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Eight's 'Horizon' show named leader in public policy

October 04, 2011

"Horizon," the in-depth public affairs program airing weeknights on Eight, Arizona PBS, was recognized as Arizona Capitol Times’ 2011 Leader of the Year in Public Policy at the newspaper’s annual presentation Tuesday. The award-winning local production also took home the leadership award for its coverage of arts and humanities statewide.

Celebrating its 30th season next month, "Horizon" provides insightful coverage of issues that concern Arizonans – including politics, consumer affairs, the environment, business, health concerns and social and legal issues. It also produces specials on science and technology, economic development, the arts and a monthly centennial program highlighting Arizona’s 100 years of statehood in 2012.

"Being recognized by our peers for having a positive impact on Arizona and its people without regard to political partisanship goes to the heart of 'Horizon,'" said Kelly McCullough, general manager of Eight. “Horizon is all about engaging our viewers as involved citizens, not as consumers. It’s what we strive for, and that makes this award particularly meaningful.”

A committee comprised of community leaders selected the honorees in the categories of arts and humanities, business, education, environment, government, health care, legislative, public safety, social services, transportation, unsung hero, volunteerism and lifetime achievement. Then, every year, the honorees are asked to cast a single vote for the individual or organization they believe should be chosen to receive the overall Leader of the Year award.

"Horizon built its reputation on public policy coverage," said program host Ted Simons, “and I think what appeals to viewers most is that we host civil discussions on critical issues. But public policy isn’t our only focus. We also report on the arts, history, education, immigration and other areas. For that reason, receiving this all-around award is especially rewarding.”

Simons also acts as managing editor on the show and is supported by executive producers David Majure and Mike Sauceda and videographer Scot Olson. Visit the Horizon site at
Eight, Arizona PBS specializes in the education of children, in-depth news and public affairs, lifelong learning, and the celebration of arts and culture – utilizing the power of noncommercial television, the Internet, educational outreach services and community-based initiatives. The PBS station began broadcasting from the campus of Arizona State University on January 30, 1961.

Now more than 80 percent of Arizonans receive the signal through a network of translators, cable and satellite systems.  With more than 1 million viewers each week, Eight consistently ranks among the most-viewed public television stations per capita in the country.  Arizonans provide more than 60 percent of the station’s annual budget. Eight is a member-supported service of Arizona State University.