WNET renews Need to Know through June 2013

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WNET has renewed its national weekly newmag, Need to Know, through June 2013. Marc Rosenwasser, series executive producer, said in a statement that he thinks the formerly hourlong program “has really hit its stride,” adding that its current single-story, 30-minute format “gives us an opportunity to go very deeply into important topics that don’t get as much time as they deserve on many commercial news magazines.”

Original Need to Know reporting includes stories on Christian persecution in Iraq, the aftermath of the revolution in Egypt, renewable energy in Germany and war crime tribunals in Cambodia. Partnering with the Investigative Fund of the Nation Institute, the program produced two half hours documenting widespread abuses in the Border Patrol, leading to Congressional calls for action and a federal grand jury investigation.

Need to Know, with Jeff Greenfield, Maria Hinojosa, Scott Simon, and Ray Suarez, is part of PBS’s news and public affairs programming and runs during Friday primetime, with repeats over the weekend in some markets.

The show replaced Bill Moyers Journal in 2010, and last year its future appeared uncertain. It dropped original co-anchor Jon Meacham in April 2011, and remaining co-anchor Alison Stewart was gone in September 2011, when the show went from an hour to a half-hour format. The four current anchors were announced as temporary that month, when Rosenwasser took the helm from former Executive Producer Shelley Lewis.