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From the General Manager


Throughout the year our members, listeners, viewers, and volunteers frequently express how exceptional they find our programming. What better way to share this enriching experience with family and friends than by giving the gift of an annual AZPM membership for the holidays. Your support makes it possible for AZPM to acquire and produce the broadcast and educational services that enrich our lives and strengthen Southern Arizona communities. You can also support AZPM by making a year-end donation or an IRA Charitable Rollover. For more information on giving please visit

2012 has been a very busy year at Arizona Public Media and, as we conclude the year, it seems an appropriate time to reflect on and share with you the past year’s successes. The following are some of the many accomplishments achieved over the past year:

  • AZPM staffers were recognized with eight Rocky Mountain Emmy® Awards – more than any other Tucson TV station.

  • Original documentary productions included Together We Heal, Arizona’s Dust Bowl: Lessons Lost, and Seeking Water from the Sun.

  • Original radio documentary productions included The Five Cs: A Century Later, Collecting Light: An Exploration of Arizona Astronomy, and Beyond the Sprawl – Rethinking the Southwestern Economy.

  • Your Vote 2012 provided comprehensive election coverage including 52 “Meet the Candidate” interviews, 12 dedicated Arizona Week episodes, and 20 candidate forums across TV, radio and online. In addition, and for the first time, AZPM produced more than a dozen “Get Out the Vote” spots featuring some familiar faces and some new faces from the community, encouraging audiences to become involved in the electoral process.

  • For the 10th year in a row NPR 89.1 was voted Best Radio Station for News by the readers of Tucson Weekly. NPR 89.1 remains the top-ranked News/Talk format station in the Tucson radio market.

  • AZPM launched PBS LearningMedia® in collaboration with sister-station KAET8/Phoenix and hosted teacher training events in Southern Arizona.

  • PBS 6 remains among the Top 10 most watched PBS stations nationally.

Throughout this month PBS 6’s membership campaign features a number of compelling and entertaining specials. Highlights include “Downton Abbey Revisited” featuring great moments from the series’ first two seasons along with cast interviews, rare behind-the-scenes footage, and a sneak peek at what’s in store for the Crawleys as they enter the Roaring Twenties; an encore broadcast of Season 2 of Downton Abbey starting December 2nd (leading up to the much anticipated premiere of Season 3 on January 6th); “Tommy Emmanuel Center Stage,” and “Fab Four: The Ultimate Beatles Tribute.” A schedule of dates and times are at

New holiday specials for December include Great Performances: Rod Stewart: Merry Christmas Baby; Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, featuring Jane Seymour and baritone Nathan Gunn; the annual National Christmas Tree Lighting; and the first-ever Cat in the Hat Christmas special, The Cat in the Hat Knows A Lot About Christmas. Perennial holiday program favorites include Rick Steves’ European Christmas and Christmas in Yellowstone. TV schedule listings are here.

December’s ‘Chef of the Month’ on ReadyTV is Lidia Bastianich, who will host mouth-watering new episodes of Lidia’s Italy in America. To help celebrate, we are giving our Facebook fans an opportunity to win her new cookbook “Lidia’s Italy in America.” Like us on AZPM Facebook to enter the contest. Visit here for the complete ReadyTV schedule.

Classical 90.5’s Community Concerts series will broadcast performances from the 2011 Tucson Winter Chamber Music Festival, recorded here in Southern Arizona. Complete classical program listings are here.

And while 2012 has been chocked full of challenges and accomplishments, there are more coming in 2013. Topping our list in late-January is the re-launch of Arizona Illustrated, or as it will be recast, AZ Illustrated. Each weeknight will feature a different host and focus area including Metro on Mondays, Science on Tuesdays, Nature on Wednesdays, Arts on Thursdays, and Friday will remain The Political Roundtable with the Tucson Weekly’s, Jim Nintzel hosting. Stay tuned.

On behalf of all of us at AZPM, please accept our very best wishes to you and your family for a happy and healthy holiday season and 2013. As always, thank you for your viewership, listenership and continued support of Arizona Public Media.

