In response to financial challenges, KUED's award-winning public affairs series, Utah NOW, will reconfigure to a quarterly format. Series' host and KUER personality Doug Fabrizio will continue to lead thought-provoking examinations of the issues, people and places shaping life in Utah and the American West.
Originally presented as a weekly public affairs program, Utah NOW has received a string of important professional recognitions in its two-year history on Utah's premier public television station. Among the honors are numerous regional Emmy awards from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, as well as top awards from the Utah Society of Professional Journalists and the Utah Broadcasters Association.
"These are challenging times for all broadcasters and public television is not immune to funding changes," says KUED's Director of Production Ken Verdoia. "After long consideration we determined it was a greater service to the public to do fewer programs, while ensuring each would have greater depth and resources available for exploring issues that largely go untouched in other media settings."
The first episode of the new-look Utah NOW, which will debut in April, takes a thought-provoking look at how changes in the economy and workplace have reshaped the way Utahns look at jobs, employment, loyalty and retirement. Joining Fabrizio on the production team are long-time KUED staff members Erik Nielsen and David Castleton.
"They represent an outstanding core of thought, talent and ability in storytelling," says Verdoia. "We are very confident they will continue a legacy of service to the state that has been part of KUED for more than 50 years."
He also notes that long-term studies of television viewing habits indicate that the explosive growth of public affairs and talk shows on national cable has diluted regular viewing audiences for weekly programs. At the same time, viewing audiences for documentaries and special reports stay strong.
"We hope, by pursuing strong local topics and promoting in an effective fashion, to give Utah a special reason for tuning in to Utah NOW," says Verdoia.
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