Category Archives: News


Leading Media Executive Bo Jones to join MacNeil/Lehrer Productions as President and CEO

Long-time Washington Post Executive will head company that produces the PBS Newshour effective January 2012

(October 27, 2011 – Arlington, VA) MacNeil/Lehrer Productions, producers of the PBS NEWSHOUR, is pleased to announce the appointment of long-time Washington Post executive, Boisfeuillet (Bo) Jones Jr., as new President & CEO. He will join MacNeil/Lehrer Productions at the first of the year.

It is a happy day for us in public broadcasting,” said Robert MacNeil. “We welcome a man of such rich experience in journalism management to help us keep MacNeil/Lehrer Productions and the NEWSHOUR vital into the future.”

Mr. Jones has served 32 years with The Washington Post as Vice President & Counsel, President & General Manager, then Publisher & CEO from 2000 to 2008. At present he is Vice Chairman of the Washington Post Company and Chairman of The Washington Post newspaper.

As President of MacNeil/Lehrer Productions, Jones will head corporate and foundation funding for the NEWSHOUR, coordinate relationships with all public television broadcast and distribution entities, as well as develop documentary programs and projects.

“Like millions of others, I am a huge fan of the NEWSHOUR,” said Mr. Jones. “I heartily look forward to helping MacNeil/Lehrer Productions sustain and expand its excellent and very special programming.”

MacNeil/Lehrer Productions (MLP), a partnership of Jim Lehrer and Robert MacNeil, with Liberty Media Inc., is best known as the producer of the PBS NEWSHOUR, the nation’s most respected evening news program.

MacNeil and Lehrer came together when they anchored public television’s non-stop coverage of the Senate Watergate Hearings in 1973. That programming won their first Emmy and gave them an identity as a news team that continued with the nightly MacNeil-Lehrer Report and the MacNeil-Lehrer NewsHour, America’s first hour-long national news program. MacNeil/Lehrer Productions was founded in 1981.

Jim Lehrer said: “Bo Jones is the ideal person to take us where we must go. He has a unique combination of journalistic integrity and business acumen, plus he understands Americans’ increasing demand for serious journalism about the issues and events that matter.”

A native of Atlanta, Bo Jones is a graduate of Harvard College, where he was President of the Harvard Crimson newspaper. Later on a Rhodes Scholarship, he graduated from Oxford University, then from Harvard Law School, where he was an editor of the Harvard Law Review. He was an attorney with Hill and Barlow in Boston from 1975 to 1980, and was law clerk for the Honorable Levin H. Campbell, a judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, from 1974-1975.

Mr. Jones is a trustee of the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region and a former director of the Associated Press and the Newspaper Association of America.

Linda Winslow, the PBS NEWSHOUR’s Executive Producer, said: “Bo Jones’ background and experience make him the ideal choice to be the new head of MLP. With his help the company, and by extension the PBS NEWSHOUR, will continue as an iconic news organization.”

Today’s announcement is the latest in a series of changes designed to keep MacNeil/Lehrer Productions and the PBS NEWSHOUR competitive in an evolving multi-media landscape. That process began in December 2009 with the successful transition from The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer to the PBS NEWSHOUR. That move created a multi-anchor team that features Lehrer plus Senior Correspondents Gwen Ifill, Judy Woodruff, Jeffrey Brown, Ray Suarez and Margaret Warner and involved the complete integration of the NEWSHOUR’s on-air and online operations. In December 2011, Jim Lehrer will leave the anchor position, but will continue to oversee the program as Executive Editor.

In addition to the PBS NEWSHOUR, MLP has produced several documentaries and features. Recent examples include: Debating our Destiny, a critically acclaimed two-part series during which Jim Lehrer interviews former presidential and vice-presidential candidates about their debate triumphs and failures; Generation Next, Judy Woodruff’s travels across the country to explore the unique perspectives of Americans ages 16 – 25; the award-winning Do You Speak American?, Robert MacNeil’s cross country trek to discover why Americans speak the way we do; and a series of documentaries exploring the role of the modern first lady which includes: The First Lady: Public Expectations, Private Lives; Betty Ford: The Real Deal; LadyBird and Nancy Reagan: The Role of a Lifetime.  MLP is also the leading force behind By the People, a civic engagement project.

As MLP President, Mr. Jones will succeed Simon Marks, who has decided to return to reporting and production. Mr. Marks helped lead the NEWSHOUR through important changes, merging the television program with a greatly enhanced online presence.

MacNeil/Lehrer Productions produces the PBS NEWSHOUR, which airs weeknights on more than 315 local PBS stations, as well as other programs for public, commercial and cable television.  

PBS NEWSHOUR is seen by more than 5 million weekly viewers and is also available online, via public radio in select markets and via podcast. The program is produced in association with WETA Washington, DC, and in New York. Major corporate funding for the PBS NEWSHOUR is provided by Chevron and Intel, with additional support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and public television viewers.



Anne Bell
Macneil/Lehrer Productions
(703) 998-2175

Tom Goodman
Goodman Media
(212) 576-2700


Online news

Jim Lehrer Wins National Press Club’s Fourth Estate Award

The PBS NEWSHOUR is proud to announce that Jim Lehrer has been named this year’s recipient of the National Press Club’s prestigious Fourth Estate Award for career achievement. Citing Lehrer’s ability to remain “the true voice of reason, balance and fairness” “amid the cacophony of a sometimes shrill media landscape,” Club President Mark Hamrick said Lehrer was chosen for the award because he “has embodied the time-tested core values of journalism dating back to when many people had only black and white screens and continuing through today’s era of high definition television and social media.”

