The PBS NewsHour brings Gwen Ifill, Judy Woodruff and four public forums to the Tampa Bay area next week
PBS’s flagship newscast the NewsHour will come to the Tampa Bay area next week, reporting on local issues during the broadcast and deploying its correspondents to moderate four different public discussions on issues ranging from the nation’s changing media landscape to high speed rail.
Senior correspondents Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff are the biggest names slated to appear, with Ifill leading an April 13 discussion on media issues in St. Petersburg at the Poynter Institute for Media Studies, which owns the St. Petersburg Times. Woodruff will moderate an hourlong town hall meeting to be broadcast April 16 on Tampa PBS station WEDU-Ch. 3.
The PBS NewsHour is partnering with WEDU to organize the events, which will be streamed live on the PBS affiliate’s Web site. Because seating for each event is limited, those hoping to attend the discussions must register in advance on the stations Web site, which you can reach by clicking here.
“There’s a lot of issues in the Tampa Bay area that we think are local but which turn out to be national concerns,” said WEDU spokeswoman Laura Fage about why the show chose to include the Tampa Bay area as the last location on its two-year, five-stop Spotlight City Series tour.
The visit comes months after The PBS NewsHour relaunched with a new title – anchor Jim Lehrer’s name was dropped, as he was joined by a rotating group of co-anchors including Ifill, Woodruff and Jeffrey Brown. The show also added an online correspondent and beefed up its Web-based offerings, partnering with other public broadcasting entities such as National Public Radio.
Next week’s public forums begin at 8:30 a.m. April 13 with Ifill’s discussion “The Changing Media Landscape.” Panelists will include St. Petersburg Times editor, CEO and chairman Paul Tash, Rob Lorei, managing editor and host of WEDU’s politics show Florida this Week and John Schueler, president of Media General’s news outlets in Florida, including the Tampa Tribune and WFLA-Ch. 8.
Newshour correspondent Paul Solman leads a discussion on high speed rail and regional transportation at 3 p.m. in the University of Tampa’s Reeves Theatre, while correspondent Spencer Michels hosts a noontime talk on eco-friendly initiatives April 14 at Lakewood ranch cinemas in Bradenton.
Woodruff’s discussion will be videotaped at 5 p.m. Wednesday at WEDU; panelists have not yet been announced and those wishing to attend must apply through the station’s Web site.