Amna Nawaz, Geoff Bennett to co-anchor ‘NewsHour’

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Bennett and Nawaz

Amna Nawaz and Geoff Bennett will be the next co-anchors for public television’s flagship public affairs program, PBS NewsHour, according to an announcement Wednesday.

Nawaz and Bennett are succeeding Judy Woodruff. Woodruff announced in May that she would step down from the position. She is now gearing up to lead a new reporting project in 2023 and 2024. Nawaz and Bennett will debut as hosts Jan. 2.

With Nawaz and Bennett as co-anchors, NewsHour will return to a familiar format. Before becoming sole anchor in 2018, Woodruff co-anchored the program with Gwen Ifill, who died in 2016. NewsHour also had a storied run with Robert MacNeil and Jim Lehrer as co-anchors from the 1970s into the ’90s.

“Amna and Geoff bring to their new positions three essential qualities for the role – accomplished careers in substantive reporting, dedication to the purpose of journalism to illuminate and inform, and a deep respect for our audiences and the mission of public media,” said Sharon Rockefeller, CEO for WETA in Washington, D.C., and president of NewsHour Productions, in a news release.

After working for ABC News, Nawaz joined the program in 2018 as a correspondent. She was later promoted to senior national correspondent. Last year, she became chief correspondent and continued her role as primary substitute anchor for Woodruff.

Bennett previously worked for NBC News and MSNBC. He was named chief Washington correspondent and host of PBS NewsHour Weekend last year when production of the weekend program moved from the WNET Group in New York to WETA. Bennett’s hire continued the consolidation of public TV’s national public affairs programs under NewsHour Productions, which had also taken over Washington Week.

“This is an exciting new chapter in the nearly 50-year history of this esteemed news brand,” said Sara Just, EP for NewsHour, in the news release. “But while Amna and Geoff are a new generation of journalists, they share the same unwavering commitment to fair, careful and deep reporting for which this program has always been known. I look forward to seeing them shine and connect with our loyal audiences in these new roles.”

In the announcement, Bennett said he’s “honored and excited to partner with Amna” for NewsHour, while Nawaz said she’s “grateful, humbled, and excited for what’s ahead.”

A new NewsHour Weekend host will be named in the coming weeks, according to WETA. Nawaz and Bennett will retain their roles as contributors to NBC News and MSNBC.

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