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From the General Manager


Dear Friends,

Thank you for your generous support of Arizona Public Media’s (AZPM) end-of-calendar year fundraising campaign. Your continued investment in AZPM enables us to continue to be a significant force in our community — informing, inspiring and connecting our community by bringing people and ideas together.

In the coming year, AZPM plans to continue its ambitious strategic initiative to increase the quality and quantity of original content produced for and about our community, the University of Arizona, and the Southwest. We’ve already kicked off the year with the Season 5 premiere of fan-favorite Masterpiece “Downton Abbey,” and, later this month, The American Experience “Edison” profiles the iconoclastic genius whose inventions of sound recording, motion pictures, and electric light propelled America into the modern age.

Beginning Jan. 11, be sure to tune in to NPR 89.1 Sundays at 2 p.m. for Invisibilia, a six-week series hosted by Lulu Miller and Alix Spiegel, creators of RadioLab and This American Life. The series explores a fascinating array of human behavior through personal stories and psychological and brain research.

And in March, PBS 6 will present Ken Burns’ three-part documentary series, Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies. We are currently working to raise funding for the production of a local companion program, Cancer: Unfinished Business (working title), which explores the experience of one Southern Arizona family.

Now more than ever, AZPM relies on the generosity of people like you — because when supporters like you give, we all gain. Thank you for your viewership, listenership, and continued support.

Please accept my best wishes for a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.


Jack Gibson

news News fundraising,


Dear Friends,

As we move into October and the promise of cool autumn days, Arizona Public Media (AZPM) is busier than ever.

AZPM is proud to televise the interactive Your Vote 2014 Candidate Forum between incumbent candidate Ron Barber (D) and challenger Martha McSally (R), which will air live October 7, 2014, at 6 p.m. on PBS 6, NPR 89.1 and will be streamed live on The hour-long forum will be moderated by AZPM’s Christopher Conover and we encourage people to tweet their candidate questions to @AZPMnews #CD2questions.

On October 9, we kick off a radio pledge campaign that will run through October 17. Our goal is to raise $315,000 in public support. We’re asking that everyone who listens to NPR 89.1 or Classical 90.5 to step up and support AZPM. Our research shows that just one in 10 listeners actively contributes to AZPM and we want to increase that number. Help us spread the message and turn more of our loyal listeners into members. Everyone shares in the wonderful experience of public radio — now let’s all share in the responsibility. Your generous support helps AZPM to continue to bring you quality news and music programming 24 hours a day, seven days a week. When you give, we all gain.

We have several exciting things taking place throughout the month. The second season of the documentary series Makers: Women Who Make America debuted September 30 and will run throughout October each Tuesday at 9 p.m. on PBS 6. Each episode focuses on a different area in which women have trail-blazed and broken through barriers. From the space program to politics to business to entertainment, women have made inroads into professions previously open only to men. This fascinating program chronicles the women who went first.

In mid-October, we wrap up Hispanic Heritage Month with several great programs that highlight the achievements – and challenges – of Hispanic people. One of the highlights is Independent Lens, which shines a light on the issues faced by Latinos. ‘The Graduates/Los Graduados,’ which airs October 6 and 8 at 2 p.m. on PBS 6, explores issues in education today through the eyes of six Latino and Latina students from across the United States.

Be sure to look for How We Got to Now, a new six-part documentary series hosted by American science author and media theorist Steven Johnson. Each episode explores the power and legacy of great ideas. The first two episodes, ‘Clean’ and ‘Time,’ air October 15 at 9 and 10 p.m. on PBS 6.

Looking ahead to November, we‘re excited to bring you Raptors!, a wonderful new original program produced by AZPM. It premieres November 3 at 10 p.m. on PBS 6.

Once again, I’d like to thank you for your dedication and continued support of AZPM.


Jack Gibson

news News fundraising,


Dear Friends,

For more than 30 years, Arizona Illustrated has been the Arizona Public Media (AZPM) flagship locally-produced television program on PBS 6. A reimagined version of the 30-minute, magazine-style program will premiere in its new first-airing time slot on Sunday, September 7 at 6:30 p.m. on PBS 6, with encore broadcasts at various times throughout the following week. Arizona Illustrated continues its legacy of engaging southern Arizonans with thought-provoking, diverse stories that reflect our community. Hosted by veteran broadcast journalist Tom McNamara, the new Arizona Illustrated will examine untold stories that are universal, yet have local relevance, and will challenge old notions while introducing you to people who make Arizona unique and vibrant. You can watch upcoming stories in advance of their broadcasts or view entire shows online at

We just completed the August PBS 6 membership campaign and I thank all who contributed for your outstanding support. With your generous help, AZPM raised $221,637, an increase of eight percent over last summer’s campaign. On-air membership campaigns and other fundraising initiatives allow us to provide you with the award-winning local and national programs that you rely upon and enjoy.

