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From the General Manager – 2014


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


When triple-digit weather hits Southern Arizona, it’s an opportunity to cool off inside with great television programs from Arizona Public Media (AZPM®). We celebrate June with outstanding music programs such as the American Masters documentary Pete Seeger: The Power of Song, along with self-improvement shows including 30 Days to a Younger Heart with Dr. Stephen Masley. The special offerings are part of AZPM’s fiscal year-end countdown, which is essential to meeting current financial obligations and to providing a secure financial footing as we begin our new fiscal year on July 1st. If you have already made a contribution this year, thank you. If not, or if you would like to make an additional gift to help AZPM acquire the PBS and NPR programs you enjoy and to support the award-winning, local productions that you have come to expect from AZPM, please take this opportunity to give now.

On Friday, June 6, at 8:30 p.m., we premiere the new local and regional news and public affairs program Metro Week on PBS 6. Produced and hosted by AZPM’s Andrea Kelly, the weekly, 30-minute program will delve into key local and regional news with two components: in-depth reporting on topics relevant to Southern Arizonans and a week-in-review conversation with local journalists, including the Tucson Weekly’s Jim Nintzel, Thelma Grimes, managing editor of Tucson Local Media (Inside Tucson Business and The Explorer Newspaper) and Dylan Smith, editor and publisher of

The new program is the result of a strategic decision to heighten the quality, depth and focus of the news and public affairs programming AZPM creates for Southern Arizona audiences. The new weekly series will give audiences additional opportunities to learn about their communities, will allow for more efficient management of resources, and will complement the other news, public affairs and unique local content AZPM provides across its television, radio and online platforms. The addition of Metro Week to AZPM’s television schedule will also provide viewers with a complete block of public affairs programming on Friday nights, starting with national coverage at 7 p.m. with PBS NewsHour and Washington Week, regional and local coverage with Metro Week at 8:30 p.m., and state-wide coverage with Arizona Week at 9 p.m. Metro Week will be an integral part of the weekend public affairs lineup on PBS 6 as well, airing Sundays at 10:30 a.m., with Arizona Week following at 11 a.m. Metro Week will also air on WORLD and the UA Channel. You can watch a preview of Metro Week here. Visit here for complete television program schedule listings.

In observance of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Pride Month, AZPM will provide an extensive lineup of special programs. From history to performing arts to independent film, PBS 6, WORLD, the UA Channel and ReadyTV will offer viewers the opportunity to explore lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender history, along with the broader history of the gay rights and related civil rights movements in America. Program highlights include The Grove, Independent Lens: the New Black, and The Day it Snowed in Miami. Look here for a complete list of special programs.

At the Arizona Community Action Association (ACAA) Annual Conference in Phoenix on May 8 and 9, 2014, AZPM received with the ACAA’s “Media Leadership Award.” The award was given to AZPM in recognition of its commitment to eliminating poverty, as illustrated by its production and broadcast of the Community Interactive: Poverty – The Working Poor event held in February, 2014, which helped residents learn about and understand the challenges faced by those living in poverty in Tucson and Southern Arizona.

AZPM has also been nominated for a Civic Partner Lumie Award. The Lumies, presented by the Tucson Pima Arts Council each year, recognize the many talented individuals, groups and businesses that contribute to making Southern Arizona a wellspring of creative vitality. The Civic Partner category honors an individual or organization that promotes the arts as central to our community identity and vitality. The awards ceremony will be held on June 6 at the Tucson Museum of Art Plaza. For more information, visit here.

Our efforts for the benefit of Southern Arizona would not be possible without you. Please accept my heartfelt thanks for your continued support and best wishes for a pleasant summer.


Jack Gibson

About From the General Manager

Thoughts and Letters from Jack Gibson.