Eight/KAET's 49 year history is marked by important milestones for the station and Arizona. It is a legacy we are proud of. Below are some special moments in our broadcast history. We invite you to review our story and get to know your Arizona PBS station.
Robert H. Ellis appointed General Manager.
January 30: KAET (Arizona Educational Television) signs on the air as the 56th public television station in the U.S., broadcasting from the old ASU Engineering Center.
KAET receives Arizona Education Association School Bell Award.
KAET moves to Stauffer Hall B-Wing from the ASU Engineering Center. Trailer offices are left behind.
The KAET program guide, Undercover (later renamed KAET Magazine) made its debut.
KAET wins PBS award for local campaign promotion for American Indian Artists
December 3: KAET's Prescott translator signs on at Mount Francis.
December 30: KAET's Mingus Mountain translator signs on.
April: KAET reaches Flagstaff with translator on Mt. Elden.
September 10 & 11: Leo Buscaglia appeared at ASU's Gammage Auditorium and Sundome, where over 8,000 Friends heard him speak. Presented by KAET, the event was taped for future broadcast.
September: Supreme Court nominee Sandra Day O'Connor's Senate confirmation hearings are televised by KAET.
October 19, 6:30 p.m: HORIZON premieres, featuring attorney/ASU graduate Michael Grant.
August: KAET's ITFS went on the air with one full-time channel, to be expanded to two channels by January of 1993.
April 13-17: ASU Public Events and KAET presented Sesame Street Live at the ASU Activity Center.
May: ASU Cable, after two years of development, is now broadcasting 12 hours per day of ASU courses on some, but not all, valley cable systems.
September: KAET introduces more than 60 instructional video courses through the Arizona School Television Project (ASTP, which later becomes ASSET, Arizona School Services Through Technology). Initially 25 schools in 14 school districts participate in the project.
September 28: Ray Charles appeared at the pavilion at Rawhide, for a concert "A Man and His Soul" for Friends of Channel 8.
KAET receives an International Film and Television Festival of New York award.
February 29: KAET's PBS special, Seasons of a Navajo premieres.
April: new 270 ft. tower and antenna are constructed in South Mountain Park. The old 97-footer is kept for standby.
May 1: ASSET (Arizona School Services through Educational Technology) is incorporated .
October 5: the first Walter Cronkite Award luncheon takes place at the Arizona Biltmore. Taped coverage is broadcast on KAET.
October 14: "Space Probe Eight" debuts as longest-running mini series within HORIZON (7-to-8 months). Live shots from Kitt Peak using one-watt microwave unit.
January 30: On KAET's 25th anniversary, stereo and SAP (Second Audio Program) transmissions begin.
February 22 & 23: the seventh annual - and last - Channel 8 Great Fair at Fountain Hills draws 125,000 people to the two day event. All events were televised live.
Televised coverage of the first "AIDS and the Law" symposium from the ASU College of Law. Six hours.
September: KAET/KTAR/Tribune and Behavior Research create the first rolling-track political poll in Arizona. Earl DeBerge, Director.
February 26: KAET airs "This Old House" Phoenix remodeling project. March: KAET's Bill Williams Mountain translator signs on serving Williams, the Grand Canyon and points north. June 30: KAET receives Maricopa County Bar Association's Third Annual Media Award for Public Service/Information. S
eptember 14: Pope John Paul's visit to Phoenix and Sun Devil Stadium is carried by KAET. November 24: The Implant: Hip Replacement Surgery premieres.
December 19: KAET presented the first annual Gift of Song, a musical tribute to the holidays by local choirs and choral groups, at ASU Gammage Auditorium and Sundome. The event was televised live.
February 23: five-year update of The Operation.
February 29: KAET begins historic live, 170-hour, five-and-a-half week coverage of the Arizona Senate sitting as a court of impeachment. State Supreme Court Chief Justice Francis X. Gordon presides.