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PBS NEWSHOUR Receives Chairman’s Award at Emmys

The PBS NEWSHOUR received the prestigious Chairman’s Award at the 2010 News and Documentary Emmy Awards for its contributions to broadcast journalism on September 27, 2010.

Read Robert MacNeil’s reflection on the honor and why the values of the NEWSHOUR – impartiality, balance, and honesty – have remained unchanged in 35 years.

Nancy Reagan Reflects on Her Life in New Documentary

Nancy Reagan: The Role of a Lifetime airs on the centennial of Ronald Reagan’s birth

Sunday, February 6, 2011 on PBS — 10 pm EST (check local listings)

Friends, family, historians, members of Ronald Reagan’s inner circle, and Nancy Reagan herself, reflect on the life of one of the nation’s most iconic first ladies, in Nancy Reagan: The Role of a Lifetime, a one-hour biography timed to coincide with the centennial of Ronald Reagan’s birth. It airs Sunday, February 6, 2011 at 10 pm (EST) on PBS.

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PBS NEWSHOUR Launches New Web Page, PBS NewsHour Science

Features NewsHour Science Correspondent Miles O’Brien

PBS NEWSHOUR announces the launch of PBS NewsHour Science, a one-stop web destination for the latest news in science, engineering and technology. The site launched on November 16, 2010 and features reporting by NewsHour Science Correspondent Miles O’Brien, NewsHour Digital Correspondent Hari Sreenivasan, Reporter/Producer Jenny Marder and the PBS NewsHour’s award winning science reporting unit.
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PBS NEWSHOUR Launches Student Reporting Lab Website

The PBS NEWSHOUR  has launched Student Reporting Labs, a program connecting students with professional mentors at their local public broadcasting station to produce original news reports with youth perspective on important national issues.

The website,, includes a collaborative space where students interact with professional journalists as well as their peers from around the country who are working on the same topic.  The program also includes a news literacy and digital media curriculum designed to nurture students’ understanding of news, build a foundation of civic engagement and spark a life-long interest in current events. Developed by the Media Education Lab at Temple University, the curriculum features a total of 9-15 lesson plans that emphasize a process-based learning approach, a meaningful focus on understanding the role of journalism in society and broader communication skills, such as listening, asking questions, public speaking, as well as finding, analyzing and evaluating the quality of information. Continue reading

PBS NEWSHOUR Plans Extensive Multiplatform Election Coverage for Election Day

10 pm ET — Innovative Live Interactive Special Election Webcast Hosted by Jim Lehrer in Partnership with Ustream

11 pm ET — 1-hour Live Special Broadcast Hosted by Jim Lehrer Airs on PBS and Simulcast Online

When voters head to the polls to cast their ballots in the 2010 midterm elections, they may make history by voting for a big change in the federal government for the third consecutive election.  Majority control of the US Congress hangs in the balance. In addition to coverage on the PBS NEWSHOUR, Jim Lehrer will anchor a PBS special broadcast on election night, Tuesday, November 2, 2010, from 11pm – midnight. The PBS NEWESHOUR  Political Team – Judy Woodruff, Gwen Ifill and David Chalian will report the evening’s events from the NEWSHOUR  studio together with NEWSHOUR’s  regular political analysts, syndicated columnist Mark Shields, New York Times Columnist David Brooks, as well as Stuart Rothenberg, editor of the Rothenberg Political Report. Hari Sreenivasan will be in the newsroom reporting election results as they come in and NewsHour Correspondents will report from key locations around the country. Continue reading

PBS NEWSHOUR Now Available 24/7 on Any Phone via Audio Now™

Access the Broadcast From Any Phone by Dialing 712-432-6610

ARLINGTON, VA – The PBS NEWSHOUR announced today that its broadcast audio track will be available 24 hours a day, from any phone – mobile or land line – by dialing 712-432-6610.

The PBS NEWSHOUR  is the first broadcast television audio service to use this innovative approach to reaching any phone user. Each day, by dialing up the PBS NEWSHOUR on AudioNow, listeners will hear an audio stream of the daily one-hour PBS NEWSHOUR broadcast without downloads or accessing costly data services. This new distribution stream accelerates a primary goal of the PBS NEWSHOUR: providing its trusted brand of thoughtful, in-depth and balanced news reporting and analysis to its audience however and whenever they want it. Continue reading

Miles O’Brien to Lead PBS NEWSHOUR Science Reporting

Veteran Journalist Will Join the PBS NEWSHOUR as it Raises its Commitment to Broadcast and Online Coverage of Science and Technology

At a time when many news organizations are reducing or have altogether eliminated the coverage of science news, the PBS NEWSHOUR  will increase its commitment to science journalism both on air and online.

With the goal of enhancing the profile of its science, engineering and technology reporting – and increasing the science literacy of its audience – the PBS NEWSHOUR’s has named veteran journalist Miles O’Brien as its new science reporter. O’Brien will lead the NEWSHOUR Science News Unit to serve as a definitive, continuing source of reliable, up-to-the-minute coverage of this important and vibrant element in the lives of millions of Americans. Continue reading

PBS NEWSHOUR iPhone App features HD Quality Video, Customizable News Feeds

PBS NEWSHOUR  today announced the launch of the PBS NEWSHOUR  iPhone App, offering access to NewsHour video and expanded multimedia content on the go. Available free from the iPhone App store, the application features news updated throughout the day, HD-quality video, customizable news feeds and much more.

“The iPhone App is just the latest step in the NewsHour move to extend beyond the hour and offer our signature brand of journalism, MacNeil-Lehrer journalism, anywhere, anytime,”  said Jim Lehrer. “Although the technology may have changed, our commitment to in-depth reporting, balanced analysis and civil discourse is as strong as ever.” Continue reading