Anchor Alison Stewart leaving PBS's 'Need to Know'

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By Elizabeth Jensen
Media Decoder

PBS’s Friday newsmagazine “Need to Know” is losing Alison Stewart, the second of its original co-anchors to depart, when it switches to a half-hour format on Sept. 16.

Ms. Stewart has been anchoring the hour-long show on her own since Jon Meacham became a contributing editor of the program in April. With the shortened show will come a new format focused on the 2012 election, and Ms. Stewart said she decided she needed to bow out.

“For a show about politics you have to have someone available and present 110 percent of the time,” and able to travel extensively, she said in an interview by phone. Between a book she is completing and her 3-year-old, she said, “I didn’t feel like I was the right person and that it was the right time to continue with the show.” Her last appearance is expected to be Sept. 9.

Stephen Segaller, the vice president of programming at WNET in New York, where the program originates, said in an interview by phone that Ms. Stewart “has done a wonderful job and I’m sad to see her leave.” He declined to comment on any potential successor.

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