BALTIMORE: PBS and MacNeil/Lehrer Productions announced May 12 that they will rebrand flagship news program The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, along with content changes in mid-September.
The show's new name will be PBS NewsHour, and it will feature a dual-anchor format. The program will also add a correspondent working on both the show's broadcast and digital formats, and its senior correspondents will focus on out-of-studio reporting, according to a statement from the organization.
PBS and NewsHour spokespeople said in reports that Lehrer, who has anchored the program solo for nearly 15 years, was not stepping back from his responsibilities. "This is not a succession plan in disguise," Linda Winslow, the show's executive producer, told The New York Times.
The organization will also merge its online and broadcast operations, and collaborate more often with local and national public content producers. It will also redesign its Web site at the time of the rebranding, according to PBS.
PBS announced the changes first to local station leaders at its PBS Showcase event.
"The NewsHour is at the center of the multi-program PBS news and public affairs service, and the changes announced today will help ensure that The NewsHour remains vital and accessible to citizens in the digital age," John Boland, PBS chief content officer, said in a statement.