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The SPI Files: Nancy Southgate, Eight, Arizona PBS

by Amy Baroch, Station Products & Innovation

Last week we got creative with KLRU's web developer Jesse Overright and learned more about KLRU Collective. This week we continue to escape the cold here in Arlington and visit Phoenix, Arizona to live some Life with Eight, Arizona PBS's Nancy Southgate. Nancy is pictured here with her son, Owen.

Who are you and what do you do at Eight, Arizona PBS?
My name is Nancy Southgate and I’m the associate general manager of content for Eight, Arizona PBS (KAET). I get to work with everything “content” – programming, production and promotion, primarily.

How long have you been at Eight?

This coming February will be six years here.

Before Eight, what did you do?
Prior to Eight, I worked at WPBA in Atlanta for nearly 20 years (I started there as a college intern). During that time, I also worked briefly for GPB.

If you didn't work in public media, what would you be doing?
That’s a tough question because I can’t imagine doing anything else, but if I got to choose anything, I would hope it would involve dogs in some way.

Explain Eight in Twitter-style, 140 characters or less:
Arizonans trust 50-year-old #Eight for educating kids, in-depth reporting & celebrating the arts. One of America’s most-viewed PBS stations!

We are excited about Eight Life, the new lifestyle channel from Eight, Arizona PBS. What can you tell us about it?
Starting January 1, we’re rebranding one of our multicast channels as Eight Life with even more of the lifestyle programs that our viewers love. We have a great staff and are finally able to locally schedule the channel (previously, it was Create) to better meet the needs of our viewers. By scheduling it locally, we’ll also be able to make better use of the interstitial time for station promotions and underwriting.

You've been using Facebook to get the word out about Eight Life – have you had any good feedback you'd like to share?
We’ve had viewers respond to our posts on Facebook about Eight Life, but we’ve also had viewers go directly to Facebook to ask questions after seeing on-air promos about the new channel. Most of the questions have asked about the new format or specific show requests for the channel.

What is the next big thing for Eight?
January is a busy month for us as we also alter our primetime lineup. We’re moving our public affairs series, Horizon (now in its 30th year) to 5:30pm and 10pm from 7pm, which allows us to kick off primetime at 7pm to match the rest of the stations in the market. This is big for us and our audience, but it’s a change we anticipate viewers will welcome.

What do you see as the future for public media and how does Eight fit into that vision?
Public media is constantly evolving and our viewers want to see (and use) content on their own terms. Eight continues to adapt and embrace new technology and ultimately our goal is to do our best to make sure Eight’s content is the best it can be and available to as many people as possible.

And – just for fun – a few quick-fire questions:

iPhone or Android? iPhone, hands down
Dogs or cats? Dogs, by far, but cats are tolerable :-)
Elmo or Grover? Grover
I am currently listening to… my playlist of favorites tunes or XM channels, but nothing new right now
I am currently reading… I just finished “The Housekeeper and the Professor” by Yoko Ogawa for our book club here at the station and am now reading “The Paris Wife” by Paula McLain.
I’m currently watching… I love “Glee”, but watch too much tv to list (personally and professionally)
Most overused phrase: It annoys me when anyone says “thinking outside the box” or “change/shift the paradigm”. I’ve been guilty of saying them myself, but they are WAY overused and make me cringe when I hear them.

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