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Co-Host Alison StewartAlison Stewart

Alison Stewart is co-anchor of PBS’s TV and web newsmagazine Need to Know. She has reported and anchored for ABC News, CBS News, NPR, NBC News, MSNBC and MTV News, where she won a Peabody for her work covering the Presidential Elections in 1992.

Prior to Joining Need to Know, Alison was the founding host of NPR’s breakthrough multiplatform news program, “The Bryant Park Project,” the first public radio news program to seamlessly incorporate audio, video and social media. She also guest hosted the network’s flagship programs “Weekend Edition” and “Talk of the Nation.”

While at MSNBC from 2003 to 2009 she created and hosted the show “The Most,” a news program based on the most popular news on the web. She also anchored major news events from Hurricane Katrina to the Hezbollah/Israel conflict; reported live from the 2006 Olympics in Torino, Italy; and contributed to “NBC Nightly News,” “The Today Show” and “Weekend Today.” She was also the substitute host for “Countdown” and “The Rachel Maddow Show.”

Stewart served as anchor for ABC News’ “World News Now” from 2000 to 2002, reporting live from the World Trade Center on 9/11 and receiving an Emmy as part of ABC News’ coverage of the terrorist attacks. She also served as a contributor to “20/20 Downtown” and “Good Morning America.” Before working for ABC News, Stewart was a correspondent for CBS News’ “Sunday Morning” and “48 Hours” where she reported from Cuba and Africa.

Over the years, Alison has reported from the floor of six presidential conventions. Interview highlights of her career include: Mick Jagger, Annette Benning, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, David Bowie, author Judy Blume, Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna Shalala, House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Steven Spielberg and U.S. Surgeon General Dr. David Satcher.

In 2009, Stewart was named one of “The Root 100,” recognizing emerging and established African-American leaders.
Stewart graduated from Brown University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and American literature. She’s been active in various charities, including Dress for Success and Lighthouse, which performs reading services for the visually impaired. She lives in New York City and Woodstock, N.Y., with her husband, Bill Wolff, and their son Isaac.

6 facts you Need to Know about Alison:

  1. Alison was born and raised in Glen Ridge, N.J., also the hometown of Tom Cruise, with whom she toured several countries while reporting for MSNBC.
  2. Alison is writing a book about her parents’ alma mater, Dunbar High School in Washington, D.C., which was in 1870 established as the first public high school in the U.S. for African Americans.
  3. Alison listens to the Grammar Girl podcast religiously.
  4. Alison once interviewed a white supremacist who refused to look at her during the interview.
  5. Alison has been to 47 out of 50 states in the U.S. The missing links are Montana, Nebraska, Mississippi, which she hopes to rectify through her reporting for Need to Know.
  6. Alison is a crazy fan of author Carl Hiassen.

Co-Host Jon MeachamJon Meacham

Jon Meacham is the co-anchor of Need to Know, a Pulitzer Prize-winning bestselling author and a commentator on history, politics and religion in America.

Jon is also executive editor at Random House and the former editor of Newsweek, where he started as writer in 1995 and was appointed editor in 2006.

His book,American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House,” debuted at #2 on The New York Times bestseller list and was awarded the Pulitzer Prize. He is also the author two other New York Times bestsellers — “American Gospel: God, the Founding Fathers, and the Making of a Nation” and “Franklin and Winston: An Intimate Portrait of an Epic Friendship.”

He has written for The New York Times, The New York Times Book Review, The Washington Post, Slate, and The Los Angeles Times Book Review. In 2001, he edited “Voices in Our Blood: America’s Best on the Civil Rights Movement.”

Jon graduated summa cum laude in 1991 from The University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., where he was Phi Beta Kappa.

A member of the Council on Foreign Relations, he received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from the Berkeley Divinity School at Yale University in 2005 and also holds several other honorary doctorates. In 2009 Jon was elected to the Society of American Historians. Other honors include the Hubert H. Humphrey First Amendment Medal from the Anti-Defamation League.

He serves on the Vestry of Trinity Church Wall Street; the Leadership Council of the Harvard Divinity School; and the Board of Trustees of The Churchill Centre. Jon Meacham lives in New York City and Sewanee with his wife, Keith, and their three children.

5 facts you Need to Know about Jon:

  1. Jon was born in Chattanooga and counts as a formative life experience his handshake, at age 9, with Johnny Cash.
  2. Of all the historical figures Jon wishes he could interview, at the top of the list would be Jesus of Nazareth (“since Pilate did such a lousy job”).
  3. Jon got chills when introducing his children to Congressman and civil rights leader John Lewis.
  4. Jon decided to devote five years of his life to Andrew Jackson because “any president who attacks his own assassin is worth a book.”
  5. Jon is “supposed to” be a Braves fan, but actually roots for the New York Yankees and the Chattanooga Lookouts.