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Would Jim Lehrer Moderate Another Debate? ‘No, No, No, A Thousand Times, No’

JimLehrer1He’s known as the Dean of Moderators, having been at the helm of twelve presidential debates since 1988.

But don’t count on veteran newsman Jim Lehrer making another go of it in 2016.

“No, no, no, a thousand times, no,” he tells TVNewser about what he’d say if asked to moderate in 2016.

Lehrer felt the same way when we talked with him 2010. But he ended up moderating the first 2012 presidential debate.

“The only reason that I finally changed my mind [in 2012] was because I was persuaded by the Commission on Presidential Debates to do it, because we were going to try a new format,” he says, referring to the “new, open” approach that enabled the candidates to more freely speak and interact with each other.

Lehrer, 80, was roundly criticized, for not doing enough to challenge candidates, Pres. Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, or control their questions.

Would anything change his mind when it comes to 2016?

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‘Frontline’ Gets New Funding to Expand Investigative Reporting

frontline logo“Frontline,” PBS’ flagship investigative series produced by WGBH in Boston, has secured two new grants that will go toward a major expansion of investigative reporting across all the show’s platforms.

The first grant, $5 million from Jon and Jo Ann Hagler, is the single largest gift by an individual to “Frontline” in the show’s 30-year history. The majority of that will go toward a new endowment for continuing journalism. The second donation is a two-year, $800,000 grant from the Ford Foundation that will go toward a new cross-platform Enterprise Journalism Group.

“These two gifts are a vote of confidence in FRONTLINE’s ambitions for the future,” executive producer David Fanning said in a statement. “’We know that to keep doing significant investigative reporting we have to undertake a major effort to raise additional funds for the time-intensive and costly work of enterprise journalism. The generosity of the Haglers and new support from the Ford Foundation is an expression of optimism about the future of the series and the kind of journalism we practice, and need to keep expanding.”

TVNewser’s 2014 Guide To Graduation Speakers

Class-of-2014. jpgAs is TVNewser tradition, here now is our seventh annual list of who’s-speaking-where-and-when at the nation’s colleges and universities (in alphabetical order):

CNBC’s Guy AdamiQuinnipiac University (CT), May 10

CNN’s Brooke Baldwin: University of North Carolina School of Journalism and Mass Communication (NC), May 11

ABC’s Richard Besser: University of Michigan School of Public Health (MI), May 1

CNN’s Wolf Blitzer: Cansius College  (NY), May 17

Bloomberg’s Michael Bloomberg: Harvard University (MA), May 29… Williams College (MA), June 8

CNN’s Gloria Borger: Colgate University (NY), May 18

FNC’s Dr. Ben CarsonRegent University (VA), May 3

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Miles O’Brien’s Report from Japan Airs Tonight

MilesObrienJapanThe first of Miles O’Brien‘s reports from Japan airs tonight on “PBS NewsHour.” O’Brien, the program’s science correspondent, was packing up from the reporting trip on Feb. 12 when one of the equipment cases fell on his left arm. A seemingly innocuous accident resulted two days later in the amputation of his arm, above the elbow.

In tonight’s report, O’Brien, covered head to toe in protective gear and wearing a respiration mask, offers viewers a rare look inside the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. He reports on the on-going efforts to contain radiation-tainted water that continues to leak from the plant into the sea. Two more reports will air next Wednesday and Friday.

On “NewsHour” Wednesday co-anchor Judy Woodruff mentioned the accident, adding, “All of his colleagues here at the NewsHour are awed by Miles’s determination to soldier on, despite his life-changing accident. He is a very brave man and a cherished friend.”

After Freak Accident, Miles O’Brien Has Arm Amputated

milesobrienMiles O’Brien, the former CNN anchor, was on assignment in Asia earlier this month when a freak accident led to an emergency surgery that resulted in the amputation of his left arm, above the elbow. On his blog, he writes about what happened:

I had finished my last shoot after a long reporting trip to Japan and the Philippines and was stacking the Pelican cases brimming with TV gear onto my cart. As I tried to bungee cord them into some semblance of security for movement, one of the cases toppled onto my left forearm. Ouch! It hurt, but I wasn’t all “911″ about it. It was painful and swollen but I figured it would be okay without any medical intervention.

That was on February 12. By the morning of the 14th the swelling had increased. He went to a doctor who, upon seeing his arm, admitted him to the hospital and recommended an emergency procedure to relieve the pressure. By then, it was too late.

