From the General Manager
posted by Laura McKee
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 TucsonSentinel.com.
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.
posted by Laura McKee
Arizona Public Media (AZPM) has just announced the launch of a new locally-focused, news and public affairs series, Metro Week, to be hosted and produced by Andrea Kelly. The weekly 30-minute program, debuting Friday, June 6 at 8:30 p.m. on PBS 6, reflects AZPM’s strategic decision to heighten the quality, depth and focus of our news and public affairs programming. Each week, Metro Week will delve into a key local news story from the week and feature a journalists’ roundtable discussion of the primary and other top stories. Arizona Week, previously scheduled at 8:30 p.m., will move to Fridays at 9 p.m.
The addition of the new show creates a complete block of public affairs programming on Friday evenings starting with national news and public affairs at 7 p.m. with the PBS NewsHour and Washington Week at 8 p.m., regional and local coverage with Metro Week at 8:30 p.m., and state coverage with Arizona Week, hosted by Lorraine Rivera, at 9 p.m.
Andrea Kelly, a graduate of the School of Journalism at the University of Arizona, a former news reporter at the Arizona Daily Star, and a member of the AZPM news team for the past three years, was the logical choice as producer and host of Metro Week. “We are looking forward to giving viewers more information about the big stories of the week. It can be hard to keep up with fast-changing news, so our discussion and analysis at the end of the week will help pull together what people need to know to make personal and political decisions," she said.
Metro Week will also join the Sunday morning public affairs programming block on PBS 6 at 11 a.m., following Arizona Week at 10:30 a.m. In addition, Metro Week will air on Fridays on WORLD (Channel 27-3, Cox 83, and Comcast 203) at 11:30 p.m., and on the UA Channel (Cox 116 and Comcast 76) at 11 p.m.
There is an additional change coming to the programming line-up on PBS 6. Effective the first week of June, AZ Illustrated, AZPM’s week-nightly public affairs and news magazine series, will go on a broadcast hiatus. In its place, the award-winning nature and travel series The Desert Speaks will air Monday through Friday at 6:30 p.m. beginning Monday, June 2.
AZPM’s production staff will work over the summer months to research, develop and produce stories for the re-launch of AZ Illustrated in the fall. The series is being redeveloped into a weekly 30-minute program that will showcase three to five character-driven “mini-documentaries” in each episode. The four to seven minute ‘mini-docs’ will combine lush, stunning photography; crisp, powerful editing; and sensitive character development to tell the best science, nature, arts, culture, and public affairs stories in Southern Arizona. A new scheduling strategy will be employed to offer multiple broadcasts of each episode in different time periods over the course of a week.
This month we honor Asian-Pacific Heritage Month with an extensive lineup of special programs on PBS 6, WORLD and the UA Channel. Highlights include the documentary film, “Calling Tokyo,” “E Haku Inoa: To Weave a Name,” “Mulberry Child,” and “The Silk Road Ensemble with Yo-Yo Ma: Tanglewood,” a documentary about the Silk Road Ensemble’s 15th anniversary performance at Tanglewood in western Massachusetts in 2012. For a complete list of Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month programs and airdates, visit here.
On behalf of all of us at AZPM, thank you for your viewership, listenership, and continued support.
posted by Laura McKee
Thanks to generous contributions from 1761 new and renewing members, Arizona Public Media raised $285,092 during the just concluded spring TV membership campaign. The total raised was eight percent over goal and a 15 percent increase over last year’s spring campaign. Please keep the momentum going as we now ask your support for the upcoming semi-annual radio membership campaign, April 3 - 11, on NPR 89.1 and Classical 90.5. Tune in and support AZPM to ensure that you can continue to enjoy the informative and entertaining radio programs from NPR, PRI and APM on which you rely every day, as well as AZPM’s own Arizona Spotlight on NPR 89.1, the Community Concerts series on Classical 90.5, and local news reports broadcast on both stations.
One of the benefits of your AZPM membership is the opportunity to attend sneak previews of upcoming national and locally produced TV programs. In celebration of the new Ken Burns documentary “The Address,” AZPM will present a preview of the film with guest speaker John Warnock, a professor of English in the Graduate Program in Rhetoric, Composition, and the Teaching of English at the University of Arizona. The special event starts at 6:30 p.m. on April 9 at the Center for Creative Photography on the UA campus.
“The Address” documentary, which premieres on April 15 at 9 p.m., honors the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address and tells the story of a Vermont school where boys with learning differences memorize and recite the Address in public. As part of a national “Take the Address” initiative, AZPM will offer the opportunity to guests at the event to recite the famous Address. The Tucson recordings will be posted on the national learntheaddress website along with those of many others from across the country.
