It seems that no news organization, no matter how long they’ve been using their tried and true formula, is immune from shake-ups these days. So it is over at my old employer, The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. After three decades in PBS’s limelight, Lehrer’s name will be dropped from the program’s title.
But the changes go beyond the cosmetic: The 75-year-old Lehrer will now regularly share anchoring duties with the show’s existing cast of correspondents, and Hari Sreenivasan, an ABC and CBS veteran, will be brought in as a newsreader. After a dramatic shrinking of the production staff, the show has formally combined their online and broadcast wings. They plan to post online newscasts throughout the day, to be hosted by Sreenivasan. (The Washington Post and New York Times have readouts on the transition.)
Sreenivasan is no stranger to (cosmetic) change. Here, rescued from the Internet Archive, is a column he wrote in 2002 on shaving his mustache at the demand of an on-air employer.
And so, the question must be asked: now that he’s landed at the traditionally substance-over-style NewsHour, will viewers see a regrowth?Clint Hendler is the managing editor of Mother Jones, and a former deputy editor of CJR.