The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer will re-launch as the PBS NewsHour on December 7th

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On Monday, December 7, 2009, The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer will re-launch as the PBS NewsHour, signaling its pivotal role among the news and public affairs content provided on public media.

In addition to a new name, new logo and new broadcast and online graphics, The PBS NewsHour will feature many other changes, all of which have been guided by extensive audience and station research and are designed to create a stronger relevance to, and attunement with, our broadcast and digital audiences, wherever, whenever and however they access our news content.

But, in the words of Jim Lehrer, "What will not change is our commitment to serious journalism - MacNeil Lehrer journalism - the kind of work we've been doing for 35 years. This is needed now more than ever."

The new format places a strong emphasis on the entire NewsHour team of seasoned and highly regarded journalists. The program will have a two-anchor format, featuring Jim Lehrer accompanied by a rotation of NewsHour senior correspondents Gwen Ifill, Judy Woodruff and Jeffrey Brown. Additionally, the NewsHour will send more senior correspondents "outside the studio" to deliver compelling original reporting and newsmaker interviews from the field, such as Margaret Warner's recent series from Afghanistan and Russia, Ray Suarez's global health reports from South Africa and Mexico, and Paul Solman's ongoing domestic coverage of the U.S. economic collapse.

Perhaps the most "transformational" element of the planned change is the merger of the broadcast and digital divisions of the program into a seamless entity. The PBS NewsHour and the Online PBS NewsHour staffs will become one. To fully embody this merger to our audience, a new correspondent, Hari Sreenivasan of CBS News, will join the NewsHour, primary focused on delivering news to the digital world. Sreenivasan will also anchor the news summary on the nightly television broadcasts. However, his day will begin online. Throughout the day, he will record (on a newsroom camera) four-to-five minute news summaries, to be posted online at regular intervals. Sreenivasan will also conduct interviews and produce reporting for the digital services.

This merger of TV and online is the keystone to making PBS NewsHour content available whenever and wherever our audience chooses to look for it, and in enabling the PBS NewsHour - and public media - to produce the "right content" for the "right platform." To further enhance this organization, The PBS NewsHour will actively collaborate and seek partnerships in the creation, presentation and distribution of content, all with the goal of extending the impact and availability of the reporting and analysis for which the program has earned its reputation.

The new PBS NewsHour will continue its strong relationship with local public television station partners. Our goal is to work closely with stations to maintain and increase television viewership, appeal to growing and diverse digital audiences, drive station membership and help position local public media as the trusted community resource for intelligent and compelling local, national and international news and public affairs coverage.