April 29: Distinguished Achievement Award from the ASU College of Law.
April 29: Mecham impeachment tapes are given to the State of Arizona archive.
June 2: KAET televises the State of Arizona vs. Evan and Willard B. Mecham (two weeks) and the Mecham brothers are found not guilty.
October 11: Birthwrite premieres, produced by Jesus Salvador Trevino. December 2: KAET's historic telecast of the selection process to fill a vacancy on the Arizona Supreme Court.
June 9: State Bar Association Award of Appreciation.
June: KAET receives a regional Emmy Award for its impeachment coverage.
KAET receives the Society of Professional Journalists First Amendment Award and the State Chapter's Freedom of Information Award.
January 17: "Los Mineros" episode of The American Experience airs nationwide.
March 11: "Celebrate by Satellite," ASSET's first live teleconference, takes place.
March 12: Implant II: Knee Replacement Surgery. Channel 8 cameras return to St. Luke's Laminar Flow Operating Room 8.
March 6: KAET holds a "Meet John Inman" autograph session at the Tempe Mission Palms Hotel. Two thousand "Are you Being Served" fans show up.
August 22: Premiere of KAET's Thieves of Time. KAET receives an Environmental Excellence Award, "The Crescordia" (To grow in Harmony), Operation Earth: Arizona, from Valley Forward Association/Honeywell.
September: "Arizona Gives to Education" and 313,794 volunteer hours are pledged.
April 27: KBAQ-FM takes to the air.
March 5: ASSET conducts first National Teacher Training Institute at ASU's Memorial Union via a grant from WNET/Texaco.
June, 1993, KAET's new "satellite row" and dish collection is given the seal of approval by the Vertex Corp.
KAET wins CINE Golden Eagle award for Thieves of Time.
February 1: Violence in Our Communities. Public Forum with U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno held January 15 at South Mountain H.S. featuring Senator Dennis DeConcini and U.S. Attorney for Arizona Janet Napolitano, discuss solutions to problems of gangs, drugs and crime. A co-production of KAET-TV and South Mountain H.S. Communication Arts Department.
February 17: The Stadium Hearing. KAET broadcasts the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors public hearing and vote on whether to levy a quarter cent sales tax to finance the constuction of a baseball stadium. Held at the auditorium of the Phoenix Prepatory Academy.
May: Charles R. Allen, General Manager receives the Distinguished Service Award from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Telecommunication.
June: KAET gets top PBS honors for its community outreach activities and for informational station breaks for children.
August: Arizona Republic Editorial Board Candidate Interviews are televised for the first time by KAET.
HORIZON receives Emmy: Governors' Award for Election 94.
Local Programs: Implant III, Hip Revision Surgery; Desert Wildflowers; Legends & Dreamers Inspired by Arizona Highways. Also, 96 Vote (Hayworth/Owens Debate); HORIZON coverage of Symington Trial; ASU Research Review; ASU Search for the New; Arizona Teacher of the Year, Books & Co.
Programs of note: Antiques Roadshow came to Phoenix Civic Plaza in July. More than 6,000 people hauled in enough trash and treasures to fill two segments, which aired in March
Local programs: Southwest Symphony; Visions of Arizona, 98 Vote (expanded election coverage featured candidates debates, ballot proposition, video profiles); ASU Research Review; ASU Search for the New; Arizona Teacher of the Year, Books & Co.
The Goldwater Lecture Series, a KAET production based on the 1999 Goldwater Lectures presented by the Arizona Historical Foundation.
Wild Arizona premieres.
HORIZON aired a special 3-part exposé with phone in, The Telephone Con Game, in conjunction with AARP and law enforcement agencies. Also ASU Research Review; ASU Search for the New; Arizona Teacher of the Year.
KAET is overwhelmed by the response to our outreach component to Bill Moyers On Our Own Terms series about end-of-life issues. During the live, half-hour follow up program from our studio, we invited viewers to call for a free information packet. We answered 50,000 calls and had nearly 10,000 requests for packets.
