PBS NewsHour Expands With ‘PBS NewsHour Weekend’

BY Meredith P. Garretson  June 17, 2013 at 9:35 AM EST

PBS NewsHour correspondent Hari Sreenivasan will become the new anchor for “PBS NewsHour Weekend” which launches on Sept. 7. Photo by NewsHour

Starting Sept. 7, the PBS NewsHour is expanding its family, adding a “PBS NewsHour Weekend” newscast on Saturdays and Sundays. The 30-minute show will be anchored by veteran NewsHour correspondent and director of digital partnerships, Hari Sreenivasan. The program will be produced by New York PBS member station WNET and broadcast out of the Tisch WNET studios. The show will be carried by most local PBS affiliates.

“We are so fortunate to be a part of the next chapter of the NewsHour, bringing this trusted brand to audiences on air and online on the weekends,” said WNET President and CEO Neal Shapiro in a press release.

“PBS NewsHour Weekend” will continue NewsHour’s tradition of delivering in-depth analysis of the day’s national and international news. It will also feature original field reporting and allow local PBS member stations the opportunity to include local news at the end of the broadcast.

To Sreenivasan, the move to weekends is a natural next step. “It’s an evolution in NewsHour’s commitment to being a reliable, trusted news source that’s available anywhere, anytime, weekdays, weekends and online,” he said. Besides the shorter format, solo anchor and different skyline, Sreenivasan also hopes to bring a few more changes to the anchor desk.

“I’d like to infuse the public in the content creation and content distribution using different tools to see how we can best engage with smart audiences,” he said. Sreenivasan and WNET’s team plan to use social media, Google Hangouts, live chats and other platforms to connect with audiences and also to connect viewers with the program’s guests.

Sreenivasan will continue to produce reports for the weekday NewsHour broadcast, allowing for a seamless convergence of the two programs. Through the expansion of the NewsHour’s extended online coverage seven days a week, Sreenivasan hopes to increase the program’s range of sources to help produce and distribute content, widening NewsHour’s audience.