PBS Names First Female Co-Anchor Team on TV

Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff make history

By Ruth Brown,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 7, 2013 12:20 AM CDT

(Newser) – That bastion of no-nonsense reporting and sensible blazers, the PBS NewsHour, will make history next month when it debuts its new anchor team: two women. Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff will be the first all-female anchor team on a nightly network newscast (that's team—Katie Couric was TV's first solo female anchor), reports the New York Times. "I’m very keen about the fact that a little girl now, watching the news, when they see me and Judy sitting side by side, it will occur to them that that’s perfectly normal—that it won’t seem like any big breakthrough at all," says Ifill.

Both Ifill and Woodruff have been senior correspondents on the show, and have been taking turns anchoring with three others since founding anchor Jim Lehrer began winding down his workload in 2009. When Ifill and Woodruff co-anchored the Republican and Democratic National Conventions last year, producers realized the show might work better if it was just the two of them every night. "It just struck us that we were able to promote our product better when we had identifiable anchors," says NewsHour's executive producer, Linda Winslow. "[And] it wasn’t, to be frank, an unattractive feature that they would become the first female co-anchor team of a nightly newscast."

Judy Woodruff.
Judy Woodruff.   (PRNewsFoto/PBS NEWSHOUR, Robert Severi)
Gwen Ifill.
Gwen Ifill.   (PRNewsFoto/PBS NEWSHOUR, Robert Severi)
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