10th Anniversary of the KAET Poll
The KAET Poll was launched in May 1990. Produced in conjunction with the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Telecommunication, it is an accurate and timely gauge of Arizonans' opinions on current issues.
KAET Magazine commemorated the station's 40th anniversary (Jan. 1961-Jan. 2001).
As part of the planning for Arizona Memories from the'60s, a request for memories, photos, home movies, etc. was posted on theWeb site in January and included in KAET magazine in the March magazine. Received more than 150 responses, which became the basis for the program. Twelve respondents were featured in the program. Images of Arizona, a new KAET production funded by Salt River Project and the KAET Program Partners, with support from Arizona Highways magazine, premiered during March membership drive.
April 17: KAET Goes Digital! KAET launches digital signals KAET-DT 8.1, 8.2 and 8.3. The digital conversion required five years of planning and fundraising. It took more than a year to install the new DTV transmitter and tower on South Mountain. We had to fortify the tower to hold a new 14,000 pound, 60' digital antenna and doubled the size of the building we share with Channel 12. We tripled the capacity of our electrical systems to accommodate the new million-watt transmitter, added 20 tons of air conditioning. It took a 400-foot crane to add the digital antenna, which required a platform of earth to support it - we had to truck 4,000 tons of special soil up the mountain for that purpose. Later, we removed it and returned the site to its original condition. Maneuvering the new antenna into place took weeks of aerial acrobatics. After trouble-shooting the new equipment, KAET-DT was on the air. KAET was the first station in Arizona to multicast - broadcast multiple programs at the same time on different channels. We also were now able to broadcast programs with startling clarity and sound using high definition television - HDTV.
Enhanced HORIZON Web site was launched with new graphics, daily program topics, transcripts, links to sites related to program topics. Also invited visitors to pose questions they wanted asked.
Awards: Two Copper Quill Awards (IABC) for Election 2000 Web Site and On Our Own Terms Outreach Project. Best of the West Award to Election 2000 Web Site.
Finalists in PBS Advertising & Promotion Awards: Current print ad (Charles Allen/Warhol ad) and Election 2000 Web site. Also, five HORIZON awards from Associated Press Broadcasters Association/Arizona Chapter.
October: Twentieth anniversary of HORIZON. ASU/KAET hosted the First Amendment Festival.
March 19: KAET broadcast "Live from Mars" in conjunction with ASSET to elementary and middle school students in classrooms across the country via the Mars Student Imaging Project, part of the Mars Odyssey Project at ASU. Students at the MSIP facility and remote locations linked via the broadcast were able to interact with NASA researchers.
KAET hosted 2002 Arizona State Spelling Bee finals in our studio.
KAET contracted with Gail and Lew Steiger to produce Kolb Brothers: Grand Canyon Pioneers for August pledge, newest Arizona Collection program.
Awards: Six Emmys -- three for Images of Arizona, three for HORIZON; CINE Gold Eagle Award for Images of Arizona; Copper Quill from IABC/Phoenix Chapter for Images Web site; Golden Web Award for Images Web site from Internat'l Assoc. of Web Masters & Designers; eight Associated Press Broadcasters Assoc. awards to HORIZON; Best of the West Journalism Award to HORIZON.
Michael Crow takes office July 1 as 16th ASU President upon Lattie Coor's retirement.
HORIZON Election 2002 included extensive coverage of Clean Election debates (forums), ballot propositions, ad watch. Web site expanded to include transcripts, video clips, e-mail reminders. On-air promo w/Michael Grant demonstrating how to use the site.
KAET promoted local outreach component for And Thou Shalt Honor, national program about caregiving that aired October 9 & 13. Program featured three Arizona families. Partnership with Area Agency on Aging, Region 1 to distribute two books, Elder Resources Guide and Caring for Loved Ones, free to persons who call AAA or visit the KAET Web site. Good audience ratings, positive response by viewers. Issue of caregiving subject of Horizon segment with Mesa family featured in the program and ASU Research Review segment with Dr. Bill Arnold, who was an advisor to the program. Generated outstanding press coverage.
