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O’Connor to be first ‘Horizon’ guest in new studio

January 04, 2010

Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, U.S. Supreme Court (ret.), will be the first guest on Horizon in Channel 8/KAET-TV's new downtown Phoenix studios at Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. The program will air at 7 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 4.

O'Connor will be interviewed by host Ted Simons and the two will discuss civics education and the Our Courts Web site, civility in government and the O'Connor House Project, merit-based selection versus election of judges, and O'Connor's Arizona heritage, legal and political career.

O'Connor's appearance is fitting as Horizon was born out of coverage of O'Connor's confirmation hearings in 1981.

KAET-TV was preparing to launch Horizon when President Ronald Reagan nominated O'Connor to the Supreme Court. KAET encouraged PBS to cover the confirmation hearings, but negotiations stalled and KAET decided to produce its own coverage/ C-SPAN did not yet exist. KAET rented a TV crew that had experience televising Congressional hearings and U.S. Sen. Barry Goldwater, R-Ariz., helped KAET obtain permission to broadcast from the Senate chambers. Eventually, PBS decided to cover the hearings, and the gavel-to-gavel coverage became a co-production of KAET and WETA. Michael Grant, who would soon become Horizon's host, was joined in the coverage by WETA's Paul Duke (Washington Week in Review) and Norm Ornstein.

Judy Nichols,
(480) 727-7895
Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law