Breaking: TVNewser has learned that the public television newscast “Worldfocus” is being canceled. Staffers were informed of the news by Neal Shapiro, President and CEO of WNET.ORG, at 3pm this afternoon.
The program is the latest victim of a tough economy.
“We demonstrated that there is a demand for international news but we had the misfortune of launching a brand new program into the teeth of the recession,” Shapiro said in a statement. Shapiro said that the organization had raised significant funds, but was a a few million dollars short of what was needed, long-term. “Given the economic environment we now face, it is not prudent to continue the broadcast at this time. It is not an easy decision but it is the right decision.”
A spokesperson tells us WNET is working to find other positions for the “Worldfocus” staff within the organization. WNET was already preparing to launch a new, multi-platform PBS series, “Need to Know” in May.
More: Statement from Shapiro and press release after the jump.