Arizona Public Media
AZPM on Facebook AZPM on Twitter AZPM on YouTube AZPM on Google+ AZPM on Instagram

From the General Manager


The end of the year is a time to reflect on the past year’s successes and to take stock of the many things that bring meaning to our lives. So many Arizona Public Media (AZPM) members, viewers, listeners and volunteers tell us how much our programs mean to them. Please think about sharing the enriching experience you receive all year long with family members and friends by giving them the gift of AZPM membership for the holidays. You can also support public media by giving a year end donation or an IRA Charitable Rollover. For more information on giving please visit AZPM Support.

The following is a list of just some of the many accomplishments achieved over the past year. The programs could not have been produced or presented without your support:

o Debut of Arizona Week, the first ever statewide weekly public affairs series

o Debut of the weekly Political Roundtable program on Fridays o Upgraded antennae and signal strength for PBS-HD6 and Classical 90.5FM

o AZPM Original programs generated six Emmy® Awards

o Morning radio newscasts scheduled one hour earlier Monday – Friday

o The top rated news/talk format station in Tucson

o Voted the best radio station for news by the Tucson Weekly

o Teachers’ Voices series went into full production and broadcast, presenting more than 50 teachers’ stories on air and online.

o Debut of From the Top series featuring young musicians from around the country and hosted by acclaimed pianist Christopher O’Reilly

o Launch of, a companion news website to Arizona Week

The PBS-HD 6 pledge campaign “Home for the Holidays” continues this month, December 3 – 11, Dec., 17 & 18 and Dec. 31st with more great entertaining specials. Highlights include: Victor Borge: Comedy in Music a new special featuring his recently rediscovered funniest and most memorable skits; Lucille Ball: Finding Lucy – An American Masters Special, the story of one of the most recognized and loved entertainers in the world as she goes from chorus girl to actress to running Desilu Studios - a truly visionary talent; Celtic Woman: Believe – savor this new chapter in musical enchantment from these four fabulous, female singing sensations; Santana: Live at Montreux 2011- Carlos Santana delivers a blistering performance at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 2011, plus many more. For a schedule of dates and times go to

Other holiday specials include Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir featuring David Archuleta and Michael York. Lidia Celebrates America: Holiday Tables and Traditions – a brand new holiday program, and the annual National Christmas Tree Lighting on December 22nd live from Washington. Additional highlights include more great events from the PBS Arts Fall Festival; PBS Arts from Los Angeles: Il Postino from the LA Opera and PBS Arts from New York: Great Performances Andrea Bocelli Live in Central Park. Go here for schedules.

We debut Southern Arizona’s new 24-hour lifestyle channel, Ready TV this month with programs to inspire the traveler, chef, builder, musician and gardener, such as: Victory Garden, America’s Test Kitchen: Fannie’s Last Supper (Christopher Kimball’s recreation of a 12-course Christmas dinner originally hosted by Fannie Farmer in 1896); Austin City Limits music series, and Chihuly Fire & Light, a one-hour documentary of this innovative artist at work. Each month, Ready TV features a Chef of the Month. This month’s chef is Julia Childs and Ready TV will air several of her famous cooking shows: In Julia’s Kitchen, Cooking with Master Chef, Baking with Julia and more. Are you ready for Ready TV? Go here for program schedules.

December 12th – 16th on NPR 89.1FM Beyond Sprawl – Rethinking the Southwestern Economy is a new series analyzing the housing boom, bust and future. Fronteras: the Changing America Desk reporters visit communities across the Southwest to gauge what life is like in a post economic housing boom.

Classical 90.5FM Community Concerts series airs twice weekly in December and will feature the Tucson Winter Chamber Music Festival recorded here in Southern Arizona and featuring works by Ravel, Schumann, Saint-Saëns Beethoven, Mozart and more. Visit here for a complete list of programs.

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

Jack Gibson


Arizona Public Media has a host of exciting specials to inspire your Thanksgiving holiday spirit. AZPM’s winter television membership campaign, “Home for the Holidays,” starts over the Thanksgiving weekend and includes some very special holiday programs; two Nature programs, Hummingbirds: Magic in the Air and Christmas in Yellowstone, Great Performances: Andrea Bocelli and David Foster: My Christmas and Radio City Christmas Spectacular with the Rockettes just to name a few. Please tune in, enjoy the festive programs and consider a pledge to AZPM to show your support.

