Phoenix newscaster Jineane Ford and the Channel 12 News crew are hitting the road this week, reporting live from five different locations for its "Cruisin' Arizona" series on 12 News Today.
Ford will be in Payson Friday for a live broadcast from the Payson Event Center.
"This is an overall effort by the station to get back to something we'd done a few years ago to get out and see Arizona," Mark Casey, 12 News director said. "There was a time, about five or 10 years ago, when the station would go out in May, take the entire crew and broadcast from somewhere around the state."
Casey said Ford who for years co-anchored the 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. news broadcasts with Kent Dana moved to the 12 News Today program in January. When she started on the morning program, she approached her directors with the idea of getting back on the road.
"This is a bit of a scaled-down version of what we'd done in the past it will just be Jineane and one reporter, along with our Super Shopper," Casey said.
Casey said crews were in the Rim country three weeks ago, shooting some of the stories that will be used for Friday's show. A few of the stories already in the works include a look at the Payson rodeo; a tour of the Tonto Natural Bridge; and a look at great Western bargains.
Monday, the morning show was broadcast from Globe, and today (Tuesday) it was broadcast from Casa Grande. Wednesday, the crew will head to Prescott, and Thursday it will visit Flagstaff.
The week-long tour ends with a live broadcast from Payson.
"Economically, this is going to be a tough summer for travel, with gas prices reaching as much as $3 a gallon," Casey said. So the Cruisin' Arizona series gives viewers a look at some of the recreational opportunities that are a short drive from the Valley.
Rim country residents can head out to the Payson Event Center at the south end of town to watch the live broadcast from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m. After the show wraps, folks will have a chance to meet Ford and the 12 News crew.