The Arizona Media Association (AMA) welcomed five media legends into its Hall of Fame during a record-sized-turnout lunch event on January 26, 2024.

The annual Future and Awards Lunch at the Scottsdale JW Marriott Camelback Inn hosted a crowd of 500.

The event included the debut of a new statewide political debates partnership for 2024, celebration of a newly created Arizona Local News Foundation and recognition of the AMA’s new “big tent” organization representing radio, TV, print and digital.

This year’s hall of fame honorees include: Kit Atwell, Bruce Cooper, Al Macias, Terri Ouellette, and Floyd Simmons.

The AMA also announced its four main focus areas for the year ahead, including local media recruitment efforts, a local media information hub, local media advocacy and local news preservation.

About the Honorees

Kit Atwell has been a champion of Arizona newspapers for almost 50 years. Starting out as a typesetter, she’s grown to hold roles including publisher, executive vice-president, and CEO before retiring in 2021 from Prescott-based Western News&Info as the Publisher and Vice President. Kit has been a lead champion of Arizona community newspapers over the years, helping them to thrive and innovate. She was especially instrumental in the industry conversions to desktop and then online publishing. Kit’s career has spanned many Arizona newspapers including the Yuma Daily Sun, Mohave Valley News, Kingman Daily Miner, Prescott Valley Tribune, Chino Valley Review, and the Prescott Daily Courier. She’s also served on the board of directors of the Arizona Newspapers Association with a deep passion for defending local journalism. Known widely as someone who pulls out the best from every employee, Kit’s career has made a lasting impact on local journalism, community newspapers and the future of our shared business.

Bruce Cooper is one of the most legendary sportscasters in the state of Arizona. He worked at 12News in Phoenix for 34 years, starting in the mail room and working his way up to lead sports anchor and sports director before retiring in 2020. Affectionally known as “Coop” by colleagues, athletes and viewers, he is best known as the face of Arizona high school football, hosting Friday Night Fever for more than 30 years. During his career, Coop has covered just about every significant sporting event involving Arizona, including the 1993 Suns championship run, Arizona State’s Rose Bowl season in 1996, the Diamondbacks World Series victory in 2001 and the Arizona Cardinals Super Bowl appearance 2009. Coop is also a huge community advocate. He was a driving force behind the 12News Turkey Tuesday charity drive for over 20 years and continues to support St. Vincent de Paul, now working in a part-time role for community outreach. Loved by players, coaches, sports fans, and by an even broader coalition of community supporters, Bruce Cooper is a true model for local media leadership.

Al Macias is a lifelong Arizonan who has built deep roots in the local journalism industry over a nearly 50-year career. After graduating from ASU with a degree in broadcast communications, Al first pursued a career as a TV reporter. He quickly rose to positions of leadership and became a mentor to countless journalists while working at Phoenix TV stations 3TV, 12News and ABC15. Al then spent nearly 12 years as the News Director and Managing Editor for KJZZ-FM in Phoenix, an NPR news station. At KJZZ, Al worked with seven other stations to launch the regional Fronteras Desk, a collaborative reporting project that amplified coverage of border issues, immigration and the changing face of the Southwest. He oversaw dramatic growth for KJZZ, which expanded into Mexico, becoming the only public-radio station in the U.S. with international bureaus. In addition to his day job, Al also became a founding member and president of the Arizona Latino Media Association and adjunct professor at ASU’s Walter Cronkite School, gaining a reputation as both a strong defender of press freedoms and staunch advocate for local news.

Terri Ouellette is a household name across Arizona for her long career in both TV news and lifestyle programming. Affectionately known as Terri O, she began her career at 3TV in Phoenix helping to build one of the most successful morning news programs in America, Good Morning Arizona, alongside hosting and producing Home with Terri O during the late 1990s and early 2000s. She later launched a syndicated television brand and production company, hosting and producing multiple shows. As an entrepreneur, Terri used her talents for media tours across the country and internationally, producing content for manufacturing companies and also hosting numerous infomercials. Terri joined Phoenix’s ABC15 in 2012 to co-host the morning lifestyle program Sonoran Living where she continues her work today. Beyond TV, Terri’s compassion is well known in Arizona. She regularly emcees events that help children and veterans and for over a decade has been one of the driving forces behind the ABC15 Salutes Arizona Veterans program. Terri has also been awarded multiple Emmys for hosting and producing and has written a book, reinforcing the amazing versatility and skill Terri O has for bringing our Arizona community together.

Floyd Simmons has spent an amazing 30 years working in radio and local media production across the White Mountains of Arizona. From host to manager and GM to owner, Floyd has held almost every job available in the local media world, but he is perhaps most well-known for his coverage of local sports. Floyd has called nearly 2,000 broadcasts of local games and has a deep passion for covering his local community. He’s also the voice for the Arizona Rattlers and leads a production company that does the live video production for both the Rattlers and Tucson Sugar Skulls Indoor Football. Floyd even does the play-by-play for the annual Indoor Football League National Championship game. Floyd has touched many more lives in his community than the average person might realize. In 2012, Floyd began working on the Northland Basketball project on the Navajo Nation. He has brought much deserved attention and recognition to Navajo youth, helping turn many of them into sports superstars through his work and media coverage. Floyd epitomizes the role of local broadcasters as a community connector.

Hall of Fame Honoree Videos