Local news on NPR 89.1 FM now begins one hour earlier on weekdays (5:00 a.m.) and coming in 2012, AZPM will add weekend newscasts on NPR 89.1. These changes are the result of a strategic initiative to produce more local news content for and about our community, and made possible through your generous membership support.

Arizona Public Media takes pride in our community programs. In partnership with the Pima County Library and Community Cinema, Now Showing at Your Library film series features screenings of films from the Emmy® Award-winning PBS series Independent Lens. This month the featured film is We Still Live Here, the story of the revival of the language of the Wampanoag nation in southeastern Massachusetts. This is the first time a language with no Native speakers has been revived in this country. Click here for a list of Pima County Library locations and film schedules.

If you liked Create TV – you’ll love ReadyTV. ReadyTV is Southern Arizona’s new lifelong learning channel and another step in AZPM’s strategic plan to provide more original programming. Having made great strides with local news programs such as Arizona Week and Political Roundtable, ReadyTV, with its dedicated how-to and lifestyle programming, provides an entertaining and enriching destination for viewers in Southern Arizona who like to cook, build, travel, garden, craft, paint, do yoga, enjoy music, and so much more! ReadyTV includes your favorite programs such as master chef Julia Child, This Old House, Rick Steve’s Europe, and The Desert Speaks. Find it on Comcast channel 201, Cox channel 82 or Broadcast channel 6-3.

Other PBS-HD 6 programming highlights for November include:

The American in Primetime series continues with the final episode The Crusader on Sunday, the 20th at 7 p.m. The Crusader, delves into the increasingly grey area between right and wrong as television heroes confront internal demons while seeking their own forms of justice. Guests include the creators, writers and actors from the televisions series 4, Dexter, MASH, House, The Wire* and more. Go here for an advance video clip.

The final two episodes of the NOVA, Fabric of the Cosmos series air consecutively on Wednesday the 16th with a double header, Quantum Leap at 8 p.m. followed by Universe or Multiverseat 9 p.m. Join physicist and accomplished author Brian Greene on a mind-bending journey through space, time, and the universe with the final two episodes.

PBS Arts Fall Festival Series continues on Friday night, Nov. 18th at 9:30 p.m. with PBS Arts from Cleveland: Women Who Rock. Inspired by the "Women Who Rock: Vision, Passion, Power" exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, "Women Who Rock" reveals new insights into what it means to be female in the male-dominated world of rock and roll, while exploring how those dynamics between the sexes have changed with time. Hosted by Cyndi Lauper. Learn more here.

Woody Allen: American Masters premieres over two nights, Sunday the 20th and Monday the 21st at 9 p.m. This documentary provides unprecedented access to this notoriously private film legend’s life and creative process, from his childhood to his most recent film Midnight in Paris.

Saturday nights now feature our new commercial-free Hollywood at Home film series. On Nov. 19th PBS-HD 6 airs the Academy® Award winning romantic comedy, Moonstruck, starring Cher, Nicholas Cage and Olympia Dukakis. On Thanksgiving Day we present a movie marathon*. For film schedules and fun film trivia click here.

On behalf of all of us at AZPM, please accept our very best wishes to you and your family for a festive Thanksgiving. 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, “It’s Up to Us”, on Classical 90.5FM and NPR 89.1FM. This campaign, featuring over 80 community voices, generated over 2,300 calls with support in dollars totaling more than $261,000. Many thanks to all of our new and renewing members of AZPM and to those that pledged an additional gift to help us achieve this ambition goal.

Late in the afternoon on October 27th PBS-HD 6 resumed broadcasting at full power from its transmission site at Mt. Bigelow after 9-months of operation at half-power. Last January, Channel 6’s HD antenna suffered catastrophic damage as the result of overheating, perhaps related to winter icing. This required that the antenna be dismounted and shipped back to the manufacturer in Maine for a complete overhaul -- with broadcast operations taking place at reduced power from our smaller auxiliary antenna on the same tower.

While the tower crew was on-site, we decided to upgrade the aging Classical 90.5 FM antenna also mounted on the Mt. Bigelow tower, proactively addressing the aging FM antenna, moving the new antenna to the top of the tower and maintaining the current antenna as a backup for Classical 90.5.

