Charlayne Hunter-Gault to Leave NewsHour in June, 1997

JIM LEHRER, Editor’s Note, April 30, 1997: It’s with much regret that I report that Charlayne Hunter-Gault is leaving the NewsHour after twenty terrific years. She will be moving to South Africa, where she will continue her work as a journalist, while being with her husband who is already there in the investment banking business. This is only the announcement, we have a while before we will say our formal goodbyes…


Arlington, VA — National Correspondent Charlayne Hunter-Gault will be leaving The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer at the end of June, the program’s executive producer Les Crystal announced today. Hunter-Gault, a correspondent for The NewsHour for nearly twenty years, will be moving to South Africa to take on a new journalistic assignment and may do some occasional reporting for The NewsHour. Hunter-Gault’s husband, Ron Gault, transferred to Johannesburg in 1996 to become managing director of J. P. Morgan, S. A.

“We are all saddened by Charlayne’s decision but we also fully understand the personal considerations driving it,” said Jim Lehrer. “She’s a valuable and much loved member of The NewsHour family and she always will be.”

Hunter-Gault joined the then MacNeilI/Lehrer Report in 1978. Her assignments have included substitute anchoring and field reporting from various parts of the world. During her association with the broadcast, she has been recognized with numerous awards, including two Emmy Awards as well as a Peabody Award for excellence in broadcast journalism for her work on Apartheid’s People, a NewsHour series about life in South Africa.

In addition, she has received the 1986 Journalist of the Year Award from the National Association of Black Journalists, the 1990 Sidney Hillman Award, the Good Housekeeping Broadcast Personality of the Year Award, the American Women in Radio and Television Award and two awards from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting for excellence in local programming.

Hunter-Gault began her career in journalism in 1963 as a reporter for The New Yorker magazine. In 1967, she joined the investigative news team at WRC-TV, Washington, DC, where she also anchored the local evening news.

In 1968, Hunter-Gault joined The New York Times as a metropolitan reporter specializing in coverage of the urban black community. Her work was honored with numerous awards during her ten years with The Times, including the National Urban Coalition Award for Distinguished Urban Reporting.

Hunter-Gault is the author of In My Place, a personal memoir of her role in the Civil Rights Movement. In addition to her work for The New Yorker and The New York Times, Hunter-Gault has published articles in The New York Times MagazineSaturday ReviewThe New York Times Book ReviewEssence and Vogue.