PBS NewsHour Hires Three, Promotes Two, within 2016 Election Team

Washington, DC (October 22, 2015) — PBS NewsHour’s 2016 Elections Team has three new hires and two promotions, expanding a growing team focused on covering the races with depth, insight and vigor.

“The PBS NewsHour has two of the best political reporters in the business in our co-anchors and managing editors, Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff,” said Sara Just, PBS NewsHour executive producer and senior vice president. “I am so excited that we have put together a multi-talented team of journalists who will work with Gwen and Judy, and our political director Lisa Desjardins, to cover this election on air and online in the thoughtful and insightful way that people expect from NewsHour.”

Recent and upcoming additions to PBS NewsHour’s 2016 Election Team include:

Pamela Kirkland is an award winning producer who joined the NewsHour this week as a producer from The Washington Post where she helped launch PostTV. While there, she shot, edited, wrote and packaged online content on a wide variety of topics, and her recent online documentary project “The n-word” was nominated for a News & Documentary Emmy Award this year. She is the recipient of the 2014 White House News Photographers Association award for “Best Multimedia Package.” Prior to the Post, she spent six years at Sirius XM Satellite Radio’s P.O.T.U.S. channel in Washington, as a senior producer and booking guest discussion segments and newsmaker interviews and has worked at C-SPAN Radio on “Washington Today” as an assistant producer.

Julie Percha also joins the NewsHour next week as a producer from The Washington Post where she was a politics video producer for PostTV. At the Post, she covered the 2014 midterm elections, reporting from key Senate battleground states, and was a frequent contributor to The Fix blog. Percha was a Frank Reynolds Fellow at ABC News in Washington and a production assistant and researcher for “This Week with George Stephanopoulos.” She was a Stabile Fellow for Investigative Journalism at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh.

Rachel Wellford was recently promoted to elections producer. Since coming to the NewsHour as a desk assistant in 2013, she has served as a production assistant in the Segment Unit and the Political Unit, where she has served as a reporter-producer. Wellford has managed a wide variety of tasks in the political team, from booking and producing discussion segments, to producing set up tape and traveling to the Cleveland Republican debate, where she served as shooter and field producer.

Geoffrey Guray was recently promoted to reporter/producer. Guray joined NewsHour as a desk assistant, contributing to the 2012 campaign coverage and later moved over to the role of billboards multimedia editor and most recently has worked as a production assistant in the Segment Unit.

Jasmine Wright recently returned to the NewsHour as a production assistant. She served as a desk assistant at the NewsHour earlier this year, and was an integral part of the politics team during her time in the unit. She previously worked as an intern at ABC NewsOne and WICD in Champaign, Illinois.

In addition to NewsHour’s five hires and promotions to the Election Team, Rhana Natour also joined NewsHour this week as a reporter/producer in the national affairs unit. She’s previously worked as a news fellow and associate producer at ABC News where she produced a wide variety of stories at “World News Tonight,” “Nightline” and “Good Morning America.” She was a key part of the team that worked on “Nightline’s” Emmy-nominated segment “Crisis in Syria” that profiled the lives of people caught in the crossfire of the civil war. Natour was the assistant producer on the feature documentary Speed Sisters, a documentary that followed the trials and tribulations of the Middle East’s first all-women race car team. The film was produced with the help of the Sundance Film Institute and premiered at the Toronto Hot Docs festival earlier this year. Rhana graduated from the University of Michigan and traveled to Dubai in 2008 as a Fulbright Scholar to conduct research on their private sector labor force.

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 non-profit 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 www.facebook.com/newshour on Facebook or follow @NewsHour on Twitter.