Anita Helt, a veteran television executive who leads the highly-rated ABC affiliate in Phoenix, is the new president of the Cronkite Endowment Board of Trustees at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.
Helt, who has been the vice president and general manager of ABC15, KNXV-TV, since 2011, is succeeding Kristin Bloomquist, former executive vice president and general manager at LaneTerralever. Helt previously was a member of the Cronkite board’s executive committee, and led the board’s outreach and diversity efforts for the last several years.
The Cronkite Endowment Board is comprised of top local media and business executives who advise and assist Cronkite School leadership. They also help plan the annual Cronkite Award Luncheon, the largest gathering of media professionals in the Valley, at which the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism is presented to a nationally renowned journalist. The year’s Cronkite Award recipients are Judy Woodruff and the late Gwen Ifill, the award-winning co-anchors and managing editors of the “PBS NewsHour.”
“I believe the need for responsible journalism has never been higher, and I am inspired by the next generation of journalists and communications professionals in training under Dean Christopher Callahan and his team,” Helt said. “It is a privilege to serve alongside my fellow board members in support of the school.”
At ABC15, Helt leads one of the nation’s largest ABC affiliates. Previously, she served as president and general manager of KXTV-TV, the ABC station in Sacramento, California.
From 1995-2010, she worked for Phoenix’s NBC affiliate 12 News, KPNX-TV, starting as executive producer of special projects and ultimately becoming vice president of marketing and programming. She started her career in news as an anchor and reporter in Kansas and Washington. She received her degree in broadcast journalism from the University of Washington.
Helt also currently serves as chair of the Arizona Broadcasters Association board of directors and president of the Carole Kneeland Project for Responsible Journalism board of directors.
“Anita is one of the Valley’s top media leaders and has been a tremendous supporter of our school for many years,” said Cronkite School Dean Christopher Callahan. “We are thrilled to have her leading the most-talented and hardest-working board in journalism education.”
The Cronkite Endowment Board was established in 1983 to provide the dean with important counsel and advice on a variety of university-related issues. Board members also mentor students and provide internship opportunities.
The board is comprised of more than 50 members with a diverse collection of professional backgrounds, including leading newspaper editors and publishers, radio station general managers, magazine editors and publishers, public relations executives and other communications industry leaders from across Arizona.