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Posts Tagged ‘Jim Lehrer’

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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Barbara Walters to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award

Barbara WaltersThe Barbara Walters send-off continues. On Tuesday, Quinnipiac University will present a Lifetime Achievement Award to the veteran journalist at the university’s annual Fred Friendly First Amendment Award luncheon.

This is just the second time the Lifetime Achievement Award is being presented. It was awarded to first amendment attorney Floyd Abrams, father of ABC’s Dan Abrams, in 2008.

“We are presenting the 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award to Barbara Walters for a very simple reason,” says Lee Kamlet, dean of the School of Communications at Quinnipiac. “She epitomizes the characteristics we want our students to develop: an endless curiosity, the pursuit of knowledge and truth, regardless of whether it’s in an interview with a president, a pop star, or a person suspected of a crime, and a willingness to work harder than the next 10 competitors.”

The School of Communications has presented the Fred Friendly First Amendment Award, bearing the name of the former CBS News president, since 1994.

Previous recipients include Dan Rather, Lesley Stahl, Ted Koppel, Tom Brokaw, Robert MacNeil, Jim Lehrer, Christiane Amanpour, Tim Russert, Bob Schieffer, Charles Gibson, Morley Safer, Gwen Ifill, Martha Raddatz and Scott Pelley.

How Would Journalists Report the Story of JFK’s Assassination Today?

The broadcast networks all produced special reports for the moment of silence marking the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Pres. John F. Kennedy this afternoon.

In the Washington Post today, Melinda Henneberger asks how journalists would report the news of JFK’s assassination. Very differently, is the answer. Henneberger talks to several reporters who were in Dallas that day, including Bob Schieffer and Jim Lehrer.

You’ve heard the story about how Bob Schieffer drove Lee Harvey Oswald‘s mother to the Dallas Police department. But did you know he did it in a shiny new Cadillac that was on loan to the newspaper he worked for:

Schieffer says his buddy who was the paper’s car reporter had a new loaner he would test-drive until it was time to trade it in for the next one. Then he’d kiss his car of the week goodbye and send it off with a glowing review in the Sunday paper. “The mores,” the longtime CBS newsman says dryly, “were a little different in those days.”

Henneberger surmises, “as the media have become more educated and elite, journalists have lost something.”

“The quotes were better” before we lost so much access, Schieffer adds. Even with technological advances and 24/7 deadlines, he’s convinced that “we got the news out a lot faster” without all the layers of lawyers and image-makers in between them and the facts.

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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MacNeil Lehrer Reunited on MSNBC

MacNeilLehrerMSNBCDuring coverage of the wreath-laying at the gravesite of Pres. John F. Kennedy today, MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell reunited two well-known tvnewsers who sat side-by-side for 20 years delivering an hour-long evening newscast on PBS.

Both Robert MacNeil and Jim Lehrer were in Dallas on the day the president was shot.

MacNeil was reporting for NBC News. He explained to Mitchell the moments leading up to the shooting as he was on a bus following the motorcade. “I’ve got an NBC Radio News on the hour piece to do soon and then there was a bang. We all said, ‘what was that? was that a shot?’ Then there were two bangs closer together. I said, ‘those are shots, stop the bus.” MacNeil says he got out and “ran up the grassy knoll, as it came to be known,” where a police officer told him the president had been taken to Parkland Hospital. There, he found phone, “and was on NBC for the rest of the afternoon.”

Lehrer, a reporter for “The Dallas Times Herald,” went to the Dallas Police Department where Lee Harvey Oswald had been taken. “The place was chaos. Part of the chaos were people like me, reporters hanging out. And here comes two cops with Oswald taking him from one office to the other. I said, ‘did you kill the president?’ He said, ‘I didn’t kill anybody.’”

“I had sense enough to write that down, but I didn’t have sense enough to keep the notebook,” Lehrer added.

MacNeil and Lehrer also taped an interview with their Nov. 22, 1963 recollections for their old show, “Newshour.” That will air tomorrow night.

Jim Lehrer Recalls JFK Assassination: ‘I Went Right to Oswald. Did You Kill the President?’

JFKCBSThe Daily Beast talks to a handful of reporters, including Jim Lehrer and Bob Schieffer, about their memories from the day JFK was assassinated. Lehrer, a reporter for the Dallas Times-Herald at the time, recalls interacting with the President’s assassin at the police station — and the mistake he almost made covering the story:

Jim Lehrer’s story on the security surrounding the president’s visit had featured a map of the motorcade route and had run on the first page of the Dallas Times-Herald that morning. A copy was later found among Oswald’s effects. Lehrer, then a young reporter, recalled now the informality in the police station, where they were moving Oswald from one office to another, “and I went right to Oswald. ‘Did you kill the president?’ ‘I didn’t kill anybody,’” he replied. “I wrote that down,” Lehrer said. Asked if he believed him, Lehrer said, “Not my job to be judge and jury.”

The police brought Oswald out “so people could see they weren’t beating him up. He had some scars from when they arrested him. They wanted to show there were no new scars,” Lehrer recounted. “I stood next to Jack Ruby. I didn’t even know who he was.” The Dallas Times-Herald was putting out new editions every 60 or 70 minutes, and Lehrer got a tip from an FBI agent that a Secret Service agent had been killed along with Kennedy. He called it in, but the tip turned out to be wrong, a mistake that bothers Lehrer to this day. “In today’s world, that would have gone out like that,” he says. A Rewrite man on his own spiked the story after talking to Parkland. “I saved your ass and your job,” he told Lehrer.

Andrea Mitchell to Receive National Press Club’s Fourth Estate Award

andrea mitchellNBC News chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell will receive the 2013 Fourth Estate Award, the National Press Club’s prize for a journalist “who has made significant contributions to the field through a lifetime of excellence,” tonight in Washington, D.C.

Mitchell recently celebrated her 35th anniversary with NBC News. In a statement, she said receiving the award is “an incredible honor, made even more meaningful because this award began with the late Walter Cronkite and has subsequently been conferred upon my friend and colleague Tom Brokaw. I am humbled to have been selected to join such giants of our profession.”

In addition to Cronkite and Brokaw, previous winners include Bob Woodward, Jim Lehrer, Christiane Amanpour and David Broder.

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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‘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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