WNET.org has named Alison
Stewart and Jon Meacham co-hosts of its new public affairs program Need to Know, the public broadcaster
announced March 17. Need To Know,
which is being billed as a TV/web hybrid where stories developed on the show's
website will culminate on the weekly broadcast, launches May 7 at 8:30 p.m. on
the majority of PBS' 356 member stations.
Stewart, a veteran of NPR
who was also a contributor to MSNBC, where her husband Bill Wolff is the
executive producer of The Rachel Maddow
Show, will be exclusive to Need to
Know. Meacham will remain in his current capacity as editor of Newsweek.
WNET.org president Neal
Shapiro did not rule out the possibility of future synergies between Newsweek and Need to Know.
"We haven't talked about
anything specific," he said. "But I think all kinds of natural synergies
Shapiro said he is not
concerned that Stewart and Meacham, who has been a frequent guest on Charlie Rose as well as MSNBC's Morning Joe, will bring ideological
baggage to the program.
"They are both are
incredibly smart. And I think, given their intellect, neither are people you
can pigeon-hole left or right. I think they have a history of asking probing
questions on all sides."