Ted Simons has worked in television, radio and print journalism for more than 30 years. Since 2007, he has been the host and Managing Editor of Arizona Horizon, a nightly news and public affairs program on KAET-TV, the PBS affiliate in Phoenix. During the past decade on Arizona Horizon, Simons has interviewed a wide range of state and national leaders, including almost every significant political and business leader in the state, former Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, and other interesting folks that include former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and filmmaker Ken Burns. Prior to joining Arizona PBS, Simons hosted the afternoon drive news/talk show on KTAR radio, worked as news director/morning show host for KZON-FM and news/sports anchor/reporter at KPHO-TV. Simons was also sports director/anchor at KOFY-TV in San Francisco, during which he experienced the 1989 San Francisco earthquake from the upper-deck press section at Candlestick Park just before the start of the third game of the World Series.
A graduate of Chaparral High School in Scottsdale and Arizona State University, where he earned a degree in political science, Simons was the music critic for the Phoenix New Times in the 1980s, where he went by the name “Theo” and covered the club venues around the Valley. He continued to serve as the New Times music critic while doing weekend sports at KPHO-TV.
Nancy Southgate, the Associate General Manager of KAET says “Ted is a voice of reason. He is quiet. He is reserved. He is respectful towards his guests. He is respectful to the audience. The audience loves him. We love him. He is just the voice of reason with all this chaotic media environment that is going on. He is perfect.”
Simons has been a regular host of political debates during election years in Arizona. Arizona Horizon’s current executive producer, Allysa Adams, remembers that in 2016 “Senator John McCain’s campaign specifically asked that Ted moderate the debate. Earlier I recall an on-set interview with Sen. McCain and Ted where McCain jokingly referred to Ted as “Comrade” a number of times. The implication being Ted was left leaning. Still, the Senator asked that Ted moderate his debate, I can only presume the Senator trusted that Ted would be fair and prepared. Just a month later Ted did a satellite interview with Rep. Raul Grijalva. Once the interview was over and Grijalva was getting off set but still on mic we heard someone ask: ‘How did that go?’ and Rep. Grijalva replied: ‘Oh you know those Phoenix reporters they’re all conservative.'”
“Whether a comrade or a conservative, Ted is exceedingly balanced and fair,” Adams says. “Always trying to ask the questions that get lawmakers to answer honestly.”
An avid golfer and a modest man, Simons would never want you to know that on November 5, 1997 he had a hole-in-one at the 8th hole at the Mesquite Course the Westin Kierland Golf Club. It was a 9-iron from 142 yards away. And it was on a Wednesday. But remember, he would never want you to know that.
Ted Simons was inducted into the Silver Circle in 2017.