Eight - Celebrating 50 Years!
Celebrating 50 Years ...Thanks to your support!
Get Your Own!
50th Anniversary MugOver the last 50 years, we've seen our share of changes... but what hasn't changed has been Eight's commitment to quality television programming and services for the Arizona community. Now, you can help Eight celebrate 50 years of broadcasting in Arizona. When you make a contribution to Eight of $50, we'll say thank you by sending you the limited edition "50th Anniversary" mug. Proudly use your mug and show your support for the station that delivers your favorite programs all year long. Along with your mug, Eight will also send you a year's subscription to the Eight magazine, so you can keep up on everything happening here at Eight. Your contribution right now will help make the next 50 years possible. Thank you!
Common Ground
Find out more about our programs and productions covering the following Arizona areas:


Milestones from Arizona PBS's 50 Years - Follow Our Journey
Follow our journey - what happened, how we grew...
Use the arrows to scroll through the decades, and click on the squares to discover more about Eight.
First Day of Broadcasting
First day of broadcasting– January 30, 1961 – from the campus of Arizona State University.
First Emmy Award
Honored with first Emmy Award for excellence in local programming.
Corporation for Public Broadcasting
Congress gives its mandate to the newly created Corporation for Public Broadcasting and its imprimatur for annual federal appropriations
Color Cameras
Purchased new studio cameras – local programs now in “living color.” Among them Profile Phoenix.
Sesame Street
A local newspaper article headline reads "ASU Educational TV Station to Offer Experimental Program." That program was Sesame Street. Premiered with raves from the public.
Station Move
Station moves out of the trailer and into ASU's new Stauffer Communications Arts complex.
First issue of UnderCover (later renamed KAET Magazine).
Viewer Support

Station seeks viewer support for programming for the first time. Suggested membership is $15.

American Indian Artists
KAET's American Indian Artists series premieres on PBS. May.
Channel 8 Great Fair

First annual Channel 8 Great Fair at Fountain Hills draws 19,000 people. February. The event ran for the next seven years.

Sandra Day O'Connor

Coverage of Supreme Court nominee Sandra Day O’Connor’s Senate Confirmation Hearings.

HORIZON premieres featuring attorney/ASU graduate Michael Grant.
The Operation
"The Operation" live open-heart surgery from St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center. Bernard Schuler's quadruple by-pass is performed by Dr. Ted Diethrich.
Educational Outreach
KAET introduces more than 60 instructional video courses -- eventually becomes the station’s educational outreach unit.
Dinner with Julia Child
KAET hosts a black tie "Dinner with Julia Child" at the Wrigley Mansion for Century Club members and community leaders. Portions of the event televised live.
Seasons of a Navajo
KAET's Seasons of a Navajo premieres on PBS.
Space Probe 8

Eight's coverage reached unprecedented heights in 1985 with the live broadcast of the return of Halley's Comet and the Space Probe 8 specials.

A celestial event that only occurs every 76 to 79 years, it was no wonder Arizona astronomers at Lowell Observatory, Arizona State University, the University of Arizona and the Planetary Science Institute positioned telescopes throughout the state to monitor the activity of the famous comet. Because of the excellent observational facilities in the state and a climate conducive to astronomical observations, Arizona quickly became a world-wide hub for tracking the comet.

Space Program 8 aired weeknights on HORIZON over a six-month period from October 1985 to April 1986. Among the specials segments were: a retrospective on Halley's comet and Lowell Observatory; live reports from Kitt Peak including a conversation with Dr. Fred L. Whipple of Harvard University, who formulated our modern theories on comets; regular updates on the position and best viewing times of Halley's comet; interviews with amateur astronomers with live broadcasts from their observing sites; and discussions about the nature of the universe through interviews with a cross section of prominent astronomers including Carl Sagan and Clyde W. Tombaugh, discoverer of Pluto.

Space Probe 8 included profiles of the planets of our solar system; reports on the important contributions of Arizona's amateur astronomers; segments featuring Apollo astronaut Ron Evans, the last American to orbit the moon; and visits to Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, where the Voyager spacecraft is controlled.

The Voyager spacecraft, whose spectacular pictures of Jupiter were used in the movie 2010, passed by the planet Uranus, and Arizona scientists at the University of Arizona and Arizona State University were among the top research scientists in the country who analyzed Voyager’s photos of the giant planet.

In Flagstaff, the program visited the U.S. Naval Observatory, talked with astrogeologists at the U.S. Geological Survey, Astrogeology Branch, where photos that came back from Voyager were examined and interpreted, and looked at the Meteor Crater, the best preserved example on Earth of a collision with an object from outer space.

