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12 News Broadcasts Weather from Cronkite School Facilities

December 8, 2010

For two weeks in December, 12 News/KPNX-TV will broadcast the station’s weather segments from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

Using the Weather Central software at the school, 12 News professionals will broadcast weather reports for both its nightly and daytime programs for a total of 56 live weathercasts.

The partnership comes as 12 News transitions its operations into shared facilities with The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com in downtown Phoenix near the Cronkite School.

John Misner, president and general manager of 12 News and president of the school’s Endowment Board of Trustees, said the Cronkite School’s broadcast facilities rival those of major news organizations and will provide a perfect location for the weathercasts during the move to the Republic building.

“We couldn’t ask for a better partner than the Cronkite School. The school’s dean, faculty, staff and students have been a great help to us as we move 12 News to its new home just a few blocks away from the school,” Misner said. “The students will get professional experience working side-by-side with our team at the same time we are getting much-needed help during the move.”

The station will use the Cronkite facilities during ASU’s winter break. The area is used for the production of NewsWatch, the school’s award-winning student newscast, during semesters.

Mark Lodato, Cronkite assistant dean and news director, said 12 News has hired students trained in the school’s state-of-the-art production and weather systems to work with 12 News professionals on the weather broadcasts.

“This is a perfect example of how our excellent partnership with 12 News is beneficial to both the school and station,” Lodato said. “We’re able to lend a hand during this unique transition while our students get to work side by side with some of the market’s top TV professionals.”

The sixth floor of the Cronkite building holds two studios, two control rooms, a spacious newsroom and editing bays and is equipped with a touch-screen smart board, a professional news set, a green screen and Weather Central software, the same weather graphics and information system used by three network affiliates in Phoenix.

In the past two years, two networks have broadcast programs from the school.

Cronkite Award recipient Brian Williams broadcast NBC “Nightly News” from the roof of the school last year in the first-ever network newscast from a journalism school.

In November, Diane Sawyer broadcast ABC “World News” from the same spot on two consecutive evenings while she was in town to receive the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism.

Also in November, ABC News held an election night town hall forum in the school’s Cronkite Theater. Diane Sawyer and George Stephanopoulos aired excerpts from the town hall during their national election night coverage and the event was shown on NewsNow, ABC News’ 24/7 cable channel, and live-streamed on Facebook and ABC.