To give you a better sense of the scope of this project, the antenna sits atop a 219 foot tower at an elevation of 3582 feet above Tucson (which is at 2,500 feet) on Mt. Bigelow. The TV antenna is 27 ft. tall and weighs just under four tons! The radio antenna is actually five antennas in an array -- each antenna approximately 3 feet tall. Weather on the mountain can add a delay of hours or weeks to a project of this magnitude. While we had to wait until late spring to dismount the antenna, we were fortunate to have warmer than normal temps in October for the reinstallation. I am grateful for the dedication our technical staff -- who persevered through a lightning strike in 2007 which destroyed the original HD antenna, and now successfully addressed the replacement of two defective antennas in the span of five short years. I am also grateful for the patience of our many viewers and listeners, largely outside the Tucson basin, who watch Channel 6 over-the-air and have had TV and radio service interrupted as we worked to address these unfortunate losses. We are back and the signals look and sound great!

Beginning on Monday November 7th, local news will begin one hour earlier on weekdays (5 a.m.) on NPR 89.1. Early in 2012, we expect to add weekend newscasts on NPR 89.1. These changes are the result of a strategic initiative to produce more local news content for and about our community.

As the anniversary of the events of January 8, 2011 draws near, AZPM is preparing special programming focused on the healing that has taken place over the past year - the healing of individuals, and the community’s healing as a whole. How have you healed? How has your community come together to heal itself and its wounded? AZPM invites you to reflect on coping in the aftermath of violence. You are encouraged to post your story at – January 8th.

AZPM presents a great line-up of programming during the first two weeks of November. The American in Primetime series, a four-part television series showcases the groundbreaking television shows of our past and current day, weaving between past and present. Each episode focuses on one television character archetype that has remained a staple of primetime through generations. I hope you caught the first episode which aired this past Sunday, Independent Woman. The Man of the House, on Nov. 6th, is followed by The Misfit, Nov. 13th with the fourth episode, The Crusader on Nov 20th. The finest television today has as its foundation the best television of yesterday. Click here to view a clip.

The PBS Arts Fall Festival on Friday nights at 9:30 p.m. invites you to a front row seat and a backstage pass to the world of music, theater, dance, art and cultural history. This month’s programs include PBS Arts from the Blue Ridge Mountains: Give Me The Banjo on Nov. 4th, narrated by Steve Martin, a banjoist himself, and hosted by Grammy-winner Rosanne Cash. The following Friday, Nov. 11th, take a dance journey with American Masters – Bill T. Jones: A Good Man, an original dance-theater piece in honor of Abraham Lincoln’s bicentennial. For more information go to

Wednesdays, ‘the smartest night on TV’ – just got smarter! PBS-HD Channel 6 premieres the new NOVA series, The Fabric of the Cosmos, starting Wednesday, November 2nd at 9 p.m. Join physicist and accomplished author, Briane Greene on a mind-bending journey through space, time and the universe in this new four-hour NOVA special series. The Fabric of the Cosmos premieres on three consecutive Wednesday nights starting on Nov.2nd at 9pm: “What is Space?” (11/2); “The Illusion of Time” (11/9); “Quantum Leap” and “Universe or Multiverse?” (11/16 at 8 p.m.). Click here for a video link.

With the city and county elections on Tuesday, November 8th looming, Arizona Public Media offers in-depth, independent news election coverage. There is no better place to tune in than Political Roundtable with host Jim Nintzel, which airs on the Friday evening edition of Arizona Illustrated at 6:30 p.m. Michael Chihak’s Arizona Week continues its focus on the week’s top news in the state on Fridays at 8:30 p.m. (repeating on Sundays at 10:30pm).

In honor of Veteran’s Day, AZPM will air the locally produced and Emmy®-Award winning program Unforgettable: The Korean War on Thursday, Nov. 10th at 9 p.m. followed by a special POV: Where Soldiers Come From at 10 p.m.. This POV documentary follows the four-year journey of childhood friends who join the National Guard after high school and offers an intimate look at the young Americans who fight our wars and the families and towns they come from.

