010 with the“Blues Radio with Full Moon Hacksaw” summer show started on KWCD-FM Bisbee Arizona, then I moved to Radio Phoenix, where I am doing a weekly show.

    My radio and musical philosophy is based on my experiences in radio, on tours, and in cutting CD’s.  I believe that the mind, body and spirit have personal needs.  Jazz is a lens thru which its enthusiasts view the world.  Jazz feeds the mind, and its core, the blues, feeds the body.  Both feed emotions and the soul.  They are an acquired taste, so they must be shared. 

    Creating moods with music selection, personality and commentary is the best way to educate listeners as on-air host, instead of wearing out a welcome or talking down to newcomers.

    I have implemented other music, news/talk/politics, sports, even religious formats for radio and respect their potential for big business.  But I accept that jazz/blues will never have that kind of market commercially.  Since focus on arts in the community has made a noticeable difference lately, community radio is the perfect place for my music.

    Diverse music on radio can be as powerful a statement or communication as any diverse political talk.

    I thank all Radio Phoenix underwriters and know they are only the tip of the iceberg.  I love all the other live Radio Phoenix hosts and their shows and am grateful to work with them.  It helps my confidence, and “to thine own self be true.”

 Walt Richardson Interview