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More News Is Good News

June 9, 2007 11:00 AM

The BBC is perhaps best known for news, and BBC America has hired CBS veteran Rome Hartman—who was executive producer of the "CBS Evening News" when Katie Couric became anchor—mdash;to executive-produce a new hour-long evening newscast for the U.S. cable channel. The project was pushed by new BBC America Worldwide President Garth Ancier. The show will be a cornerstone of the weekday evening schedule when it launches from Washington in the fall. At "CBS Evening News," Mr. Hartman had a strong start with Ms. Couric as anchor before ratings tanked and Mr. Hartman was replaced. So does the U.S. need another nightly newscast? Mr. Hartman says Americans who are interested in "smart and sophisticated" coverage of the world need one, and what the BBC does is "cover the world in a way that no one else is attempting to do." Details about the program are still to be worked out, but it won’t be covering things like Paris Hilton being dragged back to jail. "The audience that comes to the BBC is tuning in not to see that story," he said. BBC America now airs a half-hour newscast produced in the U.K. The new show will be separate from that and the BBC newscast appearing on PBS stations. --Jon Lafayette

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