Jack Gibson


Arizona Public Media just wrapped up the first radio campaign of the fiscal year, on Classical 90.5 and NPR 89.1. The campaign was a resounding success, and featured more than 85 community voices, generated 2,547 calls of support. Our appreciation goes out to all of the new and renewing members of AZPM and to those that pledged an additional gift to help us surpass our ambitious goal. More good radio news includes the results of the summer ratings survey. NPR 89.1 remains the top-ranked News/Talk format station in the competitive Tucson radio market (ranked #7 overall) and Classical 90.5 ranked 15th among listeners age 12+.

Last month I mentioned that AZPM received 10 Rocky Mountain Emmy® Award nominations. I am pleased to report that AZPM staffers were recognized with a total of eight awards, more than any television station in the Tucson market. I am delighted to report that one of the eight awards went to UA student and AZPM photographer, Cooper James, the first UA student to receive this prestigious honor for his work as a videographer on the Arizona Illustrated feature story, “The Zoppé Circus.” You can watch all of the 2012 AZPM award-winning productions here.These awards, which are judged by peers in other regions of the country, demonstrate the creativity and quality of AZPM’s content production staff – whose work would not be possible without your continued support.

As the election campaigns come to a close, AZPM’s Your Vote 2012 remains your source for in-depth coverage of local, state, congressional, and the presidential races, and up-to-date information on propositions that will affect Southern Arizona. Tune in for live coverage on election night, November 6th on PBS 6, NPR 89.1 and online at AZPM Political Correspondents Christopher Conover and Andrea Kelly, along with Education Reporter Fernanda Echavarri, will be out in the field with live coverage of election results at various campaign headquarters around the community. These local, live updates will be featured during special election coverage from the PBS NewsHour and NPR Election Night live broadcasts beginning at 6 p.m.

This month PBS6 will premier "Arizona’s Dust Bowl: Lessons Lost", produced, written, and directed by Tom Kleespie, AZPM’s Sr. Producer, Special Projects. This new AZPM documentary which airs at 7 p.m. on November 18th, immediately prior to the latest Ken Burns program, explores how the 1930’s Dust Bowl affected Arizona‘s culture and economy, and includes interviews with several prominent academia from the University of Arizona.

Other PBS 6 November program highlights include Sunday Brit-Drama Night starting at 7 p.m. with the hit BBC series Call the Midwife, MASTERPIECE: Upstairs Downstairs at 8 p.m., and an encore broadcast of MASTERPIECE Classic Downton Abbey – Season 1 at 9 p.m. Tune in on Sunday, November 25th at 8 p.m. for “Downton Abbey Revisited.” Savor great moments from the series’ first two seasons, along with cast interviews and behind the scenes footage. Here’s an inside tip – an encore broadcast of the Season II of Downton Abbey will air starting December 2nd, all leading up to the much-anticipated premiere of Season III on January 6th. Enjoy!

Popular science and nature-based program night, Exploration Wednesdays, continues with all new programs starting at 8 p.m. with NOVA, NATURE at 9 p.m. and NOVA scienceNow at 10 p.m. The Hollywood at Home film series on Saturday nights at 9 p.m. continues to gain in popularity with our audiences. This month’s film features include “The Searchers,” “The Hound of the Baskervilles,” “Rocky II,” and a pre-Thanksgiving film marathon, Wednesday, Nov. 21st with “A Walk in the Clouds” and encore broadcast of “Rocky II” starting at 8 p.m. On Thursdays, join PBS 6 for one of the most popular series from the BBC, Doc Martin, starring Martin Clunes. For complete television listings visit

As Thanksgiving Day approaches, I want to thank you for your viewership, listenership and continued support of Arizona Public Media.

Jack Gibson


The Rocky Mountain Southwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences recently announced its annual Emmy® Award nominations and once again Arizona Public Media (AZPM) has garnered 10 nominations, more than any other television station in Southern Arizona, and the second highest among public TV stations in the Rocky Mountain chapter. We believe that the nominations demonstrate the quality and creativity of AZPM’s local productions. We will let you know who the winners are after the awards ceremony takes places early this month.

