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From the General Manager entry

GREAT RATINGS AND BRIGHT FUTURES

August is always an exciting month here at AZPM as we welcome students to the start of the fall semester at the University of Arizona and to the student crew at AZPM. While for many, August is the last of the summer fun, for AZPM and UA we are all about gearing up for a productive fall season!

Radio

The Spring Audience Research arrived for our radio stations and the growth is impressive. Our NPR affiliate KUAZ-AM/FM, increased audience share by 33% since the Winter measurement period and increased by 51.4% over the same period last year. Classical KUAT-FM increased its audience share by 3.2% since the Winter measurement period, and by over 52% from the same period last year. KUAZ is the #5 radio station in the market among all radio stations, the #5 morning drive station and the #1 news/talk format station in Tucson. Both stations demonstrated a healthy average 8.3 to 8.5 hours of Time Spent Listening, per listener, per week.

Speaking of radio, I am very pleased to announce that we have been awarded a construction permit by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for a new FM radio station to be built in Pima, Arizona (136 miles northeast of Tucson). This new station KUAE 107.1FM, will extend the program service provided by our NPR and jazz music station KUAZ, and will, for the first time, bring over-the-air NPR news and information programming to listeners in that community. We have three years to complete the fundraising and construction for new transmission facilities there. We also made application and received conditional approval from the FCC for a new full power FM station in Sierra Vista, Arizona, KUAS 88.9FM. We are now working through the steps required to receive approval from the Mexican Government, given this station’s proximity to the border. I hope to have more good news to report on this in the coming months.

May TV Sweeps

Overall, full day viewership for PBS-HD Channel 6 increased by 19% over the same period last year. Top programs were: Keeping Up Appearances (Sat. 8 p.m.), Antiques Roadshow (Mon. 8 p.m.), As Time Goes By (Sat. 8:30 p.m.), Masterpiece (Sun. 8:00 p.m.), and NOVA (Wed. 9 p.m.). Additionally, audiences grew 27% in full daily viewership for PBS Kids compared to last May.

The Best and the Brightest

We are fortunate to have a terrific professional staff at AZPM. One of our most recent hires Gisela Telis, who joined us last fall as our Online Editor in the content production group, recently received a 2011-2012 Rosalynn Carter Fellowship for Mental Health Journalism. Gisela’s editorial focus will be to examine mental health in Arizona’s rural, tribal and underserved communities and will be presented starting this fall on several of AZPM media platforms (TV/radio/online). This fellowship program is part of the Carter Center's Mental Health Program, which works around the world to reduce stigma and discrimination against people with mental illnesses and to decrease incorrect and stereotypical information. Gisela received one of six fellowships awarded to journalists from the United States and two from Romania in the highly competitive pool of applicants for the 15th annual class. We are thrilled for her to be honored with this award and are confident that you will be enlightened by her upcoming reporting.

August Programming

On the programming side, please be sure to check out PBS-HD Channel 6 on Wednesday, August 10th starting at 8 p.m. and enjoy the ‘smartest night on TV’ with “Big Dreams, Cosmic Journeys”. This is a blockbuster of an evening with back-to-back local and national, award-winning programs that begin a new era in the search for signs of life on our neighboring planets; Phoenix Mars Mission: Ashes to Ice, NOVA: Is There Life on Mars, 400 Years of the Telescope and Phoenix Mars Mission: Onto the Ice.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes returns to our daytime TV schedule this month, Monday through Fridays at 3 p.m. Certain to keep you out of the heat and humidity and bring you first-rate drama and mystery, we start off with the “Armchair Thrillers”; ten episodes, including The Sign of Four Parts I & II and The Hound of the Baskervilles Parts I & II.

Finally, I would be remiss if I did not publicly acknowledge the departure of Steve MacCarthy, the University’s Vice President for External Relations, who departs from UA at the end of the month to move to the University of Pennsylvania as its new Vice President for Communications. AZPM reports through Steve’s office to the University and it has been my privilege and good fortune to work with and for such a talented professional. You may recognize Steve’s name from his many appearances on our various fundraising campaigns. Steve has been a tireless advocate, fundraiser and champion of public media and AZPM. He will be missed.

As always, thank you for your viewership, listenership and continued support of Arizona Public Media.

Jack Gibson

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About From the General Manager

Thoughts and Letters from Jack Gibson.