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Posts Tagged ‘Hari Sreenivasan’

Gwen Ifill, Judy Woodruff to Co-Anchor PBS NewsHour Election Coverage

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“PBS NewsHour” will to anchors Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff on election night, with Ifill and Woodruff leading the NewsHour’s online and on-air elections coverage. NewsHour will have an elections edition live at 6 p.m. ET, with updated broadcasts at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.

At 11 p.m. ET, Ifill and Woodruff will co-anchor a special 30-minute report with analysis from correspondent Hari Sreenivasan, columnists Mark Shields and Michael Gerson, political analysts Amy Walter and Stu Rothenberg, and NewsHour contributors Domenico Montanaro and Lisa Desjardins.

From 6 p.m. ET through 11:30 p.m. ET, NewsHour will live stream elections coverage on the PBS.org/newshour site and via Ustream.

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News Pro Names ’12 to Watch in TV News’

12 to watch in TV NewsTV Week’s News Pro magazine is out with its forward-looking “12 to Watch in TV News” list. Unsurprisingly, HLN president Albie Hecht is on the list, as he’s expected to make major changes to the network early on in the new year.

Other network executives featured are NBC News President Deborah Turness—who is rumored to be eyeing major shakeups, including cutting on-air talent and possibly even making changes to “Meet the Press”—and Al Jazeera America President Kate O’Brian, who told TVNewser AJAM aims to become the top news division in America. Whether she can lift the new network from its ratings woes in an interesting storyline to watch in 2014.

Fox News’ Megyn Kelly made the list after she was moved to the 9pmET primetime slot earlier this year. Kelly has generated both strong ratings and holiday controversy on FNC. Read more

MacNeil-Lehrer Productions To Give Up Ownership of The ‘PBS NewsHour’

newshoursmallThe “PBS NewsHour” will likely be getting new owners in the coming weeks. The public-TV stalwart, which has had some troubling months, even as it expanded to the weekend, is in talks with Washington DC public TV station WETA about assuming control of the program, the New York Times reports.

The last six months have been extremely important for the program. In June, it laid off staff and closed down its domestic bureaus, citing a slowdown in corporate revenue and changing technologies. In August, it named Judy Woodruff and Gwen Ifill co-anchors of the program, the first time two women have helmed a network evening newscast. Last month it launched a weekend edition of the program, anchored by Hari Sreenivasan, and produced by New York public TV station WNET.

The “NewsHour” was founded as “The MacNeil/Lehrer Report” by Robert MacNeil and Jim Lehrer, whose names adorn the production company that produces the program. Lehrer was involved in the program into this year, even as he officially retired in 2011.

PBS ‘NewsHour Weekend’ Readies For Launch

This weekend, the “PBS NewsHour” expands to weekends (and to New York City), with the debut of “PBS Newshour Weekend.” Anchored by Hari Sreenivasan, the weekend edition of the iconic evening news program will be shortened to half an hour (yes, a half-hour “NewsHour”), and will be produced by New York City PBS station WNET.

“It is an expression of continuity and change. One of the discussions I had with ["NewsHour" EP Linda Winslow] early on was about that. Are we looking for continuity or change?,” the weekend program’s executive producer Marc Rosenwasser says, sitting in a conference room at the WNET offices in midtown Manhattan. ”The answer we came up with was both.”

“The line we have to walk is between upholding the very rich traditions of the ‘NewsHour,’ which we respect tremendously and the nation respects tremendously as this great, valuable brand that has an almost unique place contextualizing and analyzing the news,” he added. “At the same time, moving forward as many weekend shows at all the networks work, as kind of a laboratory too.”

For the new team in New York and the “NewsHour” team in DC, the challenge is keeping the spirit of the weekday program, while simultaneously expanding its boundaries.

“It is still pretty rare to have 40-year long brands that have lasted,” Sreenivasan says. “Sure, we could use a few million more dollars, but we have somehow managed to survive in the marketplace, even with all the commercial competition, even with the current landscape.”

That isn’t to say there haven’t been hiccups along the way.

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Gwen Ifill, Judy Woodruff Named Co-Anchors of the ‘PBS NewsHour’

At the Television Critics Association Summer Press tour in Beverly Hills this afternoon, PBS named Gwen ifill and Judy Woodruff as the co-anchors and managing editors of the “PBS NewsHour,” making them the first all-female co-anchor team in broadcast news.

Ifill and Woodruff will formally take the reins of the program in September, replacing the rotating anchor format that the program has utilized over the last few years.

Woodruff will anchor the program solo on Fridays, as “Washington Week,” which Ifill also hosts, tapes that day. The pair had been the most frequent anchors on the program since Jim Lehrer stepped down in 2011, and they also anchored the program’s debate, convention and election coverage.

PBS also added specific responsibilities to a number of correspondents. Hari Sreenivasan–who will be anchoring the upcoming weekend edition of the program–will serve as senior correspondent, with Jeffrey Brown becoming chief correspondent for arts, culture and society, Ray Suarez chief national correspondent and Margaret Warner chief foreign correspondent.