Mystery! Produced first-ever American story, Skinwalkers, based on Tony Hillerman bestseller. Filmed this spring near Superior, AZ by Robert Redford's production company. Steiger Bros. shot behind-the-scenes footage for KAET, Making Skinwalkers, to air immediately following the program. National premiere broadcast Sunday, Nov. 24 in HD.
KAET airs live broadcast of ASU Presidential Inauguration of Michael M. Crow at Gammage Auditorium on Friday, Nov. 8 with repeat at 9 p.m
. The American Public University: Setting a New Agenda, a forum hosted by Dr. Crow and moderated by Rob Melnick, Director of ASU Morrison Institute, Thursday, Nov. 7, broadcast at 7 p.m. from the KAET studio. Attended by distinguished academics, university presidents and provosts from universities across the country.
Chuck Allen retired at the end of December after 22 years at KAET. National search for his replacement was begun.
KAET officially became 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.
Fred Rogers, who enriched our lives for three decades, died in March. He was eulogized and mourned nationally for providing a place where children could feel accepted and understood. Through Mister Rogers' Neighborhood programs, he will continue to do so.
Greg Giczi named KAET General Manager in February. He comes to KAET from WNDU-TV and Radio, University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana.
The KBAQ Production Studio marked its 10th anniversary in April. KAET partnered with OneBookAZ and the Arizona Book Festival to promote the 2003 selection, "Plainsong." Author Kent Haruf was the featured guest on a special edition of Books & Co. KAET had a booth at the Book Festival with Clifford and Cookie Monster costume characters on hand.
Beth Vershure inducted into Silver Circle by Rocky Mountain Chapter of National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. (Previous Eight honorees include Joe Manning, Chuck Allen and Bob Ellis.)
Awards: HORIZON wins nine Associated Press awards, four Telly awards (one each Silver for: Kolb Bros. program and Kolb Bros. Web site, one each Bronze for AZ Memories from the '60s and the HORIZON Web site. Also, an Emmy for the Arizona Collection tune-in spot and Cine Gold Eagle awards for Kolb Brothers: Grand Canyon Pioneers and Arizona Memories from the '60s.
In June, Trac Media Research ranked KAET the number one public television station in the country. We consistently rank in the top five.
After a summer of pilot episodes and guest hosts, HORIZONTE had its official premiere on September 18. Part of the HORIZON family, the 30-minute program will air Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. and provide a forum for local and national issues viewed through a Hispanic lens. Phoenix attorney José Cárdenas was selected to host the program, which will be based on the HORIZON format.
Ready to Learn first year results: Conducted 52 workshops, reached 7,081 children and 675 adults, and distributed 3,600 free children's books and more than 10,000 copies of PBS Families/PBS para la familia parenting guides. One-third of the workshops were presented in Spanish, and the materials provided were also in Spanish. 2004
ASU Creative Writing Dept. agreed to partner with us to produce three new episodes of Books & Co. in 2004.
KAET co-sponsors OneBookAZ again in April 2004. This year's book is Life of Pi by Yann Martel. Author will appear on Horizon and KAET will produce Books & Co. with Martel. KAET will have double booth at Arizona Book Festival.
KAET approved partnership with Area Agency on Aging, Region 1, Alzheimer's Association Desert Southwest Chapter and MetLife Foundation in community outreach project for national program The Forgetting: A Portrait of Alzheimer's, which airs in January.
Commission on Presidential Debates announced that the last of three debates will be held at ASU's Gammage Auditorium in October.
Ready To Learn reported reaching 13,500 children to date.
