PBS NewsHour Debuts Facebook-First Series “Brief but Spectacular”

Series Premieres with Spoken Word Poet Sarah Kay on NewsHour’s Facebook Page

WASHINGTON, DC (June 18, 2015) – PBS NewsHour today launched Brief but Spectacular, a weekly short-form video series created by Steve Goldbloom that will be presented Facebook-first, specifically for the social media audience and ahead of airing on the broadcast. The series is part of an effort to bring back a longtime feature of essayists on the PBS NewsHour with an updated look and distribution model.

“A lot of us missed the essay segments on the NewsHour and we are happy to be bringing this feature back, in an updated, digital first way,” said Sara Just, executive producer of the PBS NewsHour and Senior Vice President of WETA. “Steve’s style is modern and engaging and will introduce you to provocative voices and ideas.”

Upcoming segments slated for debut on Facebook include director and showrunner Jill Soloway (Transparent) on disruption in Hollywood, author and journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates (The Atlantic) on police reform and race in America, and Abbi Jacobsen and Ilana Glazer, creators and stars of Comedy Central’s Broad City, on how and why they first created their show on Youtube. The series premiered with spoken word poet Sarah Kay on Thursday, June 18 at 8am on NewsHour’s Facebook page and will broadcast this evening on NewsHour.

Brief is a departure from Goldbloom’s previous series Everything But the News, which he co-created and hosted in 2014 on PBS Digital Studios. In Brief, Goldbloom does not appear on camera, which he believes is a selling point.

“I find it refreshing to have an interview without the interviewer so I am delighted to be working behind the scenes with my producing partner Zach Land-Miller on this project,” said Goldbloom. “I think of the series as a protein-packed news segment that will play well on television as well as through native video on Facebook. Working with NewsHour has been an enormous privilege and helps ensure high editorial standards for the series.”

Known for incorporating humor into his videos, the title for the series has personal inspiration for Goldbloom. As he remembers, the series pays tribute to his grandfather, Dick Goldbloom of Halifax, Nova Scotia.

“I never enjoyed synagogue as a kid and used to wander around the temple during services only to return just in time for the closing remarks. I fooled most people with the exception of my grandfather, who once leaned in and said, ‘Brief but Spectacular!’ I want to thank him for inadvertently naming this series.”

Sarah Kay on Spoken Word Poetry // Thursday, June 18, 2015

Kay will offer her Brief but Spectacular take on spoken word poetry and perform a piece entitled “The Paradox.” Raised in New York City, Kay has been performing spoken word since the age of 14. She is the founder of Project Voice (projectvoice.co), an organization that uses poetry as an engagement tool inside the classroom.

About PBS NewsHour

PBS NewsHour is seen by over four million weekly viewers and is also available online, via public radio in select markets, and via podcast. PBS NewsHour is a production of NewsHour Productions LLC, a wholly-owned nonprofit subsidiary of WETA Washington, D.C., in association with WNET in New York. Major funding for PBS NewsHour is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, PBS and public television viewers. Major corporate funding is provided by BAE Systems, BNSF and Lincoln Financial Group with additional support from Carnegie Corporation of New York, the J. Paul Getty Trust, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Lemelson Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, National Science Foundation, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Friends of the NewsHour and others. More information on PBS NewsHour is available at www.pbs.org/newshour. On social media, visit NewsHour on Facebook or follow @NewsHour on Twitter.

Media Contact: Nick Massella
Director of Audience Engagement and Communications
PBS NewsHour
nmassella@newshour.org // 202.286.8844