The changes come as the “NewsHour” seeks to reinvent itself for the 21st century. While it is adding a weekend edition produced by WNET, the show also saw a number of layoffs in June, including the shuttering of its U.S.  bureaus.

More below.
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PBS Adds ‘NewsHour Weekend’ To Fall Lineup

PBS has made it official: there will be a new half-hour weekend edition of the “PBS NewsHour” coming later this year.

“PBS NewsHour Weekend” will debut September 7, and will be anchored by Hari Sreenivasan (pictured left), a correspondent for the weekday edition of the program. Sreenivasan writes about what he hopes to accomplish at the new program here.

Unlike the weekday edition of “NewsHour,” which originates from Washington DC, the weekend edition will originate from New York City, at the studios of WNET at Lincoln Center.

“I am delighted about the expansion of the ‘NewsHour’ to the weekend,” said Jim Lehrer, executive editor, and founding former news anchor for ‘PBS NewsHour’ in a statement. “I welcome this latest expansion of our brand of trusted and balanced journalism. Plus, it is equally wonderful to rekindle our relationship with WNET, where Robert MacNeil and I started nearly 40 years ago.”

The expansion in New York City comes as the “NewsHour” was forced to lay off staff in its Denver and San Francisco offices, as well as some production roles in Washington DC.

More, after the jump.
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The ‘PBS NewsHour’ Debates Its Own Future


With the news this week that the “PBS NewsHour” would be laying off staff and reorganizing in order trim costs, the show’s future has become a hot topic of debate.

The Baltimore Sun‘s David Zurawik wrote that the “NewsHour” had become a shadow of what it once was:

“Forget the world, they couldn’t cover stories down the street in Washington on their own most nights,” Zurawik writes. “Some nights, when they tried to re-purpose a piece that had run previously by giving a new introduction, it was just plain embarrassing.”

That column drew a sharp rebuke in letters from the “NewsHour,” with Gwen Ifill, EP Kathleen McCleery and MacNeil/Lehrer Productions CEO Bo Jones, both of which the “NewsHour” posted on its own site under the headline “Is The NewsHour” Worth Saving?”

“Is it what NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX and CNN produce on a nightly basis? No. And it never has been. That’s pretty much why I work here,” Ifill wrote. “We skip the stories on the pole-dancing girlfriends and the Arias-type trials. We know there are other places to go for that. But we still stick by our core mission — to provide news and information for people who choose to know more than what their home browser page can show them.”

Today, The New York TimesElizabeth Jensen weighs in. At the end of her piece, Jensen reveals some news about where the program may be headed:
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‘PBS NewsHour’ Lays Off Staff In Reorganization

The “PBS NewsHour” is laying off staff in a significant reorganization, TVNewser has learned.

According to an internal memo obtained by TVNewser, MacNeil/Lehrer Productions–which produces the “NewsHour”–will be shutting down its offices in Denver and San Francisco, eliminating nearly all the positions there. The company will also eliminate several production positions in its Washington DC office, while leaving two open senior-level roles unfilled.The “NewsHour” is also planning to save money by streamlining and digitizing its technical process.

“This difficult step comes after more than a year spent reviewing how the ‘NewsHour’ functions, and determining the streamlining necessary to address both the funding challenges (primarily a steady drop in corporate revenue) and the opportunities presented by new technologies,” wrote “NewsHour” EP Linda Winslow and MacNeil/Lehrer president Bo Jones in the memo to staff.

The changes will go into effect at the start of the new fiscal year, July 1. None of the affected staffers were named in the email, but TVNewser hears that one of those departing is San Francisco correspondent Spencer Michels, who started reporting for the program 30 years ago.

While the program will still maintain in-house crews, the “NewsHour” will rely more on freelance contributions going forward.

“Along with sending our own teams in the field, we anticipate building new relationships with a variety of locally-based freelance video journalists around the country,” Winslow wrote to staff. “Under no circumstances do we intend to abandon the mini-documentary reports that have become so critical to our broadcast. The NewsHour remains committed to delivering the same kind of in-depth reporting our viewers and supporters expect from us.”
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The Morning Ticker: ‘NewsHour’ Weekend?, Williams, Olbermann

PBS Only Broadcaster To Offer 3+ Hours Of Convention Coverage In Primetime

We already noted last week that the team of Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff will be the first ever all-female anchor team to lead a network’s political convention coverage. Now the rest of “PBS NewsHour’”s plans are coming to light.

PBS–which has the benefit of being a not-for-profit TV network–will offer substantially more primetime coverage than any other broadcaster, with coverage running each night of the conventions from8-11PM. During the coverage there will be a number of segments featuring analysis, commentary and interviews, including contributors David Brooks and Mark Shields, analysis from “NewsHour” political editor Christina Bellantoni, and reports from the convention floors.

Online, correspondent Hari Sreenivasan will lead the network’s coverage, which will be 24 hours and powered by Livestream. The digital component will also feature “NewsHour” contributors, and will also have regular segments.

More information below.

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