Lehrer joined forces with Robert MacNeil in 1973 to anchor public television's
unprecedented, gavel-to-gavel coverage of the Senate Watergate hearings. The team
earned an Emmy Award and initiated one of the most enduring and respected journalistic
partnerships in television history.
In 1975 The Robert MacNeil Report, a
weeknightly half-hour news program that provided in-depth coverage of a different
single issue each evening, debuted locally on Thirteen/WNET in New York, with
Jim Lehrer as Washington correspondent. Just a few months later, the successful
program was re-titled The MacNeil/Lehrer Report and was distributed nationally
by PBS. For the next seven years, the program set a standard for TV journalism
and garnered more than 30 major awards for its co-anchors.
partners took an extraordinary television risk in 1983 by transforming The MacNeil/Lehrer
Report into The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour. The program became the nation's first
and only hour-long nightly broadcast of national news, proving there existed both
a need and a substantial audience for serious, long-form journalism. Broadcasting
simultaneously from New York and Washington, The NewsHour expressed the MacNeil/Lehrer
signature style -- low-key, evenhanded, inclusive of all perspectives -- and inspired
participation by thousands of the world's pivotal newsmakers, as well as a growing
roster of top-flight correspondents and analysts. The NewsHour received numerous
Emmy and Peabody awards, along with virtually every other significant award for
quality television and outstanding journalism. With Robert MacNeil's departure
in 1995, the award-winning program debuted in its newest form as The NewsHour
With Jim Lehrer. Under Lehrer's direction, The NewsHour extended its reach in
1996 by launching a site on the World Wide Web and, in 1997, by opening a West
Coast studio at KQED/San Francisco.
The PBS NewsHour is fed live by satellite from 6 to 7
p.m. (ET) each weeknight, with repeat feeds updated when news warrants, from 7
to 8 p.m. and 9 to 10 p.m. (ET). PBS, which distributes The NewsHour, recommends
a 7 to 8 p.m. schedule, but public television stations decide independently on
The NewsHour's time slot in their markets. Many stations repeat the program late
at night or early in the morning.
The NewsHour is produced
by MacNeil/Lehrer Productions and WETA Washington, D.C. in association with Thirteen/WNET
New York. The NewsHour originates from Washington, D.C. has a West Coast studio
at KQED-San Francisco and maintains a video production facility in Denver.
The NewsHour is broadcast by more than 300 PBS stations, reaching 98 percent of
the nation's television households, according to A.C. Nielsen. The program is
also carried daily in Japan by NHK Broadcasting, via the Direct Broadcast Satellite
System (Channel One); in Asia, Europe, Latin America and Africa, via the U.S.
Information Agency's WorldNet Satellite; and in 23 countries in the Middle East
and North Africa.
The NewsHour grew
out of the half-hour MacNeil/Lehrer Report, which, from 1975-1983, garnered critical
praise and numerous awards for in-depth coverage of a different single issue in
each broadcast. The program was transformed into The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour in
1983. It made history as the first hour-long broadcast of national nightly news
and was recognized with Emmys, Peabodys, and other honors. In October 1995, the
program began its newest incarnation as The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer.
NewsHour's website has won high marks for
original reporting, interactive forums and substantive news coverage on the Internet.
The site now averages more than 1 million unique visitors a week. In addition,
the PBS NewsHour website features Extra, an interactive current events site for students
and teachers that includes more than 150 lesson plans for bringing current events
into the classroom.
The NewsHour is close-captioned for the
hearing-impaired. In many markets, public radio stations simultaneously broadcast
the audio portion of The NewsHour on AM and FM radio on NPR affiliates, as well as TuneIn.com. The NEWSHOUR airs virtually coast to coast in Australia, Britain, Canada and Japan, on Voice of America worldwide, via Armed Forces TV to military and State Department personnel, and via satellite and cable, to markets in Asia, Europe, and Latin America. The program is disseminated via WRN satellite radio in London, the United Kingdom, Africa and Western Europe.