In September we begin our celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 – October 15) with special programs on PBS 6, World, Vme, the UA Channel and NPR 89.1. From history to performing arts to independent film, AZPM offers viewers and listeners the opportunity to explore the rich, vibrant history and cultural contributions of Hispanic Americans. TV Program highlights include Latino Americans, Life on the Line: Coming of Age between Nations, and Independent Lens: The Undocumented. On NPR 89.1, Hispanic Heritage Month specials will include Radio Ambulante: Stories from Latin America. Look here for complete program schedules.

Other PBS 6 program highlights this month include the premiere of the new Ken Burns’ documentary “The Roosevelts: An Intimate History” starting Sunday, September 14, and running through Saturday, September 20, nightly at 8. The series explores the stories of Theodore, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, three members of one of the most prominent and influential families in American politics. Also, tune in to PBS 6 on Sunday, September 14, at 6:30 p.m. to meet Nina Roosevelt Gibson, granddaughter of Eleanor Roosevelt, now a resident of Vail, Arizona, as she shares her “growing up Roosevelt” stories on Arizona Illustrated. Watch a preview of Nina’s stories here and a preview of “The Roosevelts: An Intimate History” here.

In September we also welcome several new staff members. Romi Wittman is AZPM’s new Chief Communications and Marketing Officer. She joins us from Trico Electric Cooperative where she was Director of Marketing and Communications. Jennifer Cannon is a new Account Executive in the Underwriting Department. Andy Bade, an AZPM radio host since 2008, has filled the Classical Music Program Coordinator position for Classical 90.5, on which he will also serve as the weekday afternoon host. We welcome, too, A.C. Swedbergh, who recently joined AZPM as its Web Site Designer/Developer.

In addition, AZPM recognizes and welcomes a number of new Community Advisory Board members: Laura Todd Johnson, Vice President for Legal Affairs and General Counsel at the University of Arizona (Ex-officio); Tony Vuturo, M.D., Senior VP of Canyon Ranch Resorts; Lois Eisenstein, Attorney (retired); and UA student representative, Issac Ortega, ASUA Student Body President. On behalf of all of us at AZPM, thank you for your viewership, your listenership, and your continued support.


Jack Gibson

news Arizona Illustrated News New Staff,


Dear friends,

Thanks to all of you who stepped up to support Arizona Public Media’s fiscal year-end fundraising countdown campaign. The great news is that with your support, and that of thousands of Southern Arizona families, AZPM was able to surpass its annual fundraising goal. Going forward, your support is more critical than ever in order to ensure that AZPM’s educational and entertaining radio, television, and online platforms continue to thrive.

I recently posted a guest opinion in the Arizona Daily Star (July 2, 2014) to clear up inaccuracies in media reporting on the University of Arizona’s budget reduction to AZPM, and in response to the many emails and phone calls we received. In that AZPM is a journalistic enterprise, I felt obligated to communicate the facts. If you missed it, you can view the letter here.

Summer monsoons finally arrived and we have a host of engaging, educational and entertaining programs to enjoy while you stay dry and cool inside. As mentioned in a previous posting, PBS 6 will honor the 45th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing on Sunday, July 20, with two special programs: Rocket Men, a BBC production, will air at 2 p.m., followed by Earthlight, a new documentary produced by the University of Arizona College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, at 3:30 p.m. Both programs will also broadcast on the UA Channel. Check here for the UA Channel‘s schedule.

Hollywood at Home, the Saturday evening film series with host Victoria Lucas, presents “double features” of award-winning classic and contemporary films. On July 12, Cool Hand Luke and Bonnie and Clyde; July 19, Slumdog Millionaire & Woman of the Year; and on July 26, Cabaret & A Streetcar Named Desire. For more information on these films and great bits of trivia visit

Starting Wednesday, July 16, PBS 6 premieres two new, four-part nature series, My Wild Affair at 8 p.m. and Sex in the Wild at 10 p.m. Each program brings you fascinating stories about wild animals and their relationships with humans and one another. At 9 p.m. we offer an encore broadcast of the popular NOVA series Australia’s First 4 Billion Years.

