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What PBS Thinks You Need to Know

Julie Hollar for Extra! @ Common Dreams - When Bill Moyers announced last November that he would be stepping down from Bill Moyers Journal, and PBS decided to cancel its other Friday night news show, Now, the network lost two hard-hitting independent programs from its lineup. To fill the hole, New York PBS station WNET--which had produced the two Friday shows--announced the launch of a new one-hour program, Need to Know, hosted by Newsweek editor Jon Meacham (who has since left the magazine) and former NPR, MSNBC and MTV host Alison Stewart. The show rolled out on more than 90 percent of PBS stations in May (Broadcasting & Cable, 3/22/10).

FAIR (3/9/10) issued a statement expressing concern that Meacham's hire "sends a clear and troubling message about PBS's priorities," given that the then-editor of Newsweek was a fixture on commercial TV pundit shows and a consummate purveyor of middle-of-the-road conventional wisdom with a conservative slant--not exactly a face or a perspective that needed yet another media platform, particularly not on public television. Read more.

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