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

Jack Gibson


The Community Advisory Board of Arizona Public Media is composed of a group of citizens who represent the diverse interests of the communities served. Edith (Edie) Sayre Auslander, a member of AZPM’s Community Advisory Board serving on the Development & Community Engagement Committees, will be the recipient of the 13th Annual Ray Davies Lifetime Humanitarian Achievement Award on October 27th. Established by the Educational Enrichment Foundation this award recognizes individuals working within our community who have made a significant contribution to Tucson by supporting enhanced education for our children and increasing the awareness of the principles of humanitarianism. The board and staff of AZPM congratulate Edie on this award and her dedication to this organization and the community.

The first radio campaign of the fiscal year, “It’s Up to Us”, airs October 15 – 21 on Classical 90.5FM and NPR 89.1FM/1550AM. This campaign features over 80 community voices that will provide entertaining and meaningful commentary on the benefits of becoming a member of the AZPM family.

The PBS Arts Fall Festival gives you a front row seat and a backstage pass to the world of music, theater, dance, art and cultural history. One of the highlights is PBS Arts from Seattle: AMERICAN MASTERS Pearl Jam Twenty with host Taylor Hackford on Friday, October 21 at 9:30 p.m. You can see the full schedule at

On Wednesday, October 19th we present two premieres from two of the most beloved PBS programs. At 8 p.m. Radioactive Wolves inaugurates Nature’s 30th season. The season opener examines the health of wildlife in Chernobyl’s exclusion zone. The NOVA season premiere follows at 9 p.m. with Finding Life Beyond Earth, a spectacular trip to distant realms of our solar system to discover where secret forms of life may lie hidden.

Other highlights include, The Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize saluting actor, writer and comedian, Will Ferrell. Recorded at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on October 23, this 90-minute special airs Monday, October 31 at 9 p.m. nationwide and features a star-studded cast of Ferrell’s friends and colleagues including top entertainers Jack Black, the band Green Day, Larry King, Adam McKay, Lorne Michaels, Conan O’Brien, John C. Reilly, Paul Rudd, Maya Rudolph and Molly Shannon.

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

Jack Gibson


It is always great to start the second quarter of FY ’12 with awards news. Arizona Public Media’s staff members have been recognized with 14 Emmy® Award nominations, more than any public station in the Rocky Mountain Southwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and more than any local television station. In addition, NPR 89.1FM/1550AM was the Readers Pick for Best Radio Station for News in Tucson Weekly’s Best of Tucson® 25: Super Tucson and Best Place to Hear About What’s Good in Our Schools. I thank our hard working and highly creative staff for once again putting AZPM ahead of our peers in delivering national-quality local programming. The first radio campaign of the fiscal year, “It’s Up to Us” airs October 15 – 21 on Classical 90.5FM/89.7FM and NPR 89.1FM/1550AM. As always, the campaign features engaging guest announcers from the community who bring meaningful commentary on the benefits of becoming a member of the AZPM family.

As our weather starts to cool off, AZPM programs keep the heat on with exciting programming. October kicks off with one of the most anticipated documentaries, PROHIBITION. Discover the true story of America’s ‘Noble Experiment’ directed by multiple award-winning, Ken Burns and Lynn Novick. Don’t miss this three-part documentary which airs October 2 – 4 at 8 p.m. PBS-HD Channel 6 and NPR 90.5FM/1550AM will augment the PBS national special, Prohibition, with special local mini-documentary, The Dry Run: Prohibition in Arizona, produced by AZPM’s Tom Kleespie, Senior Producer for Special Projects at AZPM. The mini-doc will air on Thursday, Sept. 29th as a special feature on Arizona Illustrated at 6:30 p.m. and a feature on Arizona Spotlight. You can watch The Dry Run: Prohibition in Arizona online at

Hollywood at Home, AZPM’s new weekly film series is a significant collection of movies showcasing the works of innumerable major stars and includes many films never before seen on public television. Funded by the current members of AZPM, the Hollywood at Home series airs every Saturday night at 9 p.m. and includes more than 100 major films spanning from the 1930’s through 2008. Films for the month of October are: After the Thin Man (1936), October 1st, The Music Man (1962), October 8th, Annie Get Your Gun (1950), October 15th, The Nun’s Story (1959), October 22nd and A Shot in the Dark (1964), October 29th. Stay tuned for more exciting programs from AZPM. As always thank you for your continued support!

