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New ‘PBS NewsHour’ Debuts Next Week

lehrer_11-30.jpgThe NY Times’ Elizabeth Jensen and WaPo’s Howie Kurtz both write about the major changes for PBS’ Jim Lehrer and “The NewsHour,” which are some of the most significant since Robert MacNeil retired in 1995.

While he will remain executive editor, Lehrer, whose name is no longer in the title, will now be joined by co-anchors Gwen Ifill, Judy Woodruff and Jeffrey Brown. Additionally, the digital and television staffs have merged into a single unit as a greater focus is placed on the web.

Lehrer said he is “at ease with” the changes and that “this was not something forced on me,” but “it grew out of my own thinking.” He also still demonstrates a passion for traditional journalism.

“The shouting and opinion and jokes don’t exist if there isn’t first a story,” Lehrer told the Washington Post. “If you start at the end with Glenn Beck or Keith Olbermann — I’m not knocking these people, but they’re at the end of the reaction chain. All you know is what Beck or Bill O’Reilly or Rachel Maddow or Rush Limbaugh said. But what was actually in that legislation? Where are you going to get that piece? You go to a serious news organization.”

The retitled program debuts Dec. 7th.

TVNewser first reported on the transition and name change last week, when we also learned that Hari Sreenivasan was leaving CBS to join the revamped program.

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