Forty-nine years after KAET/Channel 8 launched its partnership with ASU, it celebrated the grand opening of its new digital media center at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication on the Downtown campus.
Members of the Phoenix and ASU communities gathered Saturday for the grand opening of KAET/Channel 8’s new digital media center, which has a presence on floors four through six of the Cronkite building.
PBS CEO and President Paula Kerger said from the beginning of Channel 8, the company has been a part of ASU’s journalism school and she is happy to continue the trend.
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“I think having a television station gives ASU students a real-world application of the skills they are learning in their classes,” she said.
ASU alumna Lindsey Castro has been working for Channel 8 since her freshman year at ASU five years ago, starting as a camera operator but has also worked the teleprompter, been a floor director and run an audio station. Currently the full-time director, Castro said she doesn’t see herself leaving.
“It’s so much fun here and I’ve learned a lot,” she said. “I want to be able to give back to Channel 8 and teach other students the things I’ve learned.”
Castro said she’s learned life skills ranging from good management to being part of a team.
“I’ve learned how to handle large-scale productions and be part of group that has a big project to finish,” Castro said, as she called the five-minute warning for the broadcast of the grand opening ceremony.
Arizona PBS General Manager Kelly McCullough opened the ceremony and spoke of the connection between ASU, Phoenix and the Channel 8 community.
“Arizona PBS is a team sport,” he said. “The team is ASU, Phoenix and a whole lot of people who are Friends of Eight … Together we are able to make this a community affair.”
McCullough also introduced ASU President Michael Crow, who said he was enthusiastic about the continuation of the partnership between the University and Channel 8.
“I think the continued presence of Channel 8 at ASU will provide multiple platforms for journalism students to explore their majors,” Crow said.
McCullough said both ASU and Channel 8 have been working on the move for the station for over two years. Two hours and 45 minutes after officials signed off from the Tempe station, he said, they signed on to the new station in Phoenix.
“The transition was surprisingly smooth,” McCullough said. “There was so much that really could have gone wrong. We have had some glitches and I’m sure we’ll have a few more but the important fact is, we’re on the air on three channels in high quality in nearly all of Arizona.”
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