Changes in store for ‘NewsHour’

Show moves to two anchors, changes name

“The NewsHour With Jim Lehrer” is making some big changes effective September.

The show will change its name to “PBS NewsHour” and move from a single-anchor format to one with two anchors. It will also add an online correspondent.

Lehrer will remain the executive editor and primary anchor, joined by Gwen Ifill, Judy Woodruff or Jeffrey Brown, with senior correspondents Ray Suarez and Margaret Warner concentrating on out-of-studio reporting.

The show also will merge its on-air and online operations, but the plan is not to cut any staffers, according to spokesman Rob Flynn. “We anticipate that we won’t be laying off anyone,” he said.

Does this mean Lehrer is stepping back? No, Flynn said. “It suggests that we feel the program needs some changes to make the online and broadcast programs work more in synch, but to also provide a little bit more warmth and humanity and a different type of pacing to the broadcast.”

(John Eggerton writes for Daily Variety sister publication Broadcasting & Cable.)