July 2, 2024

July Highlights and Happenings

Letter from the CEO

Dear Friends,

Community support is both the engine and the driver behind Arizona Public Media. The support of members like you makes it possible for AZPM to acquire national programs from PBS and NPR, produce award-winning original local content, provide the very best in educational programming for all ages, preK-12 educational resources, and on-the-job training for University of Arizona students.

Unfortunately, our end-of-fiscal year fundraising campaign fell short of its goal. That shortfall coincided with the University of Arizona’s release of its FY25 budget, in which its cash support to AZPM has been further reduced. Federal support for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which provides direct funding to public media organizations nationwide, including AZPM, is on the chopping block as the House and Senate Appropriations Committees consider the federal budget. And both PBS and NPR station fees are being increased for FY25 as the cost of acquiring and producing quality programming continues to rise.

You may be asking why, if the budget situation is of such concern, is AZPM constructing a new facility? The Baker Center for Public Media, many years in the planning, is a strategic investment funded by one-time estate gifts and gifts specifically designated to the Bridging Communities Capital Campaign, none of which can be used to fund AZPM’s recurring station operations. The capital campaign for the construction project is currently 87.5% funded. Please accept my heartfelt thanks to those of you who have joined me and my family in making a multi-year commitment to invest in the future of public media in Southern Arizona.

Although it’s certainly not our preference, borrowing to complete the construction project is a last-resort option; unfortunately, borrowing to sustain AZPM programming and operations is not. I suspect there has been some confusion in the minds of some donors and members that may have resulted in gifts to the capital campaign being made at the expense of regular operating gifts. Membership contributions from viewers and listeners like you form the backbone of AZPM’s annual operating budget. Without sufficient financial support from the community, AZPM will need to make difficult decisions with respect to its programs and staffing. To reiterate, AZPM needs your support to continue to operate at its current level.

PMJA Buzz El Tour de Mayor of Tucson The Buzz episode "El Tour de Mayor of Tucson" was honored with a first-place award in the Interview category at the Public Media Journalists Association.
AC Swedbergh / AZPM

On a happier note, I’m pleased to announce that one of AZPM’s Edward R. Murrow Award-winning news stories was recently honored by the Public Media Journalists Association: The Buzz: El Tour de Mayor of Tucson, an innovative conversation with then-mayoral candidates, received an award at the PMJA conference last month. PMJA supports, empowers, and advocates for journalists working in public media, fostering high ethical standards in the practice of journalism.

As Arizona’s primary elections on July 30 draw nearer, AZPM has everything you need to make informed decisions. Your Vote 2024 offers comprehensive coverage of national, state, and local issues, all in one place. AZPM will also carry live coverage of the Republican National Convention on PBS 6, Monday, July 15 through Thursday, July 18 starting at 5 p.m. each day.

A Capitol Fourth Washington Monument 2024 A CAPITOL FOURTH airs live, Thursday, July 4 at 8 p.m. on PBS 6.

AZPM celebrates America’s independence with the annual concert from the U.S. Capitol. A CAPITOL FOURTH, the nation’s premier Independence Day celebration, features all-star musical performances from top pop, rock, country and Broadway artists and stirring patriotic favorites, capped off with spectacular fireworks over our nation’s iconic skyline. For more than 40 years, this star-spangled television special has brought us together to honor our strengths, freedoms, and democratic ideals and to pay tribute to those who have sacrificed so much for our country. A CAPITOL FOURTH airs live at 8 p.m. from Washington, D.C. on Thursday, July 4 with an encore presentation at 9:30 p.m. PBS 6.

Rebels, rockstars, revolutionaries. On the court, they were legends. Off the court, they challenged the world. THE GODS OF TENNIS explores the golden age of tennis with in-depth profiles of some of the most charismatic and groundbreaking players the sport has ever known. Arthur Ashe, Billie Jean King, Bjorn Borg, John McEnroe, Martina Navratilova, and Chris Evert shattered expectations as well as records, challenged systemic racism and sexism, reshaped world perspectives, and changed the sport forever. Don’t miss this three-part series Tuesday evenings at 9 p.m. beginning July 23 on PBS 6.

HOTEL PORTOFINO returns with a brand-new season Sunday, July 28 at 7 p.m. on PBS 6. Set in a quintessentially British hotel on the breathtakingly beautiful Italian coast during the late 1920s, Season 3 sees the hotel’s owners, staff, and guests challenged by the rise of fascism, crippling inheritance tax, the crash of the American stock market, personal struggles, dark secrets, jealousy, and ultimate revenge. Seasons 1 and 2 are currently available on AZPM Passport; all episodes of Season 3 will be available to stream starting on July 28.

Also premiering Sunday, July 28 at 10 p.m. on PBS 6 is COBRA: REBELLION, the third season of the political thriller. A team of Britain’s leading experts, crisis contingency planners, and most senior politicians, COBRA is entrusted with protecting the people of Great Britain during a major crisis. Set in the heart of government during a series of nationwide terrorist attacks, the six-part drama follows the prime minister and his chief of staff as they contend with impossible political decisions, their ferociously pressured personal lives, and political opponents who will use any sign of weakness as an opportunity to strike. Seasons 1 and 2 are available to binge now on AZPM Passport.

Tapped podacst charm hero AZPM’s groundbreaking original podcast TAPPED returns on July 17, for a third season.

AZPM’s groundbreaking original podcast TAPPED returns on July 17, for a third season. Tapped tells the stories of people living with the cost of drought in the Southwest and what can be done to mitigate it. Subscribe today and don’t miss the premiere episode.

Classical 90.5 listeners have come to expect all-American music to celebrate Independence Day, and the Fourth of July 4 playlist delivers just that. Tune in for American-themed music from American composers, as well as musical tributes to the United States from non-American composers such as Richard Wagner. Classical 90.5 marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Hungarian-American cellist János Starker on July 5, and the Community Concert series returns Sundays at 3 p.m. and Thursdays at 9 p.m. with Arizona Encore, a series of live concert recordings from Phoenix-area performance groups.

Whether you are in Southern Arizona or enjoying the summer from a cooler climate, AZPM has what you need to stay up to date on local news and public affairs, however and whenever you get your news. It’s all on AZPM, and it’s all because of you. Follow us on social media or subscribe to our YouTube channel. Thank you for your continued support.

Sincerely,

Jack Gibson Signature

Jack Gibson
Chief Executive Officer

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