Roper Poll shows Americans choose PBS the most trusted national institution in the country and the best use of tax dollars (second only to military defense). They also believe PBS gets "too little" government funding and support for public television stations is "money well spent."
Summer season of Mystery! premieres Tony Hillerman's A Thief of Time.
HORIZON specials in July included Drought: A Tale of Two Cities in cooperation with KLVX/Las Vegas and Fires of 2004.
Kathy Zatz was honored for 30 years of service at the Annual Volunteer Friends Appreciation banquet.
KAET announces a new Web site address, azpbs.org
HORIZONTE marks first-year anniversary in September.
April: Don Hopfer receives Silver Circle Award from Rocky Mountain Southwest Chapter of NATAS.
May: KAET airs 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.
KAET airs From Mars to China. Our camera and crew accompanied ASU planetary geologist Dr. Phil Christensen and his Mars research team to Beijing during China's Science and Technology Week.
In July, Channel 8 partnered with the ASU Art Museum for a Family Fun Day themed "Fur, Feathers and Family, Our Relationship with Animals."
August: Broadcast premiere of Arizona Lodges, The High Country.
September: KAET and Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art host preview screening of Art 21, third season of PBS series Art in the 21st Century.
October: Corks & Canvas, tour of Scottsdale's art galleries, a benefit for KAET.
February: Thanks to the generosity of ASU alumnus John Ridgway, an award-winning broadcast designer, an exciting new Eight logo design was implemented to brand all of the station's on air, online and print materials.
March: Under Arizona, the newest addition to the Arizona Collection, premiered this month during pledge.
February: Eight continues the push for DTV, informing members and viewers about the converter box coupon program. Regular updates in Eight Magazine and via special Digital E-Newsletters.
First annual Eight Be More Awards is launched, garnering many nominees from Arizona's non-profit community. May 14 awards luncheon a great success.
May: Arizona Stories II launched with eight new episodes.
June: Premiere of Arizona Memories from the '70s, the fourth program in the successful anthology.
Eight wins two Telly Awards: Under Arizona and Arizona Stories WWII
July: Eight now simulcasts Eight HD programs along with analog Eight 24/7.
August: Out of Left Field: The Making of the Chinese Olympic Baseball Team, an independent production presented by Eight, distributed to PBS stations.
August-September: PBS coverage of political conventions and presidential debates.
Eight receives 14 Emmy nominations.
September: Eight receives four Emmy awards — Arizona Stories won in three categories: historic/cultural program, magazine program and editing. In the New Media-Interactivity category, Eight won for its customized video player featured on its azpbs.org Web site — and a Telly Award for Arizona Stories.
October 20: Administration, business office and marketing and development staff moved to the new downtown facility.
Eight became one of only 20 PBS Stations to participate in the PBS Kids' Raising Readers initiative. ASSET will coordinate this program throughout Arizona. Kickoff was an event on Oct. 25 at Wesley Bolin Plaza, with a proclamation from Gov. Napolitano. More than a dozen organizations participated with booths and activities. More than 300 kids and family members interacted with Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Robby Hammock, PBS' Mr. Steve, Miffy (Miffy & Friends), Wonder Red (Super Why!), Martha (Martha Speaks).
December: Pledge results fell somewhat short of goal.
Reminders about Feb. 17 DTV conversion continue in force on air, in Eight Magazine, on the Web and E-communications.
Jan. 27: Because of anticipated cuts in the state budget for the remainder of the fiscal year, ASU announced mandatory furloughs for all university employees, including those at Eight/KAET.
Feb. 5: DTV Transition Extension: President Obama signed a bill extending the deadline for converting from analog to digital broadcasting from Feb. 17 to June 12, 2009.
March: Virgil Renzulli announced that Kelly McCullough had been promoted to general manager of Eight. He had been interim GM for six months.
KAET transition to digital is midnight April 29.
December: On Sunday, Dec. 13 television signal at Stauffer location is turned off and moved to new location at ASU downtown Phoenix campus.