A group of some 80 pubcasters will gather Friday night in San Francisco to celebrate the return of KQED Newsroom, that title of a groundbreaking early public TV series that has been revamped as a multiplatform production.
Many attendees worked on past versions of the program, which debuted during a 1968 newspaper strike.
KQED Newsroom was the first nightly news series to be produced and broadcast by a public television station. It preceded The Robert MacNeil Report, a national news show that debuted in 1975 and was later renamed The MacNeil/Lehrer Report. KQED Newsroom aired for nine years, backed by a $750,000 Ford Foundation grant.
The new TV series premieres Oct. 18 and a radio version, produced with audio from the TV show, bows Oct. 20.
KQED publicist Evren Odcikin credited former KQED news chief Joe Russin for the idea to bring alums together to watch the new program. “He was really excited and surprised by the interest,” Odcikin said.
Russin asked KQED President John Boland to extend an invitation to the production staff behind the new show, and the staff decided to combine their premiere party with the alum reunion.
The event kicks off at 5:30 p.m. Pacific Time in a studio around the corner from the original KQED building. Confirmed attendees include Phil Bronstein, executive chair of the Center for Investigative Reporting at Berkeley, who began his career at the station in the 1970s; anchor and journalist Marcia Brandwynne, who went on to report for Dateline NBC; Cindy Samuels, broadcast executive at CBS, NBC and NPR; Dick Moore, past KQED president; Lou DeCosta, former KQED news director; Steve Talbot, a KQED and PBS producer, most recently with Sound Tracks: Music Without Borders; and Alan Foster, former PBS and APT executive and current owner of Executive Program Services.