PBS Special on Health Care Reform

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– Ninety-minute Report Airing September 24 Features Unprecedented Collaboration of NOW ON PBS, TAVIS SMILEY and NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT –


Arlington, Virginia, September 8, 2009 – With President Obama scheduled to give a major address on healthcare to a joint session of Congress this Wednesday, the hallmark PBS programs NOW ON PBS, TAVIS SMILEY and NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT are collaborating to provide a timely and much-needed in-depth look at health care reform in America and the latest government proposals to address the issue. The 90-minute special, called PBS SPECIAL REPORT ON HEALTH CARE REFORM, will air Thursday, September 24, 2009, 9:00-10:30 p.m. ET on PBS.

Information and a special video preview of the show can be found at www.pbs.org/now/healthcarespecial.

The program will include late-breaking news and analysis on the health care debate and also feature cultural, political and economic insight from each program:

NOW ON PBS will examine how reform may change the way we live, especially for boomers who have their own coverage, but are also responsible for aging parents and grown children.

“While the health care debate has been keeping pundits busy, little attention has been devoted to in-depth analysis of the health care reforms and their specific impact on Americans and the American lifestyle,” said Jon Siceloff, executive producer of NOW ON PBS. “Such a contentious and vital issue deserves the combined attention of several hallmark PBS programs, working together to provide unparalleled information and insight.”

NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT will investigate the costs and controversies of employer-provided health care and new coverage requirements many companies are adopting as a means of controlling health care.

NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT anchor Susie Gharib said, “Most Americans rely on their employers to pay a large part of their health care expenses. The worry now is whether health care reform will change that. This is a serious financial and emotional issue for everyone.”

TAVIS SMILEY will focus on the childhood obesity epidemic, particularly within communities of color. Smiley will examine the causes and effects of childhood obesity and explore ways to address this health care crisis.

“I will be talking to experts to find out what is causing this epidemic and what steps parents, kids and communities can take to get our young people healthy,” says host Tavis Smiley.

Called “fearless about challenging conventional wisdom” by Tom Brokaw and “one of the last bastions of serious journalism on TV” by the Austin American-Statesman, the Emmy-winning PBS weekly newsmagazine NOW ON PBS probes the most important issues facing democracy. NOW is a production of JumpStart Productions, LLC, in association with Thirteen/WNET New York. The show also can be accessed through On-Demand television, audio and video podcasting, and streaming video on the NOW Web site at www.nowonpbs.org.

TAVIS SMILEY is a unique hybrid of news, issues and entertainment, featuring interviews with politicians, entertainers, athletes, authors and other newsmakers. Tavis Smiley was recently named to TIME’s list of 100 “Most Influential People in the World.” TAVIS SMILEY is produced by The Smiley Group, Inc./TS Media, Inc., in association with KCET Los Angeles. Major funding is provided by Wal-Mart and Nationwide Insurance. Additional support comes from PBS. The 30-minute program airs weeknights on PBS. To get local listings and to watch past episodes, please visit www.pbs.org/tavis.

For three decades, the Emmy award-winning NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT has provided business news in a fast-paced format. Timely investment information helps viewers manage their money and stay ahead of the news that affects their portfolios. NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT premiered as a Miami regional program on January 22, 1979, with national distribution beginning in 1981. Nationally underwritten by Franklin Templeton Investments with additional funding by ExxonMobil, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT is distributed by PBS live to public television stations at 6:30 p.m. ET (check local listings) every weeknight. Learn more at www.pbs.org/nbr.

About PBS
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– PBS –


Carrie Johnson, PBS, 703-739-5129; cjohnson@pbs.org
Joel B. Schwartzberg, NOW on PBS, 212-560-2858; schwartzbergj@thirteen.org

For images and additional up-to-date information on this and other PBS programs, visit PBS PressRoom at www.pbs.org/pressroom.