‘PBS NewsHour’ May Add Weekend Broadcasts

Mar 4, 2013  •  Post A Comment

"PBS NewsHour" may add weekend broadcasts, producing the segments in New York instead of in the show’s studios in Arlington, Va., reports Elizabeth Jensen in The New York Times.

The plan would add a weekend news show to PBS, which has been criticized for lacking such a program, the story notes.

Citing show employees who are familiar with the plans but are not authorized to speak publicly, Jensen writes: "The proposed expansion, which is not expected to be decided on before the end of March, is being considered at a crucial time for the show. Although costs could be cut or new money found, MacNeil-Lehrer Productions, the producer of the weekday show, is facing a shortfall of as much as $7 million this fiscal year from what had been a planned $28 million budget.”

PBS would provide $3 million to help produce the weekend programs, but that money wouldn’t go to MacNeil-Lehrer Productions, the story notes. Instead, the money would go to WNET-TV, the New York public television company.

WNET-TV would take on the weekend show just as its public affairs program "Need to Know" is facing cancellation in June when its PBS contract ends, the story adds. Funds from that show would go toward creating the weekend "NewsHour" program, the piece says.


  1. It is time for PBS to join the real world and start selling advertising full-time like the other networks. The US doesn’t need a non-profit “educational” channel anymore. When there were only 3 Networks it made sense. But now their ego is just ruining what is still a good network with the potential to be great. Just think the kind of advertising revenue a show like Downton Abbey could bring in. The luxury car companies and jewelers would be fighting for those spots. In no time at all PBS would pass NBC.

  2. PBS already accepts ads (or did you think those Subaru ads that bookcase ANTIQUES ROADSHOW were PSA’s?).
    We need a truly PUBLIC channel now more than ever. I think telling PBS Kids to stand down and let Cartoon Network take over entertaining the kids would be a disaster.
    PBS looks different on our televisions because PBS IS different & it should remain so. An oasis in the ever-growing video landscape where we are informed, enlightened, entertained, educated and on some occasions even outraged without being interrupted & bombarded by ads. Those channels should be available free, over the air for anyone to watch at any time.
    Now, if PBS wants to generate ad revenue they can always launch what would probably be a very popular group of channels on satellite & cable, much like the PBS KIDS & CREATE OTA channels but also one that featured the documentary & science programming, which they could sell the hell out of, funneling revenues back into the main Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which would help keep the broadcast side running well into the future while tapping a larger audience for their programming in general.

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