[02/13/08 - 05:02 PM]
BBC America Launches Flagship Weekly News Program Newsnight
The program, airing at Fridays 10:00/9:00c starting February 29, compliments "BBC World News America," the channel's nightly U.S.-facing news hour, launched in October 2007.

[via press release from BBC America]


BBC AMERICA is set to expand its news agenda with Newsnight - a new, hard-hitting, weekly news program featuring some of the toughest interviewers in journalism. The program, airing Fridays 10:00 p.m. ET/ 7:00 p.m. PT, starting February 29, compliments BBC World News America, the channel's nightly U.S.-facing news hour, launched in October 2007.

Garth Ancier, President, BBC Worldwide America, says: "News is the BBC's most powerful asset and we want to give it the showcase it deserves. Following the successful launch of BBC World News America, this is another opportunity to bring U.S. viewers the BBC's world renowned journalism. It has never been more important for Americans to have access to thorough and thought provoking coverage of U.S. and international news."

Newsnight, comes from the same team that produces Britain's long-running nightly program of the same name. The U.S. facing, weekly version will showcase the best of its award-winning blend of features, investigations, interviews and discussions. The show is anchored by some of the most respected names in British journalism including Jeremy Paxman, Kirsty Wark, Gavin Esler and Emily Maitlis.

The new weekly Newsnight, which will repeat on the BBC's 24-hour global news channel BBC World, was conceived and commissioned by Executive Vice President, News & Sports Michele Grant, brought in by Ancier to build the BBC News brand in the U.S.

Grant, who is also Executive Producer of the new show, says...: "Newsnight is one of the very best shows in television journalism - it's fearless. It asks the questions that beg to be asked but rarely are. If you want to get answers, really get answers, to the important questions, understand what happened this week and what mattered, Newsnight is for you."

JEREMY PAXMAN Jeremy Paxman joined Newsnight in 1989. During a distinguished career he has worked as a reporter on the BBC's long running current affairs program Panorama and presented flagship news bulletins, Breakfast News and Six O'clock News. Jeremy has also hosted popular college quiz show University Challenge and political affairs program, You Decide. He began his television career as a reporter covering the troubles in Northern Ireland. Jeremy is the author of several books and has won numerous awards including a Royal Television Society award for international current affairs and the Richard Dimbleby Award, BAFTA's most prestigious award, for current affairs.

KIRSTY WARK Kirsty Wark joined Newsnight in 1993 and regularly presents sister program, Newsnight Review. She worked on BBC radio news program The World at One before moving to television to work as a producer and presenter in Scotland. Kirsty has presented Scotland's General Election coverage since 1987. She has also presented acclaimed arts program, The Late Show and popular heritage program One Foot in the Past. Kirsty began her BBC career at BBC Radio Scotland in 1976 as a graduate researcher. In 1990 she formed an independent production company and has presented a number of series the company has made for the BBC. Her awards include Bafta Scotland's journalist of the year in 1993 and Best Television Presenter in 1997.

GAVIN ESLER Gavin Esler joined the presenting team of Newsnight in January 2003. He has anchored BBC News 24, the BBC's 24-hour news channel, since 1997 and reported for news and documentary programs across Europe, Russia, China and North and South America. Gavin was appointed the BBC's Washington Correspondent in 1989, and then Chief North America Correspondent a year later where he was responsible for shaping and directing BBC coverage from North America. In this role he travelled extensively across the United States and was accredited to the White House to cover the Bush and Clinton administrations. He originally joined BBC Television as Northern Ireland reporter.

EMILY MAITLIS Emily Maitlis is a presenter on both Newsnight and BBC News 24. Prior to joining Newsnight, she was the face of BBC London's nightly news program covering major events such as the 2005 General Election and the London mayoral election. Emily joined the BBC from News International network Sky News, where she covered major breaking international stories including the United States and Israeli elections and the Afghan hostage crisis. She began her career in television in the Far East, working in China, Hong Kong, the Philippines and Cambodia on half-hour documentary programs. She went on to become a business correspondent with NBC covering the collapse of the tiger economies in 1997. Emily has also made documentaries for BBC radio and presented flagship early morning television news program, BBC Breakfast.

BBC AMERICA brings audiences a new generation of award-winning television featuring news with a uniquely global perspective, provocative dramas, razor-sharp comedies and life-changing makeovers. BBC AMERICA pushes the boundaries to deliver high quality, highly addictive and eminently watchable programming to viewers who demand more. BBC AMERICA is distributed by Discovery Networks. It is available on digital cable and satellite TV in more than 60 million homes.

  [february 2008]  


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