WBUR’s “Here and Now,” Public Radio International® & BBC World Service Partnership Expands Editorial Output of Signature Midday News Program

in News Releases, WBUR
March 17th, 2009

Contact: Colin Riley, 617-353-2240 | criley@bu.edu

(Boston) – Public Radio International (PRI) announced that effective March 16, the BBC World Service will contribute a daily segment to the popular WBUR-produced midday news magazine “Here and Now,” including news debriefs from correspondents, features and occasional commentary. Hosted by Robin Young and airing mid-days Monday-Friday, “Here and Now” examines news and issues from journalists and voices around the nation and world with intelligent, broad-ranging conversation.

The current focus and identity of “Here and Now” will remain unchanged and it will continue its rich exchanges about news events and issues, providing listeners a greater understanding of the world and nation. The addition of the BBC World Service and its unrivaled global newsgathering capacity will deepen and enhance “Here and Now’s” ability to cover the world. Additionally, BBC content will appear on the program’s recently expanded Web site, www.hereandnow.org. “Here and Now” is currently carried by more than 130 PRI-affiliate stations. PRI will fund this content partnership.

PRI’s Michael Arnold, director of Content Development and Strategy, said, “PRI has consistently found that strategic partnerships enhance the quality of content, which helps listeners better understand our interconnected world. This partnership is another example of committed organizations working together to create compelling programming. PRI is excited about the relationship and to have played an instrumental role in launching this new collaboration, and we look forward to building on our partnership with two of public radio’s great news brands.”

Sam Fleming, WBUR’s managing director of News and Programs, said, “WBUR was among the first public radio stations to recognize the value of BBC World Service for American listeners. The addition of the BBC World Service is a wonderful resource that will certainly enhance ‘Here and Now’ and its effort to cover the world.”

Heather Maclean, the BBC’s head of Business Development, Americas and Europe Region, added, “The ‘Here and Now’ partnership provides a great opportunity for the BBC to more fully serve listeners in the U.S. BBC World Service is very happy to have identified additional ways to work with our longtime partner, WBUR.”

“Here and Now” is a fast-paced, one-hour midday program that updates the news from the morning and adds important conversations on public policy and foreign affairs, science and technology, and the arts, including film, theater, music, food and more. Robin Young brings over 25 years of broadcast experience to her role as host of “Here and Now,” produced by WBUR, 90.9 FM, Boston’s NPR news station. She is a Peabody Award-winning documentary filmmaker and has been a correspondent for the Discovery Channel, CBS and ABC. For several years, she was substitute host and correspondent for the “Today” show on NBC. Young may be best known to the Boston television audience for her part in launching the popular “Evening Magazine” on WBZ-TV in the mid-’70s, and for her profiles on WNEV-TV in the mid-’80s. For the past decade, she’s also produced and directed documentaries.

About WBUR
One of New England’s leading sources of news and information, WBUR, 90.9 FM, is owned and operated by Boston University and is a member of National Public Radio. WBUR also broadcasts a selection of BBC programs and locally produced programs such as “Here & Now,” “Only a Game,” “On Point,” and “Car Talk.” WBUR has won more than 100 major awards for its news coverage, including several George Foster Peabody Awards, the Associated Press News Station of the year for 2003-05, and three prestigious Edward R. Murrow Awards in the 2007 Radio-Television News Director Association’s (RTNDA) annual national electronic journalism competition.

About Public Radio International®
Founded in 1983, Public Radio International leads media by producing, acquiring and distributing innovative content that enables U.S. audiences to “hear a different voice™,” bringing new voices, global journalism and cultural perspectives to the American public. Through partnerships with BBC World Service and station-based and independent producers, the Minneapolis-based media leader provides more than 400 hours of content each week, broadcast to more than 30 million listeners* through 800 public radio stations and available through podcasts, streaming and on-demand through its Web site, pri.org. PRI’s content is heard by more than 12 million* people each week through these collective sources.
*Source: Arbitron Nationwide/Act 1 Systems, Persons 12+ in DMA, Mon-Sun 24 hours, Spring ’08.

PRI is known for driving innovation in public radio through partnerships with stations, independent producers and other organizations, and for working collaboratively to pool resources, share risk and cultivate new talent. Its newest production is “The Takeaway,” a groundbreaking morning-drive news show produced with WNYC Radio. PRI’s best known offerings include “This American Life,” produced by Chicago Public Radio®; PRI’s “The World,” a co-production of BBC World Service, PRI and WGBH Radio Boston; “Living on Earth,” produced by World Media Foundation Inc.; “Michael Feldman’s Whad’Ya Know?®,” produced by Wisconsin Public Radio; “The Tavis Smiley Show,” produced by Smiley Radio Properties Inc.; and “Studio 360 from PRI and WNYC,” produced by PRI and WNYC; as well as 24-hour program services — “Classical 24®,” produced by American Public Media™; and BBC World Service, produced by the British Broadcasting Corporation. For more information on PRI and its programs and services, visit www.pri.org.

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