The February TV ratings were just released, and Sunday nights on PBS 6 continue to be the most popular with Southern Arizona audiences. Not surprisingly, the premiere of Masterpiece Classic: Downton Abbey, Season Four was the top rated program locally. Nationally, the wildly popular dramatic series reached an average audience of 15.5 million viewers, making it the highest-rated drama premiere in PBS history.1 Two new specials, Making of a Lady and Murder on the Home Front, also helped boost Sunday’s ratings. Antiques Roadshow on Mondays remains a consistent top-five favorite, and Doc Martin, Season Six on Thursday nights continues to build audience with each new season.2
Sunday night dramas continue in April on PBS 6. Starting at 7 p.m., you can watch all new seasons of Call the Midwife, Masterpiece Classic: Mr. Selfridge (at 8 p.m.), and The Bletchley Circle (at 9 p.m.). Season One of the new BBC TV series Inspector George Gently premieres on Sunday, April 13 at 10 p.m. Set in the 1960s, the program tells the story of an old-school detective trying to cope with a changing world in which the lines between the behaviors of police and criminals have become blurred. Visit tv/azpm.org/schedules for complete program listings.
In April, PBS 6 is the destination to learn more about animals; their habits, behaviors, bionics and DNA. Nature, at 8 p.m., features new programs: “My Bionic Pet,” “Touching the Wild,” and “Snow Monkeys.” NOVA at 9 p.m. premieres “Inside Animal Minds: Bird Genius,” “Inside Animal Minds: Dogs & Super Senses,” and “Animal Minds: Who’s the Smartest.” Your Inner Fish, a three-episode, scientific adventure debuting at 10 p.m. on April 9, reveals how the genetic legacy of fish and reptiles can be seen today in our own DNA. Don’t miss these compelling animal adventure stories.
AZPM will be out and about in the community this month. PBS Kids’ Curious George returns to Tucson after his recent visit to the Tucson Festival of Books to participate in the University of Arizona BookStore’s “Storytime” events at 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 5. He will also take a trip to the Children’s Museum Tucson the same day to appear at its annual Let’s Get Fit Health! Health and Wellness Fair from 12:30 – 1:30 p.m. Both events are free and open to all.
On behalf of all of us at AZPM, thank you for your continued viewership, listenership, and support.
Sincerely, Jack Gibson
1 Nielsen NPower, Live +7; 9.7 average household rating
2 TRAC Media Services, Tucson (Sierra Vista), February 2014, NSI HH
posted by Laura McKee
Arizona Public Media’s spring membership campaign starts on March 1 with a host of new specials on PBS 6 that span several genres. Highlights include Suze Orman’s “Financial Solutions For You,” self-development guru Wayne Dyer’s “I Can See Clearly Now,” and the high-octane dance extravaganza “Heartbeat of Home,” from the producers of “Riverdance.” Your contributions made during these and many other specials help AZPM support its program services.
We honor Women’s History Month in March with an extensive lineup of programs on PBS 6, WORLD, the UA Channel and ReadyTV. American Masters: “Martha Mitchell – American Legend,” Makers: “Women Who Make America, Parts 1, 2 and 3,” and POV: “The Light in Her Eyes,” are just a few of the programs that will offer viewers the opportunity to explore the rich, vibrant history and the political, scientific, social and cultural contributions of women. Visit here for a complete list of programs.
Daylight Saving Time starts March 10 and, as always, there will be slight adjustments to the weekday and weekend radio schedules. Weekdays on NPR 89.1, Here and Now and Science Friday move to 11 a.m., and Fresh Air will move to 1 p.m. to allow Southern Arizonans to call and participate in the discussions hosted by Ira Flatow on Science Friday. On Classical 90.5, The Metropolitan Opera will start at 10 a.m. beginning March 15, except when longer works require earlier start times. Be sure to check our website for broadcast schedules at azpm.org/schedules.
The Tucson Festival of Books comes to the University of Arizona on March15 and 16. AZPM is proud to be a media sponsor of the event, one of the largest book fairs in the country. Rebecca Eaton, the executive producer of PBS’s Masterpiece, will be a special guest of the festival this year and will participate in three panel discussions: Downton Abbey, The Aftermath of the Great War, and “The Making of Masterpiece,” focusing on her new book. To check specific appearance times, visit here.
