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Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication in downtown Phoenix is shown. (Jeremy Knop)

PHOENIX -- Arizona PBS will officially become a part of Arizona State University's journalism school in downtown Phoenix next Tuesday.

The public television station has a 53-year history with ASU, but it will be moving from the university's Office of Public Affairs to the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, transforming it into the largest media organization operated by a journalism school in the world.

Arizona PBS operates three television channels as well as azpbs.org.

"Eight has served Arizonans for more than 50 years, providing important national and regional content in public affairs, education, the arts, science and culture across our state," said ASU President Michael Crow in a press release. "That critical mission will continue and we will redouble our efforts to make Arizona PBS the best public television enterprise in the nation featuring all of the outstanding PBS programming now available on Eight."

ASU said Arizona PBS will begin to serve as a "teaching hospital" for journalism students, who will work will Cronkite school professors and Eight staff to provide new, innovative content on air and for the company's website.

"We have called this a ‘teaching hospital' approach to journalism education, but until now, we haven't had the hospital," said Cronkite Dean and University Vice Provost Christopher Callahan. "Now we do -- a multiplatform media organization in one of the nation's largest media markets."

According to ASU, the Cronkite school plans to add new immersion programs in business and sports reporting within the next six months, and it will look at how other schools in the university can partner with Arizona PBS to utilize the station's resources.

ASU said Arizona PBS reaches 1.9 million households and 4.8 million people across the state, and it has a weekly viewership of more than 1 million, making for the second-largest audience of the 57 university operated PBS stations.

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