News from over at The Range (Tucson Weekly) that KUAT Channel 6 Managing editor and anchor Bill Buckmaster is leaving effective January 1, 2011 (with his farewell letter sent this morning):
I’ve been watching Buckmaster interview politicians, political wannabees, community leaders, authors, visiting scholars & dignitaries for years on his Arizona Illustrated (“Newsmagazine”) for years. For some of his recent interviews, click here. He has been there at KUAT for over 20 years, and received his B.A. from the University of Arizona.
Buckmaster’s bio from Arizona Public Media website:
With more than 4,000 interviews with political, business, community and social leaders under his belt, on January 3, 2008, Bill Buckmaster celebrated 20 years with KUAT Channel 6. The anchor and managing editor for Arizona Illustrated has been a welcome evening guest in our living rooms for two decades and has introduced viewers to some of Southern Arizona’s most interesting individuals.
Buckmaster has filled a display case over the years with awards, plaques and trophies. In 2006, Tucson Lifestyle Magazine named him a “Best of City” award winner. In 2004 he was honored with two accolades: The first was the inaugural Alzheimer’s Disease Public Awareness Award, presented by the Arizona Alzheimer’s Disease Consortium in recognition of his ongoing contributions toward increasing public awareness of Alzheimer’s disease. Later in 2004 he was flabbergasted by the naming of an asteroid in his honor. Astronomer and Parade magazine science editor David Levy, a regular guest on Arizona Illustrated, surprised him on the air with the announcement.
In 2003, the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Rocky Mt. Southwest Chapter inducted Buckmaster into its prestigious Silver Circle Society in honor of his lifetime achievements in the television industry. To be selected, individuals must have served in broadcasting for more than 25 years and must have made major contributions to the industry. He has received five Emmy nominations.
A long, colorful, and accomplished broadcasting background led Buckmaster to Arizona Illustrated, Southern Arizona’s newsmagazine. He uses his wealth of experience in the business – nearly four decades – to provide in-depth perspective and analysis on the stories he covers. “We don’t just tell you what happened today,” he says. “We provide perspective by giving you the whole history of the subject.”
With an easy-going on-air demeanor that belies his aggressive news instincts, it’s no surprise that Buckmaster is a driving force behind Arizona Illustrated’s success. Founded in 1980 on an idea that is still novel in these days of headline news and 10-second sound bites, the program has thrived by providing in-depth reports and thoughtful analysis.
Arizona Illustrated is the only television program that provides comprehensive coverage of all the local political races. The “Friday Roundtable” has become the area’s premier forum for discussion of political issues, with newsmakers and reporters from the Arizona Daily Star, the Tucson Citizen and the Tucson Weekly participating.
Buckmaster, as managing editor and hands-on anchor, does most of his own research and writing and generates many of the story ideas for the program. “Our mission here is simple: provide an alternative for Tucson news viewers and never talk down to the audience,” he says. “Our research shows that three in four viewers of our program have a college education with nearly 40 percent having an advanced degree.”
Buckmaster’s news career includes broadcast editor for the Associated Press in Phoenix; radio news director positions in Sierra Vista, Visalia, Calif. and Las Vegas; plus news anchor positions at KTZO-TV, San Francisco and KICU-TV, San Jose/San Francisco.
Buckmaster earned a bachelor of arts degree in speech from The University of Arizona and received a master’s degree in education from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Avid art and book collectors, Buckmaster and his wife, Ann, love to travel. They have taken more than two dozen international trips, visiting more than 75 countries and all 50 states (Delaware was number 50). Buckmaster is also an award-winning amateur photographer.