AZPM members and friends are encouraged to visit our Tucson Festival of Books booth (#253) on Saturday and Sunday to meet AZPM television and radio personalities. The PBS Kids characters Curious George and Clifford the Big Red Dog will be at the festival, and kids will have the opportunity to have their picture taken with them at the AZPM booth. The characters will also be featured at the 2014 Storybook Character Breakfast and Parade on Saturday starting at 8 a.m. Look for a schedule of special appearances at the AZPM booth in the March 7 Preview e-letter.
As always, our goal is to provide you with a wide variety of programming so you can “vote with your pledge” and let us know the types of shows you’d like to see more of on PBS 6.
On behalf of all of us at AZPM, thank you for your viewership, listenership and continued support.
posted by Laura McKee
Radio and television audience ratings for fall 2013 were recently released and good news continues for Arizona Public Media (AZPM®). Classical 90.5’s average quarter hour listening audience share was the highest of the year and NPR 89.1‘s cumulative weekly audience numbers were among its highest ever.1 Overall, PBS 6’s TV primetime audience increased 44 percent, and for the full week audiences are up 15 percent - the best primetime ratings for PBS 6 in several years. The newly revamped AZ Illustrated is showing ratings traction with a 12 percent increase in audience from last fall. ReadyTV’s full week audience is up 86 percent and a whopping 264 percent in primetime. The audience for the PBS Kids channel increased 6 percent overall, and in primetime increased 32 percent. The top rated programs on PBS 6 were “Carol Burnett: The Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize,” encore broadcasts of Season 2 of Masterpiece Classic: Downton Abbey, and American Experience: “JFK,” Part One and Two.2
On February 12, AZPM and the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona present Community Interactive: POVERTY - The Working Poor, the first of a series of live events addressing issues faced by Southern Arizonans. This first event will be moderated by Neal Conan, award-winning journalist, producer, and former host of NPR’s Talk of the Nation, and will feature a panel of local and national specialists on the subject of poverty. The event will be held at the Fox Theatre Tucson from 6:30 – 8 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. The community is encouraged to participate and submit questions prior to the event at firstname.lastname@example.org, facebook.com/azpublicmedia or facebook.com/CFSAZ. Select questions will be presented at the live event for discussion. Community Interactive – POVERTY: The Working Poor event will be streamed live at azpm.org, available on demand, and broadcast on WORLD and the UA Channel. AZPM news programming will focus on issues raised at the event on AZ Illustrated on PBS 6, on NPR 89.1, and at news.azpm.org.
On February 26 at 8 p.m., PBS 6 will premiere “Level One Trauma,” an original documentary produced and directed by AZPM’s Tom Kleespie. The hour-long documentary is a revealing, personal and gripping look “behind the scenes” at the University of Arizona Medical Center as first responders, doctors, nurses, and other specialists race to save lives in the hospital’s Trauma Center. The documentary will also air on Thursday, February 27 at 7 p.m. on the UA Channel and WORLD. Visit here for TV program schedules.
Other programming highlights in February include an extensive lineup of special programming in observance of Black History Month on PBS 6, World, the UA Channel, and NPR 89.1. Highlights include POV: “American Promise” on February 3 at 10 p.m., American Masters: “Alice Walker: Beauty in Truth” on February 7 at 2 p.m., and Independent Lens: “Spies of Mississippi” on February 10 at 2 p.m. For a complete list of Black History Month programs and airdates, visit here.
This month several new staff members join our team. Rob Lantz joins the AZPM newsroom as NPR 89.1’s morning news anchor, and Vanessa Barchfield takes on news reporter duties. Kelli Gero joins the Underwriting Department as an account executive and Hilary Rosenfeld is AZPM’s new TV program coordinator. Please join me in welcoming these talented individuals to the AZPM family.
On behalf of all of us at AZPM, thank you for your viewership, listenership, and continued support. None of the services AZPM provides to Southern Arizona and beyond would be possible without your generous contributions.
1 TSA Cume Audience & Metro AQH Share, Persons 12+, Mon-Sun 6A-Midnight, Fall 2013, Produced by RRC from data © 2013 Nielsen Audio, Inc.
2 Tucson (Sierra Vista), AZ, November 2013 compared to previous Fall survey, November 2012, Data © 2012, 2013, Nielsen, Inc.
posted by Laura McKee
Arizona Public Media (AZPM) welcomes the New Year and the opportunity to serve our audiences with radio, television, and online programs that inspire life-long learning. Here in Southern Arizona and across the nation, learning starts with young children watching PBS Kids programs. PBS Kids has grown to be the number one educational brand in the nation and the undisputed leader in children’s programming1. Programs such as Sid the Science Kid, Cat in the Hat Knows A Lot About That, Sesame Street, and Arthur, incorporate curricula that cultivates overall academic growth and early critical thinking to enhance essential skills: STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), Literacy, and Social and Emotional Development. This coming year AZPM will focus on increasing awareness of the value of PBS Kids programming in Southern Arizona.