Last month, PBS 6 wrapped up its first television membership drive of the fiscal year, “That’s Entertainment.” The successful campaign raised $207,000, exceeding our goal of $200,000. Our next big push begins on October 12th with the launch of the NPR 89.1 and Classical 90.5 pledge drives. Please remember that your member dollars are an investment that makes possible our local productions and our local and national news coverage throughout the year. Thank you for your continued support.

NPR 89.1 will broadcast several special programs during the month of October. The specials will air on Sundays at 2 p.m. and will pre-empt To the Best of Our Knowledge. Here’s the lineup:

October 7th - State of the Re:Union: Fresh Stories on Building and Rebuilding Communities. Tucson sits in the borderlands, the desert landscape where America and Mexico meet. The program tells stories about what happens when people cross the U.S./Mexico border. October 14th - BURN: An Energy Journal: Election Special, Part 1: “The Power of One Election and America's Energy Future.” October 21st - BURN: An Energy Journal: Election Special, Part 2: “The Power and Politics of New Energy Frontiers.”

With the 2012 elections looming next month, AZPM’s Your Vote 2012 campaign continues to provide in-depth election news coverage and voter resources on PBS 6, NPR 89.1, and online at Several Arizona Illustrated candidate forums have been scheduled:

Wednesday, October 10th - The CD3 Forum at 6 p.m. AZPM’s Christopher Conover hosts the forum with all three candidates for office at Pima Community College West.

Tuesday, October 23rd - The CD2 Forum at 6 p.m. Live from the UA campus, the forum will be moderated by AZPM’s Christopher Conover and Andrea Kelly, Arizona Illustrated Political Roundtable host and Tucson Weekly senior writer Jim Nintzel, and Associated Students of the University of Arizona President Katy Murray.

Wednesday, October 24th - The CD1 Forum at 6 p.m. The forum will be moderated by AZPM’s Christopher Conover and Andrea Kelly.

Don’t miss FRONTLINE: “The Choice” on October 9th at 9 p.m. on PBS 6. This special election program documents the places, people, and decisive moments that made the men who are competing for the presidency.

This month two national NPR and PBS personalities will visit Tucson. AZPM, in collaboration with the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the UA Hispanic Alumni Association, will present Maria Hinojosa, anchor and managing editor of NPR’s Latino USA and PBS’s Maria Hinojosa: One-on-One. Ms. Hinojosa will host a special screening of “America By The Numbers” on Monday, October 8th at the Center for Creative Photography at 5:30 p.m. A town hall style discussion on immigration, “the new mainstream,” and what it means to be a citizen will follow. The event is free and open to the public. More information is available here. On October 15th, Ken Rudin, NPR’s ‘Political Junkie,’ will lead a panel discussion entitled “Campaign Voices,” at the UA’s Centennial Hall at 7 p.m. The event, presented by The UA College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, is free, but tickets are required. Visit here for ticket information.

Elections aside, AZPM offers as always an outstanding schedule of entertaining programs. October will bring several program premieres to PBS 6 including Call the Midwife, MASTERPIECE Classic: Upstairs, Downstairs – Season 2,” as well as an encore presentation of the first season of MASTERPIECE Classic: Downton Abbey (gearing up for the premiere of its third season in January). Check TV schedules here. In addition,Hollywood at Home, PBS 6’s weekly film series, presents another month of blockbuster feature films including “Dark Victory” with Humphrey Bogart and Bette Davis on the 6th, “The Unforgiven” on the 13th, “Rainman” on the 20th, and “Diner” on the 27th. If you miss the 9 p.m. Saturday broadcast of Hollywood at Home, you can catch the encore matinee the following Friday afternoon at 1 p.m. Visit here for complete Hollywood at Home schedules.

Thank you again for your exceptional support for Arizona Public Media. It makes what we do possible.


