NewsHour promotes Ifill and Woodruff to helm show, as TV’s first female co-anchor team

The PBS NewsHour  is reassigning its senior journalists to new roles by tapping Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff as co-anchors and managing editors of the weeknightly broadcasts. The change, announced today during the Television Critics Association Press Tour in Los Angeles, drops the system of rotating anchor duties among six different NewsHour journalists. It takes effect next month. Jim Lehrer, longtime anchor and co-owner of the show through MacNeil/Lehrer Productions, retains the title of executive editor, but Ifill and Woodruff will lead editorial and strategic planning of PBS's flagship news show. “Gwen and Judy have been the heart and soul of NewsHour for years," said Linda Winslow, executive producer, "so it’s wonderful to formalize these new roles and give them an opportunity to provide even more input on the content and direction of the show." Continue Reading

PBS NewsHour website redesign to integrate upcoming weekend program

In addition to launching a weekend edition of the PBS NewsHour, New York’s WNET has secured a contract to create an integrated website for the flagship series and its new sibling. The WNET Interactive Engagement Group (IEG), a subsidiary that specializes in developing customized WordPress platforms, will complete the web development project by December, but aims to make some enhancements before the Sept. 7 launch of PBS NewsHour Weekend. That new Saturday and Sunday evening news show will originate from the New York City pubcaster, while the weekday NewsHour maintains its longtime home at WETA in Arlington, Va. The redesign will be the first major back-end overhaul in 10 years for the NewsHour’s website, which is built on a homegrown content management system (CMS), according to Vanessa Dennis, online art director. Continue Reading

Hari Sreenivasan will host  PBS NewsHour Weekend .

PBS expands NewsHour and Charlie Rose

PBS is reconfiguring its lineup of weekend news programs, backing an expansion of the NewsHour and giving late-night interviewer Charlie Rose a new slot in its Friday-night public affairs block. Continue Reading

NewsHour closing two offices, dropping 10 positions, according to internal memo

PBS NewsHour is shutting offices in Denver and San Francisco and eliminating several positions at its headquarters in Washington, D.C., Executive Producer Linda Winslow and Bo Jones, president of MacNeil/Lehrer Productions, told staff in a memo Monday. In all, 10 workers are affected, in addition to several jobs that will remain unfilled, NewsHour spokesperson Anne Bell told Current. The program is also planning future changes in technical production processes, in cooperation with co-producer WETA, "in order to streamline and further digitize operations," the memo said. NewsHour's fiscal year begins July 1, and all changes will roll out over the next six months, Bell said. "We believe the staff restructuring and production changes, along with continuing web investment, will make us stronger and enable us to be more effective and nimble," the memo said. Continue Reading

PBS NewsHour report yields unexpected results

A PBS NewsHour report on population growth and food scarcity in the Philippines prompted an increase in donations to the PATH Foundation Philippines Inc., an organization with a pilot program promoting family planning in rural areas of the Southeast Asian country. The report explored the foundation’s community-based approach of making contraceptives accessible to villagers who want to limit the size of their families. The story, which aired in January 2012, was produced as part of the public media collaborative project Food for 9 Billion, and has also been used by educators to set up discussions of the links between population and the environment. During a Jan. 28 panel discussion on environmental reporting hosted by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C., Sam Eaton of Homelands Productions described the impact of his reporting for Food for 9 Billion. Continue Reading

Ifill made “big mistake” in defending fired journalist, says PBS’s ombud

In his latest column, PBS Ombudsman Michael Getler considers a recent flap involving PBS NewsHour correspondent Gwen Ifill, who on Wednesday tweeted in support of fired journalist David Chalian. Chalian, the Washington bureau chief for Yahoo News, was fired after he said that Mitt Romney was “happy to have a party with black people drowning,” referring to the Republican National Convention starting as Hurricane Isaac approached New Orleans. Chalian was unaware that his microphone was on, and the comment was broadcast. Before joining Yahoo, Chalian had worked as the NewsHour’s political editor. “I can understand Ifill’s wanting to go to bat for a friend and colleague,” Getler wrote, “but my personal view is that this was a big mistake on her part, feeding, unnecessarily, a conviction among many critics and reflecting poorly on PBS. Continue Reading

Alvarado joins CIR, Knight fellows announced, NewsHour hires new managing editor, and more…

Alvarado, a former APM and CPB exec, is joining the Center for Investigative Reporting
The nonprofit news organization announced on May 2 that Alvarado will serve as chief strategy officer and work to expand membership, engage diverse audiences and increase revenue for the San Francisco–based center, the nation’s oldest nonprofit investigative reporting organization. Alvarado also will take a leadership role in the center’s upcoming Knight Foundation–funded YouTube investigative channel. Alvarado departed in March from American Public Media, where he served as senior v.p. for digital innovation for two years. In 2009, he led efforts to bring more diversity and digital innovation to public media as a CPB senior v.p.

“When I joined the board of CIR last year,” Alvarado said in a statement, “I said that CIR exemplifies a truly networked newsroom with some of the most talented reporters and producers working today. It’s still true — and even more so with the merger with the Bay Citizen,” the local nonprofit online news hub. Continue Reading