New 'Arizona Illustrated' Premieres This Weekend

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Arizona Public Media September 4, 2014

"Arizona Illustrated" will resume this weekend with thought-provoking and diverse stories about southern Arizona.

Through stunning photography and powerful storytelling, meet the people that make Arizona unique and vibrant - scientists, historians, naturalists, innovators, artists, educators and community leaders.Through stunning photography and powerful storytelling, meet the people that make Arizona unique and vibrant - scientists, historians, naturalists, innovators, artists, educators and community leaders.

Through stunning photography and powerful storytelling, meet the people that make Arizona unique and vibrant - scientists, historians, naturalists, innovators, artists, educators and community leaders.Through stunning photography and powerful storytelling, meet the people that make Arizona unique and vibrant - scientists, historians, naturalists, innovators, artists, educators and community leaders.

Tom McNamara has been a member of the Tucson community since 1997, serving as the evening news anchor at KVOA-TV Channel 4. Tom will continue his role as news anchor for the 5, 6 and 10 p.m. newscasts at KVOA while hosting Arizona Illustrated.

Tom McNamara has been a member of the Tucson community since 1997, serving as the evening news anchor at KVOA-TV Channel 4. Tom will continue his role as news anchor for the 5, 6 and 10 p.m. newscasts at KVOA while hosting Arizona Illustrated.

Arizona Public Media's "Arizona Illustrated," a 30-minute weekly television and online magazine-style series, will resume this weekend after a hiatus, with a new format that builds on its history of engaging viewers with thought-provoking, diverse stories that reflect the southern Arizona community.

For more than 30 years, "Arizona Illustrated" has been AZPM's flagship original production on PBS 6 and online. Through the years, the program has delivered news and information about politics, the arts, history, science, nature and technology to the living rooms, laptops and smartphones of viewers throughout the region.

The program went on hiatus during the spring through the summer and will now repeat multiple times during the week instead of airing on Sundays only.

"AZPM's production staff has worked diligently over the summer to research, develop and produce stories for the relaunch of 'Arizona Illustrated,'" said John Booth, the executive producer of AZPM, an operating unit of the UA.

"Each episode will feature character-driven 'minidocumentaries' – carefully crafted to be informative, journalistically sound, and yet personal," Booth said about the new format.

The host will be 36-year veteran broadcast journalist Tom McNamara, who will invite viewers to discover untold stories that showcase creative storytelling with a special focus on the people who shape our community’s identity. The new format premieres Sunday at 6:30 p.m. on PBS 6.

The show is a "slice of life you won't find anywhere else," McNamara said.

Several documentaries, which will soon air on the show, are available to view online:

  • "Growing Up Roosevelt," a storytelling narrative with Nina Roosevelt Gibson, the granddaughter of former U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt and former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt.
  • "The New Keepers," habitat and groundwater conservation and protection efforts in the Tucson region.
  • "Drummer Artt Frank: Giving a Rhythm to Greatness," about Frank's lifelong career and work with some of the world's most famous jazz musicians, including Billie Holiday, Charlie Parker and Chet Baker.
  • "Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge," which explores the protected habitat, which has been reserved for threatened and endangered animals and plants.
  • "Urban Bees," which features backyard honeybee enthusiasts.

McNamara, a member of the Tucson community since 1997, serves as the evening news anchor at KVOA-TV Channel 4. McNamara will continue his role as news anchor for the 5, 6 and 10 p.m. newscasts at KVOA while hosting "Arizona Illustrated."

"I am thrilled to host 'Arizona Illustrated,' and am grateful to KVOA for allowing me to jump on this opportunity," McNamara said. "This program returns me to my roots in local television."

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