Jack Gibson


AZPM’s new programming initiatives continue to build audience. July television ratings indicate that our full day viewership for PBS 6 increased by 7% from last year, and grew 25% in primetime. The number one show during this rating period was “A Capitol Fourth” that aired on July 4th. Sunday night continues to be the top night with Masterpiece at 8:00 p.m. as the peak performer. Monday night’s Antiques Roadshow broadcast remains the number three program on PBS 6.1

The new ReadyTV channel continues to grow as well. ReadyTV ‘s audience reach increased 25% for the full day and by 200% in primetime. Viewership increased by 7% in full day and 125% in primetime.1

On the radio side, NPR 89.1 maintains its top rank among other news/talk stations in the Tucson market in the Spring Arbitron ratings report. NPR 89.1 also set a new record for cumulative audience in the region that includes Pima, Pinal, Cochise, and Santa Cruz counties. In its target 50+ demographic (as designated by the Strategic Plan), NPR 89.1’s Tucson metro listeners grew by 4.8% over the number for the previous Spring. Classical 90.5’s Tucson metro listeners increased by 5.7% during the same period.2

The Your Vote 2012 campaign continues with broad coverage of all local, state and regional political news. Tune in to Arizona Illustrated, Arizona Week, and AZ Illustrated Political Roundtable on PBS 6, listen to NPR 89.1, and visit online at for the latest candidate interviews, political forums, interactive district maps, and ballot initiatives.

I am sure you will find the Fall TV line-up on PBS 6 truly entertaining. The September membership drive on PBS 6, “That’s Entertainment,” includes special programs; “Les Misérables 25th Anniversary Concert at the O2”, “Tony Bennett’s Duets II,” “Big Band Vocalists,” “Great Performances at the Met: Wagner’s Ring Cycle,” and much more.

Your support each year helps AZPM provide the engaging, entertaining, and educational programs you have grown to love. September also brings new premieres and specials, including: Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood - Premieres on September 3rd and airs weekdays on PBS 6 at 10 a.m., and PBS Kids at 7 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. A new generation of preschool “neighbors” will get to experience the ‘Neighborhood of Make-Believe’ with Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, the first TV series inspired by the iconic, award-winning Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.

“Broadway or Bust” - Premieres on Sunday, September 16th on PBS 6 at 6 p.m. PBS is bound for Broadway with a three-hour primetime documentary series that tracks the real life stories of America’s top high school musical performers, vying in the ultimate competition to find the nation’s best young theater stars.

MASTERPIECE Mystery! “Wallender III” – Also premiering on Sundays in September on PBS 6, are three gripping new episodes of Wallender. Kenneth Branagh returns to his Emmy-nominated role as the soul-searching Swedish detective created by best-selling novelist Henning Mankell. Episodes one and two, “An Event in Autumn” and “The Dogs of Riga” debut on Sunday, the 16th at 8 and 9 p.m. The third episode, “Before the Frost,” airs at 8 p.m. on Sunday the 23rd.

American Experience: “Death & The Civil War” – From the acclaimed filmmaker Ric Burns, this special two-hour documentary airs on Tuesday the 18th at 8 p.m., and charts the political and social changes wrought by the pervasive fear of death during the Civil War.

Doc Martin – The Southern Arizona premiere of the first season of this BBC hit series starts Thursdays, September 20th at 9 p.m. on PBS 6. This British TV comedy drama stars Martin Clunes as Dr. Martin Ellingham, whose truculence and tactless manner causes mayhem in a small Cornish community.

Your support is our largest source of funding, and it’s an investment that benefits everyone in the community. Thank you sincerely for your commitment to Arizona Public Media.

Jack Gibson

1. Nielsen Station Index and TRAC Media Services 2. Arbitron, Inc. from Radio Research Consortium, Inc., Spring 2011, Spring 2012, TSA Cume, Metro AQH share, 12+, 50+.


The healthy rainfall this monsoon season has been a blessing for our long drought. Hopefully the rains continue along with the anticipated start of the new fall semester here on the UA campus. AZPM looks forward to welcoming a new group of student crew, interns, and volunteers that help us across the organization each semester.

Recent ratings information was released for television and radio. In the May Nielsen sweeps, PBS 6 increased its full day reach by 4% from the same period last year. Top rated programs in May include MASTERPIECE Mystery! Sherlock on Sundays at 8 p.m., Antiques Roadshow on Mondays at 8 p.m. and Men of Mystery! on Thursdays at 8 p.m. PBS Kids viewership grew 27% in full day viewership and 242% in primetime compared to last May.

