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From the General Manager – May 2010


Many of you have been listening to Classical KUAT-FM 90.5 for the 35 years that it’s been on the air, so I’d like to share some history that may entertain you and give you some idea of how far we’ve come. Arizona Public Media’s first radio station, KUAT-AM (now KUAZ-AM) began offering Classical music in October, 1968 and the station became a charter member of the newly-formed National Public Radio (NPR) system in 1971. At that time phone lines connected public radio stations throughout the country to the program production center in Washington, D.C.

On May 19, 1975, KUAT-FM 90.5 began broadcasting as Tucson's first non-commercial FM station (the first selection to be played was Aaron Copland's Fanfare for the Common Man). Warren Clark was the welcoming announcer, and the format was primarily classical music with cultural programming, news and public affairs. The broadcast day was 6 a.m. to 12 midnight, seven days a week, from a transmitter on the KUAT-TV tower at Mount Bigelow.

In the years since the station’s first sign-on, we’ve added translators (remote auxiliary transmitters) to reach more of Southern Arizona, won awards for programs, added many broadcast series featuring the world’s greatest classical music performances including the Metropolitan Opera (in 1977), embraced talent like Bill McGlaughlin (who now hosts Exploring Music and Saint Paul Sunday), shared hundreds of local community concerts, and expanded into the new digital age with online streaming, classical blogs from James Reel, and iPhone compatibility.

If you’re passionate about classical music, you will love KUAT-FM no matter where you listen – in your car, on your computer, or on any number of portable hand-held devices. It has been our privilege to keep classical music on the air for your enjoyment, from Southern Arizona to Shanghai.

Classic KUAT-FM Years,


If you’re reading this, you’ve already experienced our re-vamped website. Our online and new media team does everything they can to keep Arizona Public Media as current as possible to make the website a resource for you to find exactly what you’re looking for quickly and easily. Some of our most popular pages – the schedules for TV and links to radio streams - are conveniently located in the upper right of the home page. You will also have the opportunity to comment on stories to make the site a platform for direct communication with AZPM and other web users. We look forward to your comments. If you have something to share regarding to the new site please contact us.

Another great feature is PlayPBS right in the top navigation of Now your favorite PBS programs are only a few clicks away, and you can watch anytime right on your computer. By incorporating it directly on our site, it will also load and play programs much faster.

The Pew Research Center has released a major national study on trust in government, an update to the original study released in 1998. The new survey focused on the federal government, but includes questions about state and local governments as well as comparisons to other industrialized nations. NPR just completed a month-long report on the findings in “Trust in Government.” If you missed any segments, you can find them in this news story.

I’d also like to take a moment to thank more than one hundred AZPM volunteers who came to our recent Volunteer Appreciation event. Their tireless dedication to public media is inspiring. Volunteers participate in almost every department at AZPM, from the front office to marketing, and membership to underwriting. We simply could not function as effectively as we do without their support. If you’re interested in volunteering, please contact Bernadette Wilkinson, our Volunteer Coordinator.

And May also brings one of PBS’s most popular programs of the year: the National Memorial Day Concert broadcast live from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol, Sunday, May 30th at 5:00 p.m. on PBS-HD Channel 6 with encore performances at 6:30 p.m. on the 30th, and on the 31st Memorial Day, at 3:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. And in an additional tribute to our Veterans, audiences in Southern Arizona will also get a sneak peek at AZPM’s latest documentary production, Unforgettable: The Korean War airing Monday, May 31st at 9 p.m. PBS will broadcast this Arizona Public Media original production nationally to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the war, on June 21at 10 p.m.

Thank you again for your continued support, and stay tuned!

Jack Gibson

Event Volunteer,

About From the General Manager

Thoughts and Letters from Jack Gibson.