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PBS NewsHour Plans Coronavirus Virtual Town Hall

PBS NewsHour said it is working on a special on the coronavirus that will include a virtual town hall. 

Rather than a ripped-from-the-headlines or sped-to-air version of the unfolding crisis, PBS is taking its time. 

Confronting Coronavirus: A PBS NewsHour Special is scheduled for March 19 at 8-9 p.m. 

It will focus on health precautions, the pandemic's economic impact, and will be anchored by NewsHour managing editor Judy Woodruff. As part of the special, a virtual town hall will include viewer questions. It will be moderated by NewsHour correspondents Amna Nawaz and William Brangham. 

Of the decision to schedule the special for next week, Nick Massella, senior director of brand strategy and communications, told B&C: "We think the story is only getting bigger."

He also pointed out that they were a small team with resources deployed in multiple directions as they also provide extensive nightly coverage of the virus on broadcast and online." We think a robust special next week in addition to our ongoing daily coverage will serve the audience well."

John Eggerton
John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.