Our NPR radio service maintains its top rank among other news/talk stations in the Tucson market. NPR 89.1 set a new record for cumulative audience in Pima, Pinal, Cochise, and Santa Cruz counties. The cumulative audience for listeners age 12+ was 109,400, eclipsing the previous high of 108,700 in the Fall of 2009. For listeners age 50+, NPR 89.1 increased 5% and Classical 90.5 increased 5.7% from Spring 2011.

You’ve been hearing a new voice mornings on NPR 89.1. John Weaver joined the radio team as the new morning host and newscaster just a few weeks ago. John has an extensive career in both commercial and public radio throughout the Midwest, having most recently spent more than seven years at Minnesota Public Radio. Also new to the AZPM team is Enrique Aldana who joined us as our new Associate Director of Development. Enrique, a graduate of UA’s Eller College of Management, comes to AZPM from Tucson Newspapers, Inc. where he served as Advertising Sales Manager since 2004.

This month, ReadyTV celebrates what would have been Julia Childs’ 100th birthday (August 15th) all month long with a marathon of your favorite Julia shows including; In Julia’s Kitchen, French Chef Classics, Julia Child Memories, Cooking with Master Chefs and more.

AZPM’s Your Vote 2012 election coverage continues with a series of special broadcast forums. In anticipation of the upcoming Primary Election on August 28th, AZPM hosted the first of these forums on July 23rd with the CD2 Republican Primary Forum on a special edition of Arizona Illustrated, simulcast on NPR 89.1 and online. On August 13th PBS 6 will host the CD2 Democratic Primary Forum and the CD2 Democratic Primary Forum on August 20th. Both programs are special editions of Arizona Illustrated at 6:30 p.m. More candidate forums and special debates will be announced during the weeks ahead. Check your weekly Preview newsletter for dates and times. AZPM’s Your Vote 2012 is your source for thorough, un-biased, expert analysis across radio, TV, and online at vote. The website has candidate interviews, forums, interactive maps, proposition overviews and more.

I am pleased to announce that the PBS drama series MASTERPIECE, has been honored by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences with 37 nominations for the 2012 Primetime Emmy® Awards – the highest number of nominations the series has received in its history. MASTERPIECE Classic: Downton Abbey received 16 nominations and MASTERPIECE Mystery! Sherlock received 13 nominations. Other nominees include Great Expectations, Page Eight, and The Song of Lunch.

August 18th starts the first TV membership drive of the new fiscal year. Program highlights include one of the best live Frank Sinatra concerts of all time, Frank Sinatra: Concert for the Americas filmed in the Dominican Republic in 1982. This two-hour special airs on Monday, August 20th at 8 pm on PBS6. Other program highlights include The Civil War, Ken Burns’ nine-episode epic documentary starting July 31st at 9 p.m., and The Orangutan Diaries, a five-part BBC’s nature documentary that follows the fragile lives of Bornean Orangutans on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. starting August 8th. Wacky Americana series continues Thursdays at 8 p.m. through the month with Lords of the Gourds, Ferrets: the Pursuit of Excellence, and Cherry Picking Apple Blossom Time. Check program listings here.

I hope you will keep in mind that your pledges of financial support help AZPM to provide you with the award-winning, wide variety of programming that you have grown to expect. Thank you for your viewership, listenership and continued support.

Jack Gibson


July, along with the official start of the monsoon season, brings us a new fiscal year and a summer program schedule featuring award-winning news and entertainment programs.

