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Brooks named AETN interim director following passing of Weatherly

Posted 21 Nov 2016

Tony Brooks, deputy director of the Arkansas Educational Television Network since 2001, has been named interim director of AETN following the recent passing of AETN Executive Director Allen Weatherly.

As AETN deputy director, Brooks has overseen the day-to-day operations of the network. He also has a keen interest in history, political science and Arkansas outdoors, which has helped him broaden AETN's scope of services to Arkansas. With that focus, Brooks helped develop and serves as host of the award-winning 'Agri Arkansas,' a monthly series that celebrates agriculture in Arkansas and features experts, innovators and challenges all present in the state's largest industry. The series was nominated in 2015 for a Regional Emmy award for Outstanding Interview/Discussion program by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

Before joining the AETN staff, Brooks served as a volunteer member of the AETN Commission. He spent more than 16 years at KAIT-8 television, the ABC affiliate in Jonesboro, Arkansas, working as a field reporter, photographer, chief news anchor for the two evening newscasts, and managing editor. During those years, he became an award-winning television journalist, receiving recognition for his work in documentaries and news reporting. He was also a former legislative aide to Missouri Eighth District Congressman Bill Emerson.

Brooks is also an educator at heart. He taught United States Government as a graduate assistant at Arkansas State University and was a high school teacher for 9 years with Paragould Public Schools. He served as adjunct faculty at the Bootheel Education Center of Southeast Missouri State University, where he taught government and U.S. History. In addition to his full time role at AETN, Brooks is currently an adjunct professor of communications at the University of Central Arkansas, where he teaches senior level courses in broadcast journalism production and electronic media applications. He also serves as an advisor for the student-produced evening newscasts for UCA's local cable access channel.

Brooks earned his Associate of Arts from Mississippi County Community College, followed by his Bachelor of Science in Education in History and Political Science and Master of Arts in Political Science and Public Personnel Administration from Arkansas State University. In 1997, Brooks was recognized as a Distinguished Alumni by the Arkansas Association of Two-year Colleges.

The Arkansas Educational Television Network is Arkansas’s statewide public television network that enhances lives by providing lifelong learning opportunities for people from all walks of life. AETN delivers local, award-winning productions and classic, trusted PBS programs aimed at sharing Arkansas and the world with viewers. AETN depends on the generosity of Arkansans and the State of Arkansas to continue offering quality programming. Additional information is available at aetn.org. AETN is broadcast on KETS (Little Rock), KEMV (Mountain View), KETG (Arkadelphia), KAFT (Fayetteville), KTEJ (Jonesboro) and KETZ (El Dorado).