Phil Riske

Somewhat more accomplished than Ted Baxter, Phil Riske’s journalism career began in 1967 at a small 5000-watt radio station in the West. There, he once served as a consultant to Sports Illustrated for a story on “The Black 14,” a racial crisis involving the University of Wyoming football team, which resulted in a case that went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. In Laramie, he headed up the Wyoming Bureau of the InterMountain Radio Network and was a columnist for UW’s student newspaper, all while earning a BA in Broadcasting. Phil was elected president of the Wyoming Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and he received an award for journalistic achievement, named for Ernest Linford, a Nieman Fellow at Harvard. After other radio stints in Wyoming and Colorado and a year as TV anchor in his hometown of Cheyenne, he became press secretary in Washington, D.C. for the late U.S. Senator Gale McGee.

Among his political highlights there, Riske was the lead staffer for the senator on the confirmation of the late Wyoming Governor Stan Hathaway as Secretary of the Interior. Somewhat star-struck, Phil tried in vain to convince Robert Redford to support Hathaway’s nomination. He once confronted CBS’s Roger Mudd, who addressed Sen. McGee as “Hawk” for his support of the Vietnam War.

From Washington, Riske went to the Des Moines Register and Tribune, which at the time had more Pulitzer Prizes than any U.S. newspaper. As a general assignment reporter, he wrote feature stories on all of Iowa’s 99 counties. The Register and Tribune purchased WQAD-TV in Moline, Ill., and Phil was reassigned as news director and anchor. Arizona was right around the corner.

In 1979, Riske and a partner purchased KSAA-FM in Casa Grande. As station manager, he was elected to the Hoemako Hospital Board of Trustees and lost a runoff election for the Casa Grande City Council by 42 votes. Phil sold his interest in the station in 1983 and moved to Chandler. He went to work as public relations and advertising director at St. Luke’s Health System. There, he won an American Hospital Association award for organizing a successful informational campaign against a state ballot proposition that called for state control of Arizona healthcare costs.

A casualty of massive layoffs in the Phoenix hospital market, Riske built a freelance business that included work for a school bond issue and a U.S. Senate campaign. He then went to work for the Maricopa County Bar Association and later for two Valley advertising agencies. Prior to working for a suburban weekly newspaper chain, Phil and a partner published Sky Harbor Airport News, an independent weekly newspaper, and Arizona Flyways magazine. Phil produced a special edition of the airport newspaper that chronicled through photos 9/11’s impact on Sky Harbor International Airport.

Riske was the first reporter to reveal, editorially and photographically, the proposed Tempe site for the Arizona Cardinals stadium was directly in the path of an east-west runway. A Riske editorial in the airport publication regarding the stadium controversy caught the eye of Arizona Capitol Times Publisher Ned Creighton, who hired Phil in 2002 as state Senate reporter. During his four years in that position, Phil earned several Arizona and national press awards for photography of an immigration rally, an article on medical marijuana and an investigative series on then-Arizona Treasurer David Petersen. In 2006, he became editor of the Yellow Sheet Report. He retired from full-time work in August. Governor Jan Brewer issued a proclamation tribute to Riske’s journalism accomplishments in Arizona.

Phil writes regularly at the Rose Law Group Reporter, read his work here.

In The News

Jonathan Udell, Rose Law Group cannabis department co-chair, explains cannabis legislation on Here Weed Go! podcast

By Eddie Celaya | AZ Daily Star How’s it growing folks? Welcome back to Here Weed Go!, The weekly podcast dedicated to cannabis! Your host Eddie Celaya, the cannabis writer for the Arizona Daily Star and TucsonMarijuanaGuide.com, is coming to you from the Arizona Daily Star Studio. He’s joined in studio by his apprentice, Vic Verbalaitis, who is helping out with episode production. In

Read More »

Jonathan Udell, co-chair of Rose Law Group cannabis department, tells New Times that amendments to Arizona cannabis legislation will be ‘invaluable for rural dispensaries’

By Kiera Riley | Phoenix New Times Two new amendments to a strike-everything bill moving through the Arizona Legislature could tighten marijuana testing standards and ease access to medical marijuana licenses across the state. Though proponents see the legislative shift as steps in the right direction, especially in light of reports of contaminated cannabis and lags in medical license allocations,

Read More »

Tony Freeman

Practice Areas: Asset Protection Litigation, Bankruptcy and Restructuring, Business and Corporate Transactions, Cannabis Law, Creditor Representation in Bankruptcy Proceedings, Development Agreements, Equipment Lease Defaults, Terminations and Recoveries, Estate and Business Succession Planning, Family Law, Fraudulent Transfer Litigation and Recoveries, Guaranty Litigation and Recoveries, Homeowners Associations and CC&Rʼs, Litigation, Nonbankruptcy Negotiations and Workouts, Real Estate Litigation, Real Estate Transactions, Real Property Lease

Read More »

Have a Legal Question?

Call us today at 480.505.3936 or contact us via email by clicking here.