Need to Know (PBS)

Need to Know (PBS)
Need to Know
Format Commentary/Documentary
Country of origin United States
Running time 1/2 hour gross
Original channel PBS
Original run May 7, 2010 (2010-05-07) – present
External links

Need to Know is an American public television news program produced by WNET, New York City and broadcast weekly on all Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) stations in the United States.

NTK originally occupied the one-hour slot previously held by Bill Moyers Journal, and branded itself as the "TV and Web newsmagazine [that] gives you what you need to know." [1][2] It was hosted by Alison Stewart, one of the founding members of NPR's "The Bryant Park Project" and primary substitute host for The Rachel Maddow Show, and Jon Meacham, the Newsweek editor and an author.

Meacham became a contributing editor in April, 2011, providing commentaries, and Stewart continued as the sole anchor.[3]

On September 16, 2011, a new format was introduced on air and reflected on the website. NPR's Scott Simon guest-hosted the first episode with the new format.[4] The website said the show would "spend the next 15 months covering the campaign for president, but we’re going to do it differently ...[,] covering the campaign from the voters’ perspective, not the candidates’".[5] The show went to a 30-minute format and Stewart left September 9, citing a book project, family and lack of interest in returning personally to the political campaign focus the show was adopting.[3][6]


  1. ^ Need to Know official website; no longer so branded there 2011-09-18.
  2. ^ O'Connor, Rory, "Is PBS Show 'Need to Know' on the Ropes?". AlterNet, 2/2/2011.
  3. ^ a b Jensen, Elizabeth, "Anchor to Leave PBS’s ‘Need to Know’", New York Times Media Decoder blog, August 28, 2011 6:21 pm EDT. Via "Posts tagged with 'Alison Stewart'", NYTimes. Retrieved 2011-09-18.
  4. ^ NTK's home page, accessed 2011-09-18. The episode is accessible here.
  5. ^ Lewis, Shelley, "Welcome to the new Need to Know website", NTK webpage, September 14, 2011. Retrieved 2011-09-18.
  6. ^ Stewart, Alison, "Alison signs off", NTK webpage, September 9, 2011. Retrieved 2011-09-18.

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