PBS weekend newscast moves into weekday counterpart’s studio
For years, WETA outside Washington, D.C. has handled the weekday editions of the show, with WNET in New York City producing the weekend ones, which essentially made the two shows separate productions despite sharing branding and a general look and feel.
Starting April 2, 2022, with the debut of “PBS News Weekend” and anchor Geoff Bennett, who joined the show from NBC News, the broadcast took on the same graphics and set as its weekday counterpart.
Previously, the weekend editions of the show used opens that used the same typography and general look, but had significant differences, including being much less angled than the weekday look.
The show shows shared lower third looks.
As part of combining the shows, the weekend edition tweaked the opening to incorporate underwriters from the weekend edition and also switched over to an announcer with a deep register as opposed to a higher register one.
“PBS News Weekend” also moved into the “PBS NewsHour” studio at WETA with Bennett now starting the show from a standing position with a large video panel next to him and one of the space’s movable translucent panels with a “Weekend” logo panel added.
After the tease headlines, a wide shot of the studio shows him moving to the primary anchor desk that weekday anchor Judy Woodruff uses and taking a seat before the underwriting announcements begin.
His primary shot is framed just like Woodruff’s, with the vertical panel between the anchor desk’s two positions showing a 3D iteration of the show logo.
The panel is used later in the show for topical OTS style graphics, as opposed to boxy overlaid ones “PBS NewsHour Weekend” previously used.
Also like its weekday counterpart, “Weekend” uses the camera left anchor position for in-studio interviews, though the spot was originally designed to accomodate the show’s two anchor format featuring Woodruff and the late Gwen Ifill.
Both editions continue to use the 2015 “question and answer” music composed by Edd Kalehoff.
As part of the move to the D.C. area, the productions are also streamlining behind the scenes operations between the weekday and weekend editions as well as “Washington Week,” which is also produced by WETA as part of a broader strategy to make the station’s now three news oriented productions more tightly integrated.