Acclaimed broadcast journalists Gwen Ifill L.H.D.’01 and Judy Woodruff L.H.D.’07, who have both served as HWS Commencement speakers, were appointed by PBS this week as co-anchors of “NewsHour,” making them the first female co-anchor team of a network broadcast. Ifill and Woodruff are scheduled to begin their landmark roles on the nightly newscast in September and will also share the program’s managing editor responsibilities.
In 2001, Ifill was the speaker for the Colleges’ Commencement Ceremonies. As an honorary degree recipient, Ifill received the Doctor of Humane Letters in recognition of her many years serving the public as a journalist. In 2007, Woodruff made her address during the 182nd Commencement for Hobart College and the 96th Commencement for William Smith College. Woodruff also received the honorary Doctor of Humane Letters for her achievements.
“This marks an exciting new chapter in the history of PBS ‘NewsHour,'” Linda Winslow, executive producer for PBS “NewsHour,” is quoted in a press release. “Gwen and Judy have been the heart and soul of ‘NewsHour’ for years, so it’s wonderful to formalize these new roles and give them an opportunity to provide even more input on the content and direction of the show.”
As veteran correspondents, Ifill and Woodruff each have impressive and enduring careers in journalism. Individually, they have years of experience covering major news events across the country and around the world. Together, Ifill and Woodruff recently co-anchored all of the PBS “NewsHour” special election coverage for the 2012 season.
“I am so pleased to be taking on this new role alongside my colleague and dear friend Judy Woodruff,” Ifill said in a PBS press release. “We’ve successfully worked side-by-side for many years covering conventions, elections and countless other news events. We make a great team.”
In addition to her new responsibilities on “NewsHour,” Ifill will continue her weekly broadcast as the host of “Washington Week,” a program she has been with since 1999.
“Gwen and I love working together and appreciate the trust viewers put in the PBS ‘NewsHour,’ both on TV and online,” said Woodruff in a press release. “Working with Linda and this entire terrific team, we’ll do our best to make sure the next chapter for the ‘NewsHour’ upholds its reputation for excellence, independence and integrity.”
About Gwen Ifill:
Gwen Ifill earned a bachelor degree from Simmons College in 1977, going on to work for several newspapers. In 1999, she landed a key role with PBS where she served as moderator and managing editor of “Washington Week,” the longest-running primetime news and public affairs program on television. Throughout her time at PBS, Ifill has covered some of the most important political stories of our time, including six presidential campaigns.
Her work also spans an array of prestigious boards and institutions, including her role on the boards of the Harvard University Institute of Politics and the News Literacy Project, and her membership to the National Association of Black Journalists, and the Committee to Protect Journalists, among others. In 2000, Ifill addressed the HWS community as a speaker for the HWS President’s Forum Series, which brings noted public figures and scholars to campus for lectures across various spheres of interest.
Ifill is the recipient of more than 20 honorary degrees, as well as the George Foster Peabody Award. She also has been honored by the Radio and Television News Directors Association, Harvard’s Joan Shorenstein Center, the National Association of Black Journalists, Boston’s Ford Hall Forum, and has been included in the Ebony magazine list of 150 most influential women.
About Judy Woodruff:
Judy Woodruff, who graduated from Duke University with a political science degree, has an extensive career spanning three major television news networks. From 1977 to 1982, Woodruff was a White House correspondent for NBC. She then moved on to serve as a chief Washington correspondent for The MacNeil/Lehrer “NewsHour” from 1983 to 1993. Woodruff also anchored “Frontline with Judy Woodruff,” an award-winning weekly documentary series on PBS.
In 2007, Woodruff completed the documentary, “Generation Next: Speak Up. Be Heard,” focusing her attention on youth voices in America. In 2011, she also served as principal reporter for the PBS documentary “Nancy Reagan: The Role of a Lifetime,” and has applied her vast political knowledge to teaching as a visiting fellow at Harvard University and a visiting professor at Duke University.
She is the recipient of the Cine Lifetime Achievement award, a Duke Distinguished Alumni Award, the Edward R. Murrow Lifetime Achievement Award in Broadcast/Television, and the University of Southern California Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism.