Arizona PBS, Cronkite School produce big wins at Rocky Mountain Emmys

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Arizona PBS won six regional Emmy Awards, including one for a special on the legacy of Walter Cronkite as well as the top public service award, while Arizona State University students at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication dominated the intercollegiate contest.

Arizona PBS won across a range of categories at the 40th annual Rocky Mountain Emmy Awards celebration, hosted Saturday evening by the Rocky Mountain Southwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in Phoenix. The wins included the Governors’ Award as well as the induction of Ted Simons, the managing editor and host of “Arizona Horizon,” into the Silver Circle Society.

The Cronkite School, the home of Arizona PBS, dominated the Student Production Awards competition, winning seven out of 14 possible awards. Since 2009, the Cronkite School has won 42 student production awards, the most by any university.

“We are extremely proud of our strong showing across the board at the Rocky Mountain Emmys,” said Cronkite School Dean and Arizona PBS CEO Christopher Callahan. “It’s a testament to the dedication and hard work of our talented staff at Arizona PBS and outstanding students at the Cronkite School.”

Arizona PBS Suzanne Guery, assistant director of production, and Mark Lodato, Arizona PBS associate general manager and Cronkite School associate dean, won an Emmy in Interview/Discussion-Program/Special or Series for a TV special documenting the life and legacy of the late CBS News anchor Walter Cronkite.

The Walter Cronkite special, which aired on Arizona PBS, included video from a 2016 Cronkite School event in Washington, D.C., that featured some of the nation’s top journalists, including Scott Pelley, Bob Schieffer and Lesley Stahl of CBS News as well as the late Gwen Ifill of the “PBS NewsHour.”

In the Student Production Awards, graduate student Adriana De Alba won three awards, the most by any student in the competition. She won in General Assignment and Arts and Entertainment/Cultural Affairs as well as in Long Form: Fiction/Non-Fiction for a documentary on bees with fellow students Allison Bailey, Sierra Theobald and Brianna Davis.

“It was an exciting moment for me, my family and faculty at Cronkite,” De Alba said. “It took a year of hard work to get to this point. It was great to work with such an amazing team for our documentary. The award was equally earned by all of us.”

During the event, Arizona PBS also accepted the Governors’ Award, the highest honor given by the NATAS Rocky Mountain Southwest Chapter, in recognition for the public service efforts of Arizona PBS Educational Outreach, which specializes in supporting educators and students in the classroom and families at home with PBS educational content focused on national, common core and state standards. The honor was announced in August.

Kimberly Flack, associate general manager of Educational Outreach, accepts the Governors’ Award, the highest honor given by the NATAS Rocky Mountain Southwest Chapter.

Also during the event, Simons, the managing editor and host of “Arizona Horizon,” was inducted into the Silver Circle Society of the NATAS Rocky Mountain Southwest Chapter, an achievement reserved for media veterans in the southwest who have shown exemplary service in the industry for more than 25 years.

Since 2007, Simons has moderated discussions with government officials, business leaders and policy makers about the issues, laws and policies that affect Arizonans in their everyday lives on “Arizona Horizon.” Prior to joining Arizona PBS, Simons hosted the afternoon drive news/talk show on KTAR radio, worked as news director/morning show host for KZON-FM and news/sports anchor/reporter at KPHO-TV. Simons was also sports director/anchor at KOFY-TV in San Francisco.

“What a special award,” Simons said. “It’s so nice to be recognized for doing something that I absolutely love to do. And while it’s a little sobering to know that so many years have passed, it’s exciting to think about where we are at Arizona Horizon and where we’re headed. It’s been — and continues to be — a great ride.”

NATAS is a professional service organization dedicated to the advancement of the arts and sciences of television and the promotion of creative leadership for artistic, educational and technical achievements within the television industry. The Rocky Mountain Southwest Chapter represents Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and El Centro, California.

Arizona PBS Rocky Mountain Emmys

Governors’ Award
Arizona PBS Educational Outreach

Silver Circle Society
Ted Simons, host and managing editor, “Arizona Horizon

Interview/Discussion-Program/Special or Series
Suzanne Guery and Mark Lodato, “Walter Cronkite Centennial Special,” Arizona PBS

Lighting – Location or Studio
Scot Olson, Arizona PBS

Photographer – Program (Non-News)
Alexander Kline, Arizona PBS

Jennifer Burke, Kimberly Flack, Kiirsten Makela and Mark Lodato, “PBS Kids Channel Interstitials with Miss K,” Arizona PBS

Cronkite School Student Production Award Winners

General Assignment
Adriana De Alba, “Border Wall Encroaches on Texas Retirement Community,” Cronkite News

Public Affairs/Community Service
Louisa Stanwich, Allie Barton and Kristina Vicario, “MANZO,” documentary

Sydney Cariel, “Ball Player by Day, Musician by Night,” Cronkite News

Arts and Entertainment/Cultural Affairs
Adriana De Alba, “Tres Amigos,” Cronkite News

Long Form: Fiction/Non-Fiction
Adriana De Alba, Allison Bailey, Sierra Theobald and Brianna Davis, “Let Them Bee,” documentary

Video Essay (Single Camera Only)
Katie Bieri, “Hummingbird Migration in Arizona,” Cronkite News

Katie Bieri, “Talent Reel

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