PHOENIX (May 24, 2018) – After nearly 30 years as president and CEO of the Arizona Broadcasters Association (ABA), Art Brooks announced today he’s stepping down effective at the end of the year.
“I leave the ABA proud of the many things we have been able to accomplish together in my nearly three decades of leadership and will remain ever grateful for the many friends I have made in the Arizona broadcasting community,” said Brooks. “I’m eager to explore my next adventure both personally and professionally.”
Among his many accomplishments, Brooks led the way helping Arizona broadcasters make history in 2008 with the award-winning documentary, “Crystal Darkness.” Arizona was the first state in the nation to bring its broadcasters together to address a major social issue through a “roadblock” – the program, designed to raise awareness of the impact of methamphetamines, aired on all Arizona television stations and most radio stations at the same time. Then again in 2015, a similar partnership tackled the state’s growing heroin addiction and in 2017 addressed the devastating impact of prescription drugs.
“It is hard to put into words the incredible impact Art has had on the association and our Arizona broadcasting community,” said ABA board chair Anita Helt. “I want to publicly thank him for his tremendous service and willingness to continue to lead through the transition.”
During his tenure, Brooks led a committee of broadcasters and law enforcement to develop a plan which ultimately became the state’s AMBER (America’s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response) Alert program. The program has assisted in the speedy recovery of many endangered children. Brooks served as the state coordinator from 2002-2018, before the duty was passed off to law enforcement.
Brooks assumed a major advocacy role on issues important to the industry, helped lead the transition to high definition television and created programs to provide member stations with access to sales training and legal help. Brooks started the ABA Hall of Fame which recognizes Arizona broadcasters and raises money to help fund journalism scholarships. He also instituted one of the nation’s first Native American Broadcast Journalism Institutes for high school students at Northern Arizona University.
“Local broadcasters have a unique and very special role in our society, one that not only involves the business part of broadcasting, but also community involvement, and the responsibility – and honor – of serving our listening and viewing public,” said Brooks. “I care deeply about the industry and the organization I have been blessed to serve all these years and am looking forward to a smooth and successful transition.”
Brooks will remain in his position through 2018. A search committee is being formed and recruitment for the association’s leadership role will begin soon.