On the news front, AZPM continues to expand local news coverage on NPR 89.1, PBS 6 and online at azpm.org. One if the key topics in the months to come will be the 2014 election. AZPM will provide comprehensive coverage of the candidates, state and local propositions, voter stories, interactive maps, and campaign trail stories.
Our original TV and radio programs, Arizona Week, AZ Illustrated, and Arizona Spotlight, continue to evolve and offer stories relevant to our community. In December Lorraine Rivera, a highly-regarded television journalist, joined AZPM as producer and host of Arizona Week, replacing Michael Chihak, who is now AZPM’s News Director. Arizona Week celebrates its third anniversary on PBS 6 this month, and Lorraine and her guests will bring a fresh viewpoint to the public affairs conversation about state-wide issues. Visit Arizona Week for the latest stories and watch the program on Fridays at 8:30 p.m. and Sundays at 10:30 a.m. The program also airs in Phoenix on the KAET 8 World on Fridays at 7:30 p.m.
The revamped week-night news magazine program AZ Illustrated celebrates its second anniversary in February, and has become a key source of information about all facets of Nature, Science, Metro, and Politics. The hosts of the program are specialists in their respective fields and present timely and relevant stories about business, education, arts and culture, and issues and advances in health, science, and the environment. Watch AZ Illustrated week nights at 6:30 p.m. and visit AZ Illustrated online to catch up on stories you might have missed.
On February 12th, AZPM and the Community Foundation of Southern Arizona will present Community Interactive – Poverty: The Working Poor, the first of a series of engaging live events offering each of us an opportunity to hear and participate in a solution-driven conversation. This first event will be held at the Fox Theatre at 6:30 p.m. and will be moderated by Neal Conan, award-winning journalist, producer, and former host of NPR’s Talk of the Nation. Poverty: The Working Poor will feature a panel of educators, social service professionals, and others working every day to help people in need. Future Community Interactive live events will include topics related to education, the border, and the arts. These programs will be streamed live on azpm.org and edited for future broadcast on WORLD and the UA Channel.
In addition to the original TV and radio series mentioned above, AZPM takes pride in the award-winning documentary specials that bring into focus various aspects of our community. In the works are several specials that will premiere this year:
• Trauma Center, a special one-hour behind the scenes look at the University of Arizona Medical Center as the doctors, nurses and patients deal with the stark realities of life and death in the hospital’s Trauma Center.
• Osiris Rex follows the ambitious mission to study a near-earth asteroid, grab a piece of it, and return the sample to earth in 2023. This first program captures the exciting moments of the University of Arizona’s directed mission from current design to preparation for the 2015 launch.
• Wild! Raptors, a half-hour program that explores the intersection of raptors and humans in the wild, in the city, and in science.
January PBS 6 programming highlights include:
• Downton Abbey, the Emmy® Award-winning Masterpiece Classic series. One of the most popular drama series on television world-wide, the much- anticipated Season Four premieres on Sunday, January 5th at 8 p.m. on PBS 6. Watch the Downton Abbey countdown clock on azpm.org and visit here for sneak peak of Season Four video trailers.
• The return of Sherlock! Season Three premieres on Sundays at 9 p.m. starting January 19th with three thrilling episodes: “The Empty Hearse,” “The Sign of Three,” and “His Last Vow.”
• The popular Hollywood at Home film series on Saturday nights at 9 p.m. This month’s features include “The Birdcage” on January 4th, “The Unforgiven” on January 11th, “Some Like It Hot” on the 18th, and a double feature on the 25th, “Ten Little Indians” and “Hot Rock.”
On radio, Classical 90.5 will broadcast the Tucson Winter Chamber Music Festival on Sundays, hosted by James Reel, at 3 p.m. and Thursdays at 9 p.m. through January 16th. You can visit Extempore at azpm.org/classical and hear exclusive interviews of guest artists with Classical 90.5’s Ted Prichard.
Happy New Year! On behalf of all of us at AZPM, thank you for your viewership, listenership and continued support.
1Grunwald Study, 2009 Media and Technology Use and Trends Among K-12 and Pre-K Teachers