With the word Tuesday that NewsHour was shutting down offices and laying off employees, it’s time to ask the question: Just how much of the this one-time PBS bedrock is actually left? In fact, let’s go a step further and ask if it is even accurate to call it a nightly newscast any more — and if what’s left is worth trying to save?
When the Tucson massacre broke, PBS’s Jim Lehrer spent two days glued to … CNN. That’s because the tragedy occurred on a Saturday, and on weekends, the public network has no regular news presence. “I was itching to get on the air,” he acknowledges. “Despite my advanced age , when I see the fire trucks, I want to know where they’re going. It’s a hell of a story. I wish we had had the airtime and resources to cover it.”