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Staying Power: TV reporter Morgan Loew says he never missed out by staying in Arizona

By Lauren Gilger
Published: Thursday, February 15, 2024 - 11:56am
Updated: Thursday, February 15, 2024 - 12:11pm

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The Show series Exit Interview featured a series of conversations with people who had made their mark on Phoenix — and then left. They hit a ceiling or needed to grow.

The Show series Staying Power looks at people who have made Arizona their home — like Morgan Loew, a face you might recognize from Arizona television.

Loew has been a fixture on CBS5 and, now, 3TV news for decades — and he’s covered some of the biggest stories in our state’s recent history. 

Morgan Loew
Morgan Loew
Morgan Loew with his family.

Lowe grew up on a ranch in the southern part of the state and has spent most of his life here. But his family's history doesn't actually begin in Arizona, but rather in old Hollywood.

It goes back as far as his great grandparents.

"My great grandfather on my grandmother's side started Paramount pictures," said Loew. "And my great grandfather on my grandfather's side started MGM and their kids got married."

Then his grandfather made his mark as the head of MGM International and his father, Arthur Lowe Jr., he became a well known Hollywood producer. His mother was an actress.

He says he'll write a book about it all one day. But by the time Morgan was born, his dad had mostly gotten out of the moviemaking business.

Morgan Loew with his dad, Arthur Loew, Jr. and his brother, Stewart.
Morgan Loew
Morgan Loew with his dad, Arthur Loew Jr. and his brother, Stewart.

"By the time I came out, he did one more movie. We moved to California for three years, taking kids who literally were used to peeing on trees outside, off the ranch and putting them in the middle of Beverly Hills and Malibu for three years," said Loew. "It may sound like that was a great place to be, but we thought it was like a prison. We couldn't wait to get back to Arizona."

That is a sentiment that has stuck with him throughout his life. Through his long career in news, Lowe has had plenty of chances to cut and run but he never did.

'I'm gonna stick with horses'

"I think the biggest difference between my brother and sister and myself and our neighbors and our friends that we had people like Gene Kelly and Natalie Wood and R.J. Wagner come to, to visit and that was not an unusual event," said Loew.

Gene Kelly was even his godfather.

So with family background like his, why didn't Loew go into movies?

A signed picture from Gene Kelly
Morgan Loew
A signed picture from Gene Kelly, Morgan Loew's grandfather.

"I think every kid in my family wanted to go into movies when they're really young," he said. "I was in one movie in Tucson called 'Kid Co.,' I was an extra and the one day on set was enough to make me never want to be in a movie again. It was so boring. And I was like that is it? I'm gonna stick with horses."

That's right: horses low. He actually spent most of his childhood thinking he'd become a horse trainer. He was a standout on the equestrian circuit, traveling around the country, competing in show jumping and raising and selling thoroughbreds.

It wasn't a stepping stone

So how did he finally land on TV?

"I had a pretty bad riding accident in 1989, and it kind of messed with me a little bit and I dropped out of the national rankings. And shortly after that, I got an internship at a TV station in Tucson," Loew said. "And when I walked into a real working newsroom, it was love at first sight."

From there on, he was hooked. He made the jump from Tucson to Phoenix after a few years — and he never expected to stay long here, either.

"My plan was to come to Phoenix for two years in 1999 and then move on to Los Angeles or New York or whoever would take me. I thought this was just like everybody else does. It was a stepping stone."

But he said the opportunities kept coming. So he stayed.

Reporter Morgan Loew confronting then Sheriff Joe Arpaio
Morgan Loew
Reporter Morgan Loew confronting then Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

"Covering Sheriff Joe Arpaio will always be a big deal. And being an aggressive reporter covering him was, was really interesting. I, I got to cover the invasion of Iraq for the company that I work for and, and not have to be based somewhere else," he said. "Covering the border is always, you know, in my opinion, one of the most important subjects that I cover, because there's so many different aspects to it. And there's so much to do, especially if you are able to go into Mexico and cover it from there.

He said he's found Arizona to be a fulfilling place to be a journalist.

"And I have been very lucky. I worked for a very good company, and we got bought by a very good company," said Loew. "There's so many people in this business who flame out and, and oftentimes not from any fault of their own because they work for crummy companies. And if you've got ... a good place, don't go somewhere else. And I've never felt like I missed out by not going somewhere else."

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