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AZ Week Notebook


The crew for Arizona Week held its first dress rehearsal today in KUAT-TV's Studio A. All went fairly well for setup, lighting, camera work and every other technical aspect of the operation.

Of course, all of those tasks were handled with aplomb by the experienced studio crew, including several students who work for Arizona Public Media.

The host, yours truly, got more comfortable -- or shall we say less uncomfortable -- as the rehearsal progressed. Yet the feeling of relief was stronger than the feeling of confidence at the end of the 90-minute session.

More to come, including another rehearsal on Thursday, all aimed at get us ready for the Jan. 14 debut of the program.

We're looking forward to bringing viewers a solid half-hour of in-depth exploration and discussion of issues important to all Arizonans.



Arizona Week will air in prime time, 8:30 p.m. Fridays on KUAT-TV, Channel 6. The time available for the show – sans intro, breaks and close – is 26 minutes, 45 seconds.

Planning the use of that time is akin to rationing a fine truffle. The chef must proceed with great care.

Segmenting the program will mean allocating appropriate time to each element of the story, including one or two one-on-one interviews with newsmakers and a panel of journalists to discuss and analyze the news and the newsmakers’ interview.

On many shows, we will do what we call set-up pieces to flesh out the background of a given news development and its attendant issues. This will be like an hors d’oeuvre to whet the appetite for the entrée, that is, the newsmaker interview.

Other times, we will go straight to the entrée, to be followed by background and further explanation.

Last will come dessert: the reporters’ panel provides the expert analysis that rounds out the program.

How to parse the allotted time will be decided week to week with the singular goal of getting as much information to the viewers as possible.

Always we will work for judicious use of the time for information, impact and balance, if we were using a precious truffle to flavor the meal.


Consider Arizona Public Media's new news and public affairs show, Arizona Week, to be a program in a hurry. For while the KUAT-TV version will debut 30 days from today, we can't wait to start, so the online manifestations begin here and now, with this blog.

To follow later this week: a Twitter account, to be called @azweek. Later, we will set up a Facebook page, called AZWeek.

We will build the blog, Twitter and Facebook accounts as we go, using them to document the day-to-day activities of the staff making this TV show come to life, sharing the details of how we structure, plan and prepare for Arizona Week.

We will chronicle the effort, seek user and viewer input and, as we get closer to on-air launch, reveal the topics we will be covering, who our guests will be and the names of reporters on each week’s panel.

We envision the program as interactive via these venues. User and viewer comments and response will be a key element of the show, so bring ‘em on.

About AZ Week Notebook

News and commentary from Arizona Week producer/host Michael Chihak and interns Melanie Huonker and Lucy Valencia.