From the ancient past of Meteor Crater and Casa Grande, where archaeologists have discovered evidence pointing to a Hohokam astronomical observatory, to the spacecraft missions to the planets, Space Probe 8 presented a continuing, thought-provoking, imaginative and stimulating series featuring Arizona's important part in the drama of galactic discovery.

Original airdate: October 1985

The Implant
The Implant: Hip Replacement Surgery features Dr. Tony Hedley installing a new hip for patient Phil Demanovich.
Pope John Paul’s Visit to Phoenix
Broadcast of Pope John Paul's visit to Phoenix and Sun Devil stadium.
Historic, live, 170-hour five-and-a-half week coverage of Arizona Senate sitting as a court of impeachment. State Supreme Court Chief Justice Frank X. Gordon presides.
Emmy Award
KAET receives an Emmy Award for Impeachment coverage.
Studio Lighting System Erupts
Studio lighting system erupts into a mercury vapor "incident." Building is seized by HAZMAT teams, forcing station off the air for 24 hours.
Thieves of Time
Thieves of Time premieres.
Violence in our Communities
Violence in our Communities, a public forum with U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno, Senator Dennis DeConcini and U.S. Attorney for Arizona Janet Napolitano discuss solutions to the problems of gangs, drugs and crime. A co-production of KAET and South Mountain High School Communication Arts Department.
Baseball Stadium Tax
Live, gavel-to-gavel coverage of the public hearing and vote of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors to levy a sales tax to finance the construction of a baseball stadium.
Local Productions
Barry Goldwater: Photographs & Memories, Over Arizona, Arizona Memories, ASU Research Review, ASU's Search for the New, Arizona Teacher of the Year, Books & Co. premiere.
First Arizona Presidential Preference Forum
First Arizona Presidential Preference Forum live broadcast from Gammage Auditorium, HORIZON’s Michael Grant serves as moderator. KAET receives Governor's Award Emmy for coverage.
On Our Own Terms
On Our Own Terms: Moyers on Dying. Response to the outreach project is overwhelming. Station fields more than 50,000 phone calls and fulfilled nearly 10,000 requests for information packets.
8.1, 8.2, and 8.3 Launched
Digital signals 8.1, 8.2 and 8.3 launched. First station in Arizona to broadcast multiple programs at the same time on different channels. Arizona Memories from the '60s premieres.
Eight Cooks
First Eight Cooks cookbook. Viewers asked to submit their favorite recipes. More than 300 respond. Several viewers are selected to prepare their recipe on the air.
Ready to Learn
Designated a Ready to Learn station, providing free workshops throughout the Arizona community where adults, parents, educators and caregivers learn how to use television as a positive tool to introduce skills and ideas important to learning.
HORIZONTE, new weekly public affairs program, debuts. Phoenix attorney José Cárdenas named as host. Provides a forum for local and national issues viewed from a Hispanic perspective. October.
Monumental Arizona
Monumental Arizona premieres.
Native Visions
Native Visions: A one-hour special bringing together heads of state, policy makers, community leaders, government officials and healers for a look at educational and healthcare issues faced by Arizona’s Native Americans. May.
Encounters with Young Musicians
Encounters with Young Musicians, a program that brings talented high school musicians into schools, gives students exposure to classical music on a level with which they can identify.
Arizona Stories

First season of Arizona Stories premieres with episodes highlighting the people, places and events that shaped our state's history.
Learn more.

Arizona Lodges
Arizona Lodges: The High Country premieres.
Michael Grant hosts his last HORIZON
Michael Grant hosts his last HORIZON after more than 25 years.
Groundbreaking for the future home of Eight and ASU's Cronkite School at the corner of Central and Fillmore in Phoenix as part of ASU's new downtown campus.
Ted Simons
Ted Simons takes over as new host of HORIZON.
Be More Awards
First Be More Awards presented to Arizona non-profits.
Digital Transition
Digital transition deadline extended from February 17 to June 12. KAET sets the station's transition date for midnight April 29.
Ask a Financial Counselor
Ask a Financial Counselor debuts as the first in Eight's Ask a An Arizona Expert series premieres. Professionals take questions from viewing audience.
Antiques Roadshow in Phoenix
Antiques Roadshow in Phoenix – More than 6,000 weather Arizona's summer temperatures for a chance to meet with Roadshow appraisers.
Broadcast Signal Moves
Station moves broadcast signal from ASU Tempe campus to new facility in downtown Phoenix.
HORIZON's first broadcast from the new building on Central and Fillmore.


Arizona PBS's Grand Opening
What started over five decades ago in a trailer on Arizona State University’s Tempe campus with a hand-me-down transmitter and minimal staff has grown and moved into a new digital media center in the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University’s downtown Phoenix campus. See the growth here.