AZ Illustrated Returning To the Air Next Week

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Great news for all of you folks out there who has missed seeing me host the Friday night Political Roundtable: The AZ Illustrated makeover is nearly complete and the long-running newsmagazine will be returning to the air next week.

The new AZ Illustrated will feature new hosts each night of the week (except for Friday, where you'll still see me). There's a new focus each evening, including metro news on Monday, science and tech on Tuesday, nature and environment on Wednesday, arts and entertainment on Thursday and politics on Friday.

I'm thrilled to be getting back into the studio and excited about the new lineup that the AZPM team has put together. The full press release, with details about the new hosts and focus, is below the cut.

Arizona Illustrated, Southern Arizona’s weeknight news magazine series for over 30 years, and the flagship local TV production for Arizona Public Media (AZPM,) has undergone a make-over. The new AZ Illustrated (pronounced A-Z-Illustrated) debuts in its regular weeknight time slot at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, February 4, 2013. The new AZ Illustrated features different hosts and topics each night — Metro, Science, Nature, Arts and Politics — offering insight and discussion relevant to Southern Arizona audiences. Tapping into the wealth of talent and experience of AZPM’s award-winning producers, reporters, and production team, while introducing new specialists from the community, the series will feature new voices, new stories and a new focus.

Mondays cover education, business, government, and the policies that affect our daily lives.

The host for AZ Illustrated Metro is Maria Parham, the newly appointed Editorial Page Editor of the Arizona Daily Star. A new face on television, but a long-time veteran of print journalism in the Tucson community, Maria has experience and insight on education, business, and government in Southern Arizona. Produced by AZPM’s Andrea Kelly, Metro will provide a deeper look at many of the decisions and developments that affect the community. Andrea will work with a host of other AZPM reporters to ensure the content on Mondays is current and that it keeps the audience informed about the economy and public affairs.

Tuesdays explore issues and advances in health, science, and technology.

Jane Poynter, the new host of AZ Illustrated Science, is no stranger to the Southern Arizona science community. A scientist, author, entrepreneur, and expert on sustainable development, Jane will provide perspective and context for the health, science and technological advancements that continue to change our world. The show will explore the broad range of science in the community and ask the larger questions about what that science and technology means and how it actually affects people’s daily life experiences. Producer Georgia Davis, a journalist, documentary producer and former network news director, brings her wealth of experience to the Science segment.

Wednesdays dive into the environmental news and issues unique to our desert landscape.

Host Georgia Davis steps from behind the scenes to the front of the camera to host AZ Illustrated Nature. The show’s mission is to raise awareness and understanding about the area's many ecological treasures while addressing pertinent local and national subjects such as solar energy, recycling, development, hydrology and water conservation, ecotourism, and other topics. The show will tap into the abundant professional resources from the University of Arizona and community for their perspectives, concerns, and possible solutions to different challenges. The producer for Nature is AZPM veteran journalist, producer, and former Arizona Illustrated host, Tony Paniagua.

Thursdays embrace the vibrant cultural community that is distinctly Southern Arizona.

Providing a unique perspective on arts and culture, host Elizabeth Burden, an artist and journalist, brings her passion to showcase the multi-faceted arts and cultural community that embodies Southern Arizona. Program features will include music, spoken word, in-studio performance, stories, and guest interviews, enlightening the audience on the power of art to enrich lives and change minds. AZ Illustrated Arts producer, Mark McLemore, is a seasoned radio producer and host, having created over 300 episodes of Arizona Spotlight, which airs weekly on NPR 89.1. Arizona Spotlight has given Mark a deep appreciation of Southern Arizona’s arts and cultural assets.

Fridays provides in-depth analysis of the week’s political news.

Jim Nintzel, host and producer of Politics, continues in his role as host of the political night for AZ Illustrated. The title of the program has changed, but the in-depth political coverage will continue to provide viewers with cutting-edge interviews with politicians and their views in a new setting.

