Staff profile: Shana Fischer
Sept. 22, 2020
“Arizona Horizon” producer Shana Fischer is a storyteller at heart. “I love the variety of stories and people I get to talk to every day,” she said. “Whether I’m doing it through packages, or setting up an interview for Ted, giving people the chance to tell their story is a privilege.”
Shana, who calls herself a proud Wildcat in the middle of Sun Devil country, studied film directing in college. But while working in the production department at Channel 12 in Phoenix after graduation, she tried her hand at newswriting and found that she liked it. From writing, she moved on to producing at ABC 15, which eventually led her to Arizona PBS.
“I get to shape what people see on a nightly basis, and that’s a huge responsibility,” she said. “For us at ‘Horizon,’ it is about reflecting the community, balance and fairness — taking a hyper-local look at topics that affect people in their everyday lives.”
Shana has worked on the show part time for the past six years, mainly producing long-form packages — pre-produced segments filmed outside the studio. In recent months of working from home, she has transitioned to booking all the show’s guests.
Having produced news in some capacity since 1994, Shana finds that people are often surprised by how long production takes. “What you see Ted do on TV might be the culmination of several days’ work; a package might be the culmination of a month’s work. A show like ‘Art in the 48’ is the culmination of nearly
Shana, who executive produced “Art in the 48” with her business partner, Melissa Thompson, said that she was very proud to have worked on one of the only art shows in the Valley. “We believe art really makes a community,” she said.
Prior to “Art in the 48,” Shana also served as a producer on season one of “Plate & Pour” — a great fit because food has always been one of Shana’s passions. For a time, she even ran a bakery from her home. As a kid, she loved watching chefs like Julia Child and Jacques Pépin on PBS.
Now part of the PBS family herself, Shana said the “Arizona Horizon” team is a small, tight-knit group. “It’s a group of people who are all about putting others first and doing our best work.”
This story was originally published in the Fall 2020 issue of Arizona PBS magazine.