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From the General Manager – April 2009

50 YEARS

Dear friends,

This month KUAT Channel 6 and our public media organization celebrate 50 years of service to the Tucson community and Southern Arizona. With your support and loyalty, we offer what we believe to be the best content on television, radio and online.

For a half-century we have delivered consistent, award-winning, in-depth news and public affairs, science and nature, arts, entertainment and educational children’s programming, and we have moved in a bold way into the digital age, offering our content in virtually every available communications platform. We provide exceptional original content for and about this community from Arizona Illustrated, Arizona Spotlight and The Desert Speaks to last year’s Tucson Remembers and Phoenix Mars Mission: Ashes to Ice, to name but a few.

In the land grant tradition of Arizona’s first university, The University of Arizona, KUAT-TV6 launched on March 8, 1959 and was the first public station in Arizona.

The stations of AZPM have spent the last 50 years solidifying their reputation as high-quality, trusted sources for lifelong learning. Over the years, we’ve moved and added transmitters to improve our signal quality and reach, and built radio stations that deliver classical music, National Public Radio (NPR), local news, jazz music and last year, public radio and television in Spanish. Arizona Public Media (AZPM) was adopted in January 2008, as the name for the parent organization of the UA public media stations that now offers six channels of television content and three channels of radio. AZPM also maintains a strong and growing online presence, routinely featuring live streaming video − in real time, from the state legislature or a campus lecture hall.

Today, we feel the impact of the current economic turmoil, as does every organization in this community and, indeed, every family. We are managing our expenses and generating support – albeit at a slower growth rate than in the last two years. The fact is, nearly 60 percent of our operating revenue is locally generated from people like you. Your local investment in our stations in turn supports PBS and NPR, who rely in large measure on station membership support.

In the coming years, Arizona Public Media will continue to explore all options to make our organization more cost effective, more visible and more responsive to both the community and the campus community. Our efforts in this area are not simply reactive to current conditions, but reflective of our culture of responsibility as custodians for precious resources provided to us through the generosity of our donors, corporate underwriters and The University of Arizona.

Arizona Public Media exists to serve the public. We are committed to being the most trusted and valued media organization in this community. We maintain this commitment through our public-private funding model, which allows us to be responsive to our communities and viewers while maintaining our independence from any single funding source. One of the great strengths of public media is that it is universally available, and available to all, regardless of economic means.

If you are a fan or supporter of our stations, we thank you. If you haven’t tuned in lately, we invite you to see all the new offerings and classic favorites that Arizona Public Media offers. Our hope is that you will continue to find us worthy of your time as a viewer, listener and supporter for the next 50 years.

Sincerely,

Jack Gibson
Director and General Manager
Arizona Public Media®

About From the General Manager

Thoughts and Letters from Jack Gibson.