About / Biographies

Bob Abernethy

Executive Editor and Host

Veteran television news correspondent Bob Abernethy is the executive editor and host of RELIGION & ETHICS NEWSWEEKLY, which he developed and created for PBS in 1997 and is now marking its 10th season on the air. The half-hour newsmagazine has been widely praised by critics and won numerous awards for its thoughtful and insightful coverage of all religions, all denominations and all expressions of spirituality in American life, as well as for balanced presentation of the profound moral issues facing the nation.

Abernethy’s original proposal for the program grew out of his longtime interest in religion and in response to widespread criticism of American television’s lack of attention to religion news. Currently, RELIGION & ETHICS NEWSWEEKLY airs on more than 250 public stations nationwide with a weekly audience of 570,000 viewers.

Abernethy is also the co-editor, with William Bole, of “The Life of Meaning,” published in 2007 by Seven Stories Press in New York. It is a collection of edited excerpts from some of the many insightful and eloquent observations made by those interviewed for RELIGION & ETHICS NEWSWEEKLY.

Before launching RELIGION & ETHICS NEWSWEEKLY, Abernethy served as a correspondent for NBC News for more than four decades, reporting from Washington, Los Angeles, London and Moscow – between 1989 and 1994 – where he covered the end of the Cold War, the collapse of communism and the Soviet Union, and the struggle to create a new political and economic system. In 1984, he took a one-year leave from NBC to study theology and social ethics at the Yale Divinity School.

Abernethy is an alumnus of Princeton University where he received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. Abernethy has also received the 2003 “Distinction in Ministry Award” from the Alumni Association of Yale Divinity School and honorary doctorates from Knox College in Illinois, San Diego University and Westminster College in New Wilmington, Pennsylvania.

Abernethy is married to the former Marie Cheremeteff Grove and has two daughters, one stepdaughter and three stepsons. He lives in Washington, D.C. and Jaffrey, New Hampshire, and is a member of the United Church of Christ.