Each AZ Illustrated show will begin with a two-minute summary of the top local and state news events of the day, anchored by AZPM’s Christopher Conover. Many stories will cross platforms to radio, NPR 89.1, and online. Frequently, stories that originate online or on radio will be further explored on AZ Illustrated.

About the new studio:

The new AZ Illustrated will provide Southern Arizona viewers with a 360° perspective of their community. The series will be broadcast from a custom-designed, versatile, 360° studio which will accommodate one-on-one interviews, round-table discussions, demonstrations, and live performances. The studio, designed by local Tucson architect Rick Joy (Rick Joy Architects) features a spectacular circular photographic backdrop of the Tucson skyline and its iconic mountain ranges. The backdrop photograph was taken by Jeff Dey. The new studio design will provide a welcoming environment to guests — a meeting place for community dialogue and discussion. Visit azpm.org for more information.

About the Hosts:

Maria Parham:

Maria Parham is the Editorial Page Editor of the Arizona Daily Star and has four decades experience as a writer and editor at the paper. She’s covered metro and business stories, edited the feature sections, and served a couple of illuminating years as the paper's reader advocate. In addition to her varied work at the Star, she’s raised a family and volunteered in Tucson, all of which gives her the community understanding she will tap for her work at the Star and Arizona Public Media. Parham is a Florida native who grew up in Albuquerque, N.M., and graduated from the University of New Mexico. Her first job in Tucson was at Sunnyside High School, where she taught English and journalism. She’s a past board member and president of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southern Arizona and currently sits on the advisory board for American Red Cross Arizona Blood Services.

Jane Poynter

British-born Jane Poynter is a Biosphere 2 crewmember, sustainability consultant, author, TV host, speaker, and environmental non-profit and technology company president. She authored “The Human Experiment: Two Years and Twenty Minutes Inside Biosphere 2” (2006.) Her second book, “Champions for Change: Athletes Making A World of Difference” launched in 2009 at the United Nations in New York, has led to a successful middle school program. Poynter is the President and Chairwoman of Paragon Space Development Corporation, which develops technologies for extreme environments (outer space and under water). While inside Biosphere 2, she co-founded the firm with fellow biospherian Taber MacCallum, and several aerospace engineers. She is President of Blue Marble Institute, a non-profit dedicated to leadership in science, sustainability, and exploration, and serves on the City of Tucson’s Climate Change Committee.

Georgia Davis

Georgia Davis comes to Arizona Public Media with experience both as a journalist and as a social scientist. As a journalist, she has spent more than a decade working in both commercial and public radio and television where she has served multiple roles, including network news director, radio bureau chief, documentary producer, show producer, and political reporter. Davis is Emmy® nominated for her documentary work and has received a number of journalism awards including a Green Eyeshade Excellence in Reporting Award and a national Edward R. Murrow news documentary award. Georgia is also a Ph.D. candidate in the University of Arizona School of Geography and Development.

Elizabeth Burden

Elizabeth Burden is a visual and media artist with a studio in the Splinter Brothers and Sisters warehouse in Tucson. Her installations feature traditional and non-traditional media—painting, sculpture, video, web, and other art forms. Burden is also a consultant who for more than 20 years has worked with non-profit organizations providing services in the areas of organizational development, strategic planning, program planning, curriculum development, and facilitation. She has experience leading diverse for-profit and non-profit organizations, in positions ranging from managing editor of a community newspaper, director of education and training of a statewide AIDS project, and executive director of a community center. Elizabeth has also served on the board of directors of several arts, community development, and community-based organizations. Burden holds bachelors degrees in Journalism from the University of Nebraska and in Studio Art from the University of Arizona.

Jim Nintzel

Having covered politics in Southern Arizona for two decades at the Tucson Weekly, Jim Nintzel has won more than 30 statewide and national journalism awards for reporting, commentary, and feature writing, and was named Journalist of the Year by the Arizona Newspaper Association in 2010. He was part of PBS 6’s Friday Roundtable for 15 years and has aided Arizona Public Media with political debates and other segments. He is Senior Writer for the Tucson Weekly and an adjunct faculty member who has taught government reporting at the University of Arizona School of Journalism since 2001.

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