An episode of WEDU-TV’s Florida This Week that included USF St. Petersburg History Professor Ray Arsenault, Ph.D., has been nominated for a Suncoast Emmy Award.
The June 28 episode was the first and only time Arsenault, the USFSP John Hope Franklin Professor of Southern History, has appeared on the weekly program, which features a roundtable discussion of top news stories and is moderated by journalist Rob Lorei.
Joining Arsenault in the nominated episode were former U.S. Rep. Jim Davis, state Sen. Tom Lee and Tampa Bay Times Political Editor Adam Smith. The topics included the U.S. Supreme Court decisions on the Voting Rights Act and the Defense of Marriage Act, immigration reform and Medicaid expansion in Florida.
The Suncoast Emmy Awards honor excellence in TV programming in Florida, Puerto Rico and parts of Louisiana, Alabama and Georgia. The June 28 Florida This Week episode is one of three nominees for Best Interview/Discussion Program. The winners will be announced Nov. 23 in Ft. Lauderdale.
This is not the first time Arsenault has been involved in Emmy-nominated work. A documentary film based on his award-winning book Freedom Riders: 1961 and the Struggle for Racial Justice won three national Emmy Awards and a Peabody Award.
Arsenault said he is honored to have played a part in the Emmy nomination for Florida This Week. “I have long been an admirer of the show and of Rob Lorei’s thoughtful approach to public affairs,’’ said Arsenault, co-founder of the Florida Studies Program. “I hope the viewers got as much out of it as I did.”
Vivian Fueyo, Ph.D., interim regional chancellor for academic affairs, said the nomination reflects Arsenault’s depth of knowledge and the clarity of his ideas. “Dr. Arsenault has always believed in the importance of sharing his insights with the broader public,” Fueyo said. “This is another demonstration of his many strengths as an educator, historian and writer.”