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Posts Tagged ‘Jeffrey Brown’

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 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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Inauguration 2013: PBS Coverage Plans

PBS will broadcast a special daytime edition of “NewsHour” Monday to cover President Barack Obama’s second inauguration. Gwen Ifill and Jeffrey Brown will anchor beginning at 11amET. They will be joined by syndicated columnist Mark Shields and New York Times columnist David Brooks, as well as presidential historians Richard Norton Smith, Beverly Gage and Anette Gordon-Reed.

Online, PBS will have coverage of the day’s events with a live stream and a live blog, as well as several online features.

More in the PBS press release, after the jump. Read more

PBS NewsHour Staffers Say ‘Hal-le-lu-jah!’

On this Christmas Day, the folks at the PBS NewsHour’s The Rundown blog present a video roundup of song. It’s a compilation of performances of the famous “Hallelujah! Hallelujah!” chorus from George Frideric Handel‘s “Messiah”, with clips provided by local PBS stations and from people worldwide on YouTube.

NewsHour reporters, producers and other staffers sing along, including Jeffrey Brown,  Gwen Ifill, and Margaret Warner - plus two solos by Ray Suarez

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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PBS’ Newshour Looks to be “More Engaging” With Format Makeover

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The NYTimes’ Elizabeth Jensen writes about the changes coming to PBS’ long-running nightly newscast, “The Newshour with Jim Lehrer.”

Mr. Lehrer, who will turn 75 next Tuesday, isn’t stepping down. But in September the program will be retitled “PBS NewsHour” and return to a two-anchor format, which it had until 1995, when Robert MacNeil left.
Linda Winslow, the executive producer of “NewsHour,” said the changes will be made for a simple reason: “What we were trying to accomplish was a more engaging program.”

Jensen reports that Lehrer will be joined by one of three co-anchors from the show’s current team: Gwen Ifill, Judy Woodruff or Jeffrey Brown. Winslow is quick to add, “This is not a succession plan in disguise.” Having two anchors will “shake things up a little bit,” says Lehrer. The show will also add a newsreader, much like the broadcast network morning shows.

The one-hour show will also be formatted into segments for those who can’t, or don’t watch all the way through. Winslow says, “Each piece has to be individual and watchable.” Jensen reports the show will also merge its online and broadcast news desks, and send correspondents Margaret Warner and Ray Suarez into the field more often.

“Newspapers are thinning, and television has its own crisis,” says Lehrer. “I became a fanatic about the idea that those of us who are in the business of serious journalism, we have to do more.”

The Ticker: Burnett, Lehrer, Wallace…

> Meet the Press EP Betsy Fischer and CNBC’s Erin Burnett were two of the award recipients at this week’s Women To Watch Awards. Politico has video of the duo telling very different student government stories.

> PBS’ Jeffrey Brown interviews Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner this afternoon about the results of the bank stress tests. It airs tonight on The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer.

> Legendary CBS newsman Mike Wallace turns 91 tomorrow. Check out the original 60 Minutes episode, featuring Wallace, and more at CBSNews.com’s “40 Years at the Top” section.

Election Night: PBS & BBC

The big four broadcasters and cable news networks will keep us waiting a bit longer before they reveal what’s in store on election night. As one insider told TVNewser last week, “you think we want to give our play book to the other guys?” “No,” was our answer.

Anyway, we do have the plans for PBS and BBC.

Jim Lehrer anchors PBS’ election coverage with political analysis from Mark Shields & David Brooks. Senior Correspondents Gwen Ifill, Judy Woodruff, Ray Suarez, Jeffrey Brown, and Margaret Warner contribute. Coverage begins at 9pmET and will continue until midnight or until a winner is announced.

• BBC has tapped British-born but red-blooded American Ted Koppel to join them on the set of the Washington Bureau. Coverage begins at 6pmET and will be anchored by David Dimbleby along with Matt Frei, anchor of BBC World News America.

The press releases are after the jump…

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