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Posts Tagged ‘Margaret Warner’

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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PBS’ Election Night Plans

Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff will anchor PBS’ election coverage on Tuesday night from 8pm-midnight. The pair will be joined by “NewsHour” analysts Mark Shields and David Brooks, and Jeffrey Brown will talk about national trends with political editor Christina Bellantoni and Stuart Rothenberg. Hari Sreeivasan will man the “NewsHour” digital map center.

Senior correspondents Ray Suarez and Margaret Warner will report from the candidates’ respective campaign headquarters in Chicago and Boston. “NewsHour” will also feature comprehensive election coverage on its website, which will transition to a special election day homepage with a live blog dedicated to campaign news.

More details after the jump. Read more

The Ticker: Abdullah, Zahn, Rocca

  • King Abdullah II of Jordan sits down with “PBS Newshour” Senior Correspondent Margaret Warner for an interview that will air tonight. The interview is expected to focus on the peace process in the Middle East and the situation in Syria.
  • Investigation Discovery’s “On the Case with Paula Zahn” had a series high Sunday night. With 985K Total Viewers, the show was #11 in the W25-54 demo for all cable shows last week.
  • “In television now, where things change so quickly for the most inconsequential reasons, there’s a lot to be said for stability.” — CBS Sunday Morning correspondent Mo Rocca tells Capital New York.

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

PBS Sets ‘NewsHour’ Election Plans

PBS “NewsHour” has announced its coverage plans for the 2010 midterm elections. Jim Lehrer will anchor a special election night broadcast from 11 PM to midnight, with Judy Woodruff, Gwen Ifill and David Chalian joining analysts Mark Shields, David Brooks and Stuart Rothenberg.

Correspondents in the studio and field will include Hari Sreenivasan, Jeff Brown, Margaret Warner, Ray Suarez, Spencer Micheals and Kwame Holman.

Because PBS does not have the time that the cable news channels have to dedicate to election coverage, “NewsHour” will also have a one-hour webcast preceding the broadcast, which Lehrer will also anchor.

More information in the press release after the jump.

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VP Biden Makes the Morning Rounds

Following President Obama’s primetime address last evening, Vice President Biden hit the broadcast network morning shows earlier today from Iraq. Later in the morning, Biden announced the official transition from Operation Iraqi Freedom to Operation New Dawn in a change-of-command ceremony.

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Biden also did a sit-down with Margaret Warner for this evening’s “PBS NewsHour.”

The Ticker (Sunday Edition): Clinton, Clinton, Brzezinski…

> Former Pres. Bill Clinton will be on “Larry King Live” tomorrow night to talk about the news of the day [like, would he have ever done five Sunday show interviews in one weekend?] and his Clinton Global Initiative.

> Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will be on PBS tomorrow to discuss the UN and the administration’s agenda ahead of this week’s meeting of the General Assembly. Margaret Warner interviews Secy. Clinton tomorrow night on The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer.

> MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski is featured in MORE magazine about how she “went from being fired and frustrated at 39 to having a TV show, a radio show, a book and a happy family at 42.” Related: Mediabistro’s How To Pitch: MORE.

The Ticker: Beck, Pauley, Williams…

> Glenn Beck is profiled in the Denver Post ahead of his road show which kicks off Monday in Denver to a sold-out crowd. “The people in the mountain west get it, generally,” he tells the Post. “They’re going to be the ones that step to the plate and slap America across the face and say, ‘Sit down and shut up.’”

> Jane Pauley is a big fan of PBS’ The Newshour. Calling it “one of the few programs left that offers intelligent, patient, comprehensive, and reliable journalism, Pauley praises the reporting of Margaret Warner. “She’s extremely smart and always prepared,” says Pauley in an interview in The Daily Beast.

> NBC’s Brian Williams spent the day in Washington, DC today with Pres. Obama (the picture below shows the two on their way to Five Guys to get a burger). Part of the interview, gathered for the NBC News special “Inside the Obama White House,” will air tonight on Nightly News.

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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.”

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