Hari Sreenivasan Leaves CBS for NewsHour

By Alissa Krinsky 

First On TVNewser: CBS News correspondent Hari Sreenivasan is leaving the network to become a news anchor and reporter at PBS’s The NewsHour, TVNewser has learned. A formal announcement is expected Monday morning.

Sreenivasan joins the program as it gears up for a re-launch of sorts on December 7. Along with a name change — from The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer to the PBS NewsHour — the show will merge its broadcast and digital platforms. In that vein, Sreenivasan will anchor the broadcast program’s nightly news summary while also reporting and anchoring for PBS NewsHour online.

Sreenivasan joined CBS News in 2007. Previously, he was at ABC News and CNET.

> Update: Official press release after the jump…

Hari Sreenivasan Joins PBS NewsHour to Provide On-Air and Online Reporting as Program Launches on December 7

ARLINGTON, Va., Nov. 23 – CBS News Correspondent Hari Sreenivasan is joining the staff of the PBS NewsHour and will play a key role in bridging its broadcast and digital platforms when it succeeds The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer on Monday, December 7th. He will report and anchor video news updates throughout the day on the PBS NewsHour’s website. He’ll also appear nightly on the PBS NewsHour itself, anchoring a summary of the day’s headlines from the broadcast’s newsroom.

Sreenivasan will join NewsHour anchor Jim Lehrer and the on-camera team of Senior Correspondents already associated with the venerable news program, which is celebrating its 34th year on the air. In addition to his on-camera responsibilities, he will be involved in helping the PBS NewsHour become the hub of news and public affairs reporting on PBS, both on-air and online.

“We are thrilled to welcome Hari to the NewsHour team,” said Linda Winslow, Executive Producer of the PBS NewsHour. “Hari brings strong reporting experience from his previous assignments at CBS and ABC. Additionally, Hari’s skill and innovation bringing news to audiences on multiple platforms will be tremendous assets as the PBS NewsHour fully integrates its on-air and online operations.”

“This is a wonderful opportunity for me,” added Hari Sreenivasan. “Jim Lehrer and his colleagues at the NewsHour and PBS have set the standard for top quality reporting and analysis. I look forward to helping them meet the exciting challenges presented by the new landscape in journalism.”

At CBS News, Hari has appeared regularly on the “CBS Evening News,” “The Early Show” and “CBS Sunday Morning.” Before that, Hari served as an anchor and correspondent for ABC News, working extensively on the network’s 24-hour digital service “ABC News Now.” Hari also reported for “World News Tonight” and “Nightline.”

“With the nation facing unprecedented challenges on numerous fronts, it’s never been more important for viewers to have a place to turn for solid, in-depth, trustworthy reporting,” added John Boland, PBS Chief Content Officer. “Hari Sreenivasan brings a wealth of experience in broadcast and digital news media and will enhance the already great team of journalists in place.”

On Monday, December 7, 2009, The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer will re-launch as the PBS NewsHour, signaling its pivotal role among the news and public affairs content provided on public media.

In addition to a new name, new logo and new broadcast and online graphics, The PBS NewsHour will feature many other changes, all of which have been guided by extensive audience and station research and are designed to create a stronger relevance to, and attunement with, our broadcast and digital audiences, wherever, whenever and however they access our news content.

But, in the words of Jim Lehrer, “What will not change is our commitment to serious journalism – MacNeil Lehrer journalism – the kind of work we’ve been doing for 35 years. This is needed now more than ever.”

The new format places a strong emphasis on the entire NewsHour team of seasoned and highly regarded journalists. The program will have a two-anchor format, featuring Jim Lehrer accompanied by a rotation of NewsHour senior correspondents Gwen Ifill, Judy Woodruff and Jeffrey Brown. Additionally, the NewsHour will send more senior correspondents “outside the studio” to deliver compelling original reporting and newsmaker interviews from the field, such as Margaret Warner’s recent series from Afghanistan and Russia, Ray Suarez’s global health reports from South Africa and Mexico, and Paul Solman’s ongoing domestic coverage of the U.S. economic collapse.

Perhaps the most “transformational” element of the planned change is the merger of the broadcast and digital divisions of the program into a seamless entity. The PBS NewsHour and the Online PBS NewsHour staffs will become one. To fully embody this merger to our audience, a new correspondent, Hari Sreenivasan of CBS News, will join the NewsHour, primary focused on delivering news to the digital world. Hari will also anchor the news summary on the nightly television broadcasts. However, his day will begin online. Throughout the day, he will record (on a newsroom camera) four-to-five minute news summaries, to be posted online at regular intervals. Sreenivasan will also conduct interviews and produce reporting for the digital services.

This merger of TV and online is the keystone to making PBS NewsHour content available whenever and wherever our audience chooses to look for it, and in enabling the PBS NewsHour – and public media – to produce the “right content” for the “right platform.”

To further enhance this organization, The PBS NewsHour will actively collaborate and seek partnerships in the creation, presentation and distribution of content, all with the goal of extending the impact and availability of the reporting and analysis for which the program has earned its reputation.

The new PBS NewsHour will continue its strong relationship with local public television station partners. Our goal is to work closely with stations to maintain and increase television viewership, appeal to growing and diverse digital audiences, drive station membership and help position local public media as the trusted community resource for intelligent and compelling local, national and international news and public affairs coverage.