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PBS NewsHour is an hour-long nightly television news program known for its sober, in-depth reporting.
The program is produced by MacNeil/Lehrer Productions in the studios of WETA in Arlington, Va. PBS distributes the program on more than 300 member stations nationwide. It ran on a $27 million annual budget as of 2011.
The NewsHour was created in 1975 as The Robert MacNeil Report and later became The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour to include the program’s co-host, Jim Lehrer. In 1995, after MacNeil retired, the program was renamed to The NewsHour With Jim Lehrer. In late 2009, the program underwent an overhaul and renamed itself again, to PBS NewsHour.
The 2009 changes included a merger of the show’s television and online staff and a revamped website with more blogs and social media involvement. An anchor rotation was added to the nightly broadcasts, removing Lehrer as the sole anchor. Former CBS and ABC News reporter Hari Sreenivasan was hired as the program’s first “online and on-air correspondent.” The program also formed an international reporting partnership with the online startup GlobalPost. In announcing the changes, Lehrer reiterated the show’s guiding principles, saying they would remain unchanged.
The NewsHour was reported in 2013 to be considering producing a weekend edition for the first time. The edition would be based in New York rather than Arlington and would be funded by the New York public television station WNET.
The program launched a free iPhone app in 2010, which includes news articles, video, and headlines from other public media outlets. NewsHour content is also available in PBS’ iPhone and iPad apps.
The NewsHour is funded primarily by corporate underwriters, which are clearly identified on its website, as well as the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and membership dues from local PBS stations. The program has faced a severe funding shortfall in recent years, precipitated by the loss of a major corporate sponsor. As of 2013, it had just one corporate underwriter, BNSF Railway.
The NewsHour has crowdsourced the translation of its political videos into more than 50 languages through its viewers.
Lehrer announced he would retire from anchoring in June 2011, having hosted some 8,000 broadcasts and moderated 11 presidential debates over 36 years. His was the longest run of an national news anchor.
AnnArbor.com is a local news website covering Ann Arbor, Mich., the operation of the former Ann Arbor News. The News, a daily newspaper, was closed by the Newhouse family’s Advance Publications newspaper chain in July 2009. It was reborn the next day as AnnArbor.com with a staff of 35 journalists. The company also issues a print edition…