Rod Petersen dead at 83


KTAR Radio Phoenix reports the death (3/29) of the station’s former police-beat reporter Rod Petersen, who was a legend in the market. He was 83.

Of course, when Petersen was at the News/Talk powerhouse it was an AM on 620, not the current FM signal. Known for his raspy “tough guy” voice, Petersen started in radio in his native Nebraska and landed in Phoenix at the former KRUX-AM in 1964. Nine years later he was hired by KTAR and stayed there until 1998. He wrapped up his radio career the next year with a brief stint at KFYI-AM.

“During his long career Rod covered everything from Barry Goldwater’s 1964 presidential campaign to the car bomb assassination of former Arizona Republic reporter Don Bolles in 1976,” KTAR said on its website.

“Although he covered many big stories, Rod preferred what he called the ‘nickel news.’ Those were stories that were unusual or caused people to laugh. One of his most famous ‘nickel news’ stories involved a woman who set her laundry room on fire by trying to thaw out her Thanksgiving turkey in a dryer,” the station said. “Former KTAR news director Jeff Scott called him ‘a true original’.”

Services are pending.