Tuned In

The NewsHour to Pick Up the Pace

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In other respectable-news news, PBS’ NewsHour with Jim Lehrer–in a move originally planned for September–next month will rename itself The PBS NewsHour, taking the anchor’s name out of the title for the first time and pairing him with a rotation of co-anchors. In the process, the newscast plans a few changes to increase its metabolism, integrating its online operation more closely, covering late-breaking news quicker (online if necessary) and shaving time off some news segments.

If the NewsHour can make itself more timely, good for them. I hope, though, that the newscast doesn’t move too far away from doing longer new segments and become more like, well, every other network newscast. Ironically, though the NewsHour may be the most old-fashioned of the broadcast news shows, I also find it the most TiVo-friendly of the newscasts. It’s the one network news show I record daily, not because I watch it daily, but because on those days I’m especially interested in a particular story, I can fast-forward to that segment and watch that one longer piece. Headlines, I can get anywhere.

Of course, this works for a public-TV newscast; I doubt an ad-supported news show would to encourage selective TiVoing like this. Is there anything you’d change about the NewsHour (other than bringing Robert MacNeil back)?