Jack Gibson


PBS-HD Channel 6 kicks off a ‘fall fiesta’ of programming with world-class special programs including the Bee Gees: One Night Only, Barbra Streisand: One Night Only at the Village Vanguard plus Lower Your Taxes! Now and Forever with Ed Slott, and Simon and Garfunkel: Songs of America, just to name a few. These specials start Labor Day Weekend through September 18th, to engage and remind viewers just how important membership is to the fiscal health of Arizona Public Media.

In commemoration of the 10th anniversary of September 11, AZPM will provide coverage of the day’s national and local events including: PBS-HD Channel 6, NPR 89.1/1550AM, Classical 90.5FM/91.7FM, online at, and in the community.

Starting at 3 p.m. on the 11th, PBS-HD Channel 6 will air national specials including Frontline: Faith and Doubt at Ground Zero at 3 p.m., a live PBS NewsHour: America Remembers 9/11 at 5 p.m., Great Performances: The New York Philharmonic 10th Anniversary Concert for 9/11 at 6 p.m., a special NOVA: Engineering Ground Zero at 7:30 p.m. and a second Frontline special, Top Secret America at 8:30 p.m. Click here for complete program details and schedules.

As part of our ongoing commitment to the community, we are proud to be a sponsor of Remembrance and Renewal: A Concert Commemorating the Tenth Anniversary of September 11, 2001, presented by the Tucson Chamber Artists, the Tucson Symphony Orchestra and UApresents at Centennial Hall at 3 p.m. Classical 90.5 FM will broadcast the concert later that same day, tentatively scheduled at 8 p.m.

We’ve launched a special web feature, Ten Years On: Tucson Remembers 9/11, inviting viewers and listeners to share remembrances of 9/11, or reflect on change over the past decade. Please share your stories.

Radio highlights for the anniversary include comprehensive NPR coverage leading up to 9/11 and the day itself. Programs include The Sonic Memorial Project which commemorates the life and history of the World Trade Center and the people who passed through its doors. We Remember: StoryCorps From 9-11, hosted by NPR's Audie Cornish, takes an intimate look at lives forever changed by the attacks on 9/11 on the 10th anniversary of the attacks -- and checks in with those StoryCorps families to find out how they make their way today. The NPR Music website will stream several of the live memorial/tribute concerts taking place during the day and Classical 90.1FM/89.7FM will broadcast Great Performances: The New York Philharmonic 10th Anniversary Concert for 9/11 at 10 a.m. on the 11th. Click here for full program schedules.

On Saturday, September 24th, PBS-HD Channel 6 launches a new weekly film series Hollywood at Home, a significant collection of features showcasing the works of innumerable major stars and including many films never before seen on public television. Every Saturday night at 9 p.m. these films will be shown in their entirety, completely uninterrupted. The first film in the series is the classic comedy detective film The Thin Man (1934) starring Myrna Loy and William Powell and Asta, their wire-haired fox terrier. Titles coming later this fall include The Music Man (1962), A Shot in the Dark (1964), Moonstruck (1987), and Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994).

Be sure to tune in for Series IV of the popular Inspector Lewis Masterpiece Mystery series every Thursday night starting on September 22nd at 9 p.m., with four new episodes; Old, Unhappy, Far Off Things; Wild Justice; The Mind Has Mountains and The Gift of Promise.

The city of Tucson faces a Mayoral ballot and City Council elections in November. AZPM’s political team, Christopher Conover, Andrea Kelly, and Michael Chihak will provide breaking news stories as campaigns heat up during the months leading up to election day. Look for complete coverage on the Arizona Illustrated Roundtable which returns each Friday starting on September 16th with host Jim Nintzel, of the Tucson Weekly.

I am pleased to welcome our newest members to the AZPM Community Advisory Board, and James Allen, the new ASUA Student Body President; Dr. Harold Paxton, the U.S. Steel University Professor (Emeritus) of Metallurgy and Materials Science at Carnegie Mellon University (now residing in Green Valley); and Andrew Schorr, a partner in the Tucson law firm, Lewis and Roca.

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

Jack Gibson

About From the General Manager

Thoughts and Letters from Jack Gibson.