Geoff Bennett, a Washington journalism veteran, was named chief Washington correspondent for PBS NewsHour, and he will also take over weekend anchoring duties for the program, which is moving its weekend broadcast from New York to the nation’s capital in April.
Bennett, who had been a White House correspondent for NBC News and a substitute anchor on MSNBC, will start his new role January 3. He will continue as a contributor for those NBCUniversal-owned outlets.
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“We are consolidating production of PBS’s nightly news flagship program under WETA and continue to bring new talent to the stellar PBS NewsHour team, building on the strong work of anchor and managing editor Judy Woodruff, executive producer Sara Just and entire NewsHour team,” said Sharon Percy Rockefeller, president and CEO of WETA, the Washington-area PBS station, and president of NewsHour Productions, in a statement. “I have long admired Geoff’s work; and he well understands the unique place of public media journalism. We are glad to welcome him and look forward to his new roles with PBS NewsHour.”
“NewsHour” has for several years had a bifurcated production. Its long-running weekday edition is produced under the auspices of WETA, and has long emanated from Washington. But the 30-minute weekend broadcast, which launched in 2013, has done so under the aegis of WNET, with Hari Sreenivasan as anchor. The “NewsHour,” originally produced with Robert McNeil and Jim Lehrer as anchors, has aired on PBS stations since 1975.
The decision to move the show from New York was made by PBS. “This move will further establish our commitment to extensive, fact-based reporting by increasing resources and consolidating our nightly news programming under one roof,” the network said in a statement.
Before joining NBC News in November 2017, Bennett covered the Trump White House and Congress for NPR. Prior to that role, he reported on the Obama administration and national politics for NY1 News in New York City and more than a dozen other Time Warner-owned cable news stations across the country. During that time, he also guest hosted C-SPAN’s Washington Journal — a live, three-hour news and public affairs program. Previously, Bennett was an editor with NPR’s Weekend Edition, hosted by Scott Simon. He began his journalism career at ABC News’ World News Tonight in New York City after graduating from Morehouse College.
‘I am excited to join PBS NewsHour, a towering news organization with a rich history and a deep sense of its purpose and mission,” Bennett said in a statement. “As the future anchor of its weekend broadcast, I am looking forward to collaborating with some of the profession’s best, most experienced journalists and contribute to the solid storytelling and reliable reporting that have made NewsHour one of television’s most trusted news programs.”
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