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Gwen Ifill: Media ‘Lost Sight of the Bigger Picture’ During Mandela Coverage

gwen ifillPBS News anchor Gwen Ifill says the media “lost sight of the bigger picture” while covering the death of Nelson Mandela. In a PBS blog post, she writes the focus was on non-stories, including the fake interpreter tasked with translating the service into sign language:

There is no question it was an insult to the world’s deaf and an international security threat to have a man on stage whose defense for not knowing sign language was that he could be violently schizophrenic. But did that deserve more attention on a day when thousands gathered in Pretoria — in long lines that reminded me of the first free South African elections — to pay final tribute to Mandela?

I never cease to marvel how efficiently we can minimize real news – whether it be rare proof that Washington has a little bipartisanship left, or history unfolding on another continent.

I’d feel a little better if we could at least try to remember the big picture.

[h/t Huffington Post]

MacNeil and Lehrer Share Their Story of Nov. 22, 1963

MacNeilLehrer1963
Robert MacNeil and Jim Lehrer returned to their former program last night to reflect on Nov. 22, 1963 — the day President Kennedy was killed. Both men covered the president’s visit — MacNeil for NBC News and Lehrer for The Dallas Times Herald. They talked about the morning leading up to the assassination, the days following, the conspiracy theories that persist 50 years later and how the tragedy shaped their careers as reporters.

WATCH:

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CNBC’s Courtney Reagan Gets On-Air Marriage Proposal

CNBC’s retail correspondent Courtney Reagan was doing a segment on holiday shopping for the CNBC-produced “Nightly Business Report.” At least that what she thought.

The show’s anchor, Tyler Mathisen was in place, as was the camera and production crew, so they started recording.

But it was all a ruse. What Courtney didn’t know is that her boyfriend, investment researcher Jared Baker was waiting in the wings, with a diamond ring. She looked stunned. He told her he’s loved her since the day they met. She cried. He got on one knee. She cried some more. Mathisen grabbed the tissues. And the rest is TV history.

WATCH:

Ray Suarez Joins Al Jazeera America

RSuarezFormer PBS correspondent Ray Suarez is set to join Al Jazeera America. Beginning November 11, he will be the host of “Inside Story.”

“Ray has repeatedly proven that he can deliver compelling coverage of the most challenging news stories and events with objectivity and depth, punctuated by Ray’s own brand of thoughtful analysis,” Al Jazeera America president Kate O’Brian said in a statement.

Suarez resigned last month after more than 10 years as the senior correspondent for “NewsHour.” After he signed off, he told Fox News Latino, “I felt like I didn’t have much of a future with the broadcast. (They) didn’t have much of a plan for me.”

“This is an exciting time to be joining Al Jazeera America and a great opportunity for me personally,” Suarez said. “This is exactly what I wanted to do: host a program that provides viewers with a close look at the day’s news and the issues they care about the most without the partisan rancor that you often see and hear elsewhere on television.”

More from Al Jazeera after the jump. Read more

Why Ray Suarez Left ‘PBS Newshour’

RSuarezRay Suarez bid farewell to PBS’s “Newshour” last Friday. Suarez, who has been the show’s senior correspondent for more than 10 years, tells FoxNewsLatino why he left the show: “I felt like I didn’t have much of a future with the broadcast. (They) didn’t have much of a plan for me.”

The 56-year-old, who joined the “NewsHour” in 1999, said over the last couple of years his contributions to the broadcast were passed over and marginalized many times. He said decisions made recently by the company and new constrictions also played a part in his resignation — it just made it difficult to stay, he said.

“When you look at the prospects realistically, I was there 14 years,” Suarez said. “The responsibility, the high responsibility … had all been gradually taken away.”

The program continues to be in transition. Earlier this month the show’s production company, MacNeil-Leher Productions, decided to part ways with the program. Last month “Newshour” launched a weekend edition of the program, anchored by Hari Sreenivasan. In August, Judy Woodruff and Gwen Ifill were named co-anchors of the weekday program. And in June, the show laid off staff and closed down its domestic bureaus, citing a slowdown in corporate revenue and changing technologies.

“I love the people there,” Suarez tells FoxNews. “I think it’s important to have a strong news broadcast on public television. I was definitely doing important work. I am not sitting here regretting all that time, not at all.”

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