Continuing our long tradition of keeping voters informed, AZPM and the League of Women Voters have joined forces to produce a series of six political forums. All six forums will be free, open to the public and held at Pima Community College. The first forum, featuring the Republican Primary Gubernatorial candidates, will be Wednesday, July 30 at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are required. The forums will stream live on and broadcast on NPR 89.1, PBS 6, WORLD, and the UA Channel at a later date. You can reserve tickets and learn more about all of the forums here.

On behalf of everyone at Arizona Public Media, please accept our very sincere thanks for your support and dedication.


Jack Gibson


Dear friends,

Over the past week, with news of the UA funding cuts spreading throughout the community, many of you have taken the time to express your support for AZPM with comments or through fiscal year-end donations or additional gifts. I appreciate your efforts to help AZPM remain fiscally sound during the year ahead. Your ongoing contributions will allow us to continue to provide the educational, informative, and entertaining programming that are AZPM’s hallmarks.

Among the outstanding special programs AZPM will offer Southern Arizonans this month are a celebration of the United States’ 238th birthday and the 200th anniversary of our National Anthem on July 4. A Capitol Fourth 2014 will broadcast live on PBS 6 at 5 p.m. from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol and will feature a host of celebrity performances along with the traditional fireworks display. Encore television broadcasts will air at 7:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. that night, and the next morning, July 5, at 10 a.m. The audio portion of the program will also be broadcast on Classical 90.5 at 8:00 p.m. on July 4. Visit for complete program schedules.

We will also honor the 45th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing on Sunday, July 20, with two special programs: Rocket Men, a BBC production, will air at 2 p.m., followed by Earthlight, a new documentary produced by the University of Arizona College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, at 3:30 p.m. Hosted by Alan Fischer, Public Information Officer at the Tucson-based Planetary Science Institute, Rocket Men is the story of man’s giant leap into the unknown. Earthlight explores the challenges facing the human race and how the technology we are designing for a return to the Moon might be extremely useful here on Earth as well. Earthlight will also be broadcast on the UA Channel. Check here for the UA Channel‘s schedule. Don’t forget Sunday nights on PBS 6. You can enjoy masterful dramas and thrilling mysteries starting at 7 p.m. each Sunday in July with new seasons of Last Tango in Halifax, Masterpiece Mystery! Endeavor, Inspector George Gently, Masterpiece Mystery! Poirot, and the premiere of Vicious, a new series starring Ian McKellen and Derek Jacobi.

Your support will be more critical than ever to AZPM as we go forward. I hope I can count on your continued investment in AZPM as we work together to meet the needs and exceed the expectations of viewers and listeners in Southern Arizona. I hope, too, that you will respond generously to appeals from AZPM that arrive in your mailbox and to the on-air fundraisers we will conduct over the coming weeks and months.

Thank you for your ongoing support. It provides the foundation without which AZPM’s many services to the community would not be possible.


Jack Gibson


Dear friends:

Please accept my sincere thanks to many of you for your feedback regarding the UA budget reduction to AZPM. Your concerns are appreciated and I thank you for your support.

Budget reallocations are a fact of life at the University of Arizona, and the limited state and tuition dollars are needed to meet the goals the UA and the state have set for educating students and performing research, which is understandable.

The budget reduction assigned to AZPM will be phased-in over five years in order to help AZPM to preserve its quality and level of service. The UA administration is fully aware of the value AZPM provides to the University and the community, and although money is tight, they have committed to support AZPM with more than 2 million dollars per year, in cash and in-kind support, even after the full impact of the reduction has been realized in fiscal year 2019.

The staff and I are confident that our plans have addressed the UA reduction in the fiscal year 2015 budget, which amounts to a reduction of 4% and which still represents significant income. Please rest assured that we are all working diligently to increase other sources of revenue, such as the investment area businesses make through program underwriting support, and encouraging more viewers and listeners to become contributors – to further ensure AZPM’s future. Fortunately, AZPM stations are some of the best watched and most listened-to in the public media industry.

Our production staff are busy working on the new MetroWeek (Fridays at 8:30p/Sundays 10:30a) and on the new weekly version of Arizona Illustrated, which premieres in September. And, our latest long-form documentary, Raptors! (working title), is in the final stages of production in preparation of a fall premiere.

Your support will be more critical than ever to AZPM as we go forward. I hope I can count on your continued investment in AZPM as we work together to meet the needs and exceed the expectations of viewers and listeners in Southern Arizona. I hope you will respond generously to mail appeals and on-air fundraisers AZPM conducts over the coming weeks and months.


Jack Gibson

About From the General Manager

Thoughts and Letters from Jack Gibson.