The Your Vote 2012 campaign continues with in-depth local, state, and national election coverage in addition to get-out-the-vote public service announcements. Over the next several months, AZPM will host a multitude of in-studio debates and forums with candidates running in statewide, Congressional and the U.S. Senate races. Visit here to see the most up-to-date information. On June 29th, we streamed live on our web site the Washington Week “Town Hall Forum on SB1070” a collaboration of WETA/Washington, KPBS/San Diego, and PBS 6/Tucson. On Sunday July 1st at 4 p.m., we will rebroadcast the program in its entirety on PBS World (Channel 27-3, Cox 83, Comcast 203). Then, on Monday July 2nd at 6:30 p.m., we will broadcast highlights from this program within Arizona Illustrated on PBS 6. You can also watch the town hall on line anytime at

AZPM kicks off July with one of our biggest television programs of the year, A Capitol Fourth. This live national broadcast of America’s favorite Independence Day tradition features unrivaled performances from some of the country’s best-known musical names topped off by the greatest display of fireworks anywhere in the nation. Tom Bergeron takes the helm as the new host of this star-spangled affair, live from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, July 4th at 5 p.m. (live from D.C.) with encore presentations at 8 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. on PBS 6. More details can be found here.

On radio, NPR 89.1 FM will broadcast The Capitol Steps: Politics Takes a Holiday on July 4th at 7 p.m., pre-empting Jazz at Lincoln Center. For thirty years The Capitol Steps have been putting politics and scandal to music. Tune in to this radio special full of political satire with song parodies and skits, created and delivered by many former Congressional and Senate staffers!

Starting on July 7th, NPR 89.1 FM will freshen up its weekend lineup with several new programs! • Snap Judgment from NPR tells intriguing stories about extraordinary and defining events in people’s lives. The program’s raw, intimate, and musical brand of storytelling dares listeners to see a sliver of the world through another's eye. Snap Judgment host Glynn Washington, takes listeners on a narrative journey - leaping from one person's frying pan into another person's fire. Deejay-driven musical delivery, paired with lush sound design, drops listeners into the very heart of what matters. Snap Judgment's fast-paced (sometimes dark, sometimes playful) narrative highlights people from across the globe that put everything on the line. More here.

Living on Earth, hosted by Steve Curwood, is an award-winning, environmental news program which delves into the leading issues affecting the world we inhabit. As the population continues to rise and the management of the earth's resources becomes even more critical, Living on Earth examines the issues facing our increasingly inter-dependent world. More here.

RadioLab is an experiential investigation that explores themes and ideas through a patchwork of people, sounds, and stories. In each episode, RadioLab experiments with sound and style allowing science to fuse with culture, and information to sound like music. Hosted by Jad Abumrad with co-host Robert Krulwich, RadioLab is designed for listeners who demand skepticism but appreciate wonder. More here.

On Classical 90.5 FM over the next 13 weeks, Music Mountain will replace Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, on Thursday evenings at 8 p.m. starting July 5th. The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra replaces Deutche Welle Festival Concerts Sunday evenings at 8 p.m. starting July 1st. While Community Concerts take a siesta for the summer, they will be replaced with Fiesta! on Sunday afternoons at 3 p.m. starting July 1st. Fiesta! is a new production devoted to Latino concert music and presents artistically significant compositions from Latin America, Spain, and Portugal. The acclaimed composer, musician, performer, and professor, Elbio Barilari, is the host and creative force behind this series. He invites listeners to enjoy and learn about the lively and compelling sounds of Latin American classical music. More here.

I encourage you to give these new radio programs a listen, and let us know what you think.

PBS 6 offers something for everyone this summer. With the 2012 Olympics coming to London in August, Michael Wood’s Story of England, a four-part series hosted by historian Michael Wood, explores the 2,000-year-old history of the village of Kibworth in Leicestershire, England. A new Masterpiece Mystery: Inspector Lewis series starts Sunday, July 8th at 8 p.m. with the first of four new episodes, “The Soul of Genius.” “Generation Vipers” follows on the 15th, “Fearful Symmetry” on the 22nd, and “The Indelible Stain” on the 29th. The new series Market Warriors premieres on Monday nights at 8 p.m. starting July 16th. From the producers of Antiques Roadshow, Market Warriors features 4 expert shoppers competitively scouring flea markets across the country for vintage valuables. This three-part series is followed each Monday by the original Antiques Roadshow at 9 p.m.

Our efforts for the benefit of Southern Arizona would simply not be possible without you. On behalf of all of us at AZPM, please accept my sincere thanks for your continued support and best wishes for the summer.

Jack Gibson

About From the General Manager

Thoughts and Letters from Jack Gibson.