WETA Will Rebroadcast Trump Impeachment Hearings in Prime Time

WETA Washington will re-air the PBS NewsHour coverage of the public Donald Trump impeachment hearings in prime time, according to a tweet from the station confirmed by its GM.


WETA is the producing station for NewsHour

“WETA intends to air the hearings live and more importantly, repeat them in primetime," said Miguel Monteverde, SVP and GM, WETA Greater Washington. "We know that viewers have an abundance of viewing options, but given the importance of this event, we view this as a mission-driven moment for our station and public media generally.

"WETA believes that by airing comprehensive and trustworthy coverage of the hearings, we will be serving the public with timely information and analysis they need and expect from public media. We think that it is especially important right now, in the face of massive disruption to the TV business, to remind citizens of the important role that we play in the media ecosystem.”

What will likely be a weeks-long series of hearings begin Wednesday morning (Nov. 13). 

Rebroadcasts of the NewsHour coverage will also be available in prime time (beginning at 7 p.m.) on PBS's WORLD channel on 157 noncommercial stations reaching about 11% of the country, but Washington is not one of the markets carrying that channel, a WORLD spokesperson confirmed. 

Former iconic PBS newsman Bill Moyers and a longtime colleague, Michael Winship, have been calling for PBS and its member stations to air the repeats of the PBS NewsHour coverage on their primary channels so a wider working audience could see the hearings. 

Winship called the WETA announcement "terrific news." He also said he had gotten an e-mail from Vermont Public TV and that they were also planning to rebroadcast the hearings in prime time on their main channel, and move regular programming to its WORLD channel, which Winship called an "elegant" solution. 

The House Intelligence committee has scheduled two hearings this week. Wednesday's will feature Ambassador William Taylor and deputy assistant secretary George Kent. Taylor is the chargé d'affaires for the State Department in Ukraine. Kent is deputy assistant secretary in the European and Eurasian Bureau at State. Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) has said Taylor's testimony establishes the quid pro quo -- U.S. aid for a Ukrainian investigation into Joe and Hunter Biden -- that the President has vociferously denied. He also says Kent's testimony buttresses that of others on the quid pro quo. 

On Friday (Nov. 15) the witness is former Ukrainian Ambassador Marie “Masha” Yovanovitch.

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.