Bill Moyers Returns to Public Television, but Not PBS

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The New York Times

Bill Moyers Returns to Public Television, but Not PBS

by
Elizabeth Jensen

Bill Moyer's new show, called “Moyers & Company,” will focus on one-on-one interviews with people not often heard on television, “thinkers who can help us understand the chaos of this time.” The program will be based at WNET in New York City and distributed free to public television stations by American Public Television, an alternative distributor to PBS. Stations will be able to broadcast it at whatever time they choose.

NEW YORK - Bill Moyers says he is returning to public television in January, but he won’t be found on the PBS lineup.

His new hourlong weekly show, called “Moyers & Company,” will focus on one-on-one interviews with people not often heard on television, “thinkers who can help us understand the chaos of this time,” Mr. Moyers said in a telephone interview. “We’re going to be concerned with the state of democracy and the state of affairs, but we will leave the daily and weekly story to others and try to do the back story.”

The program will be based at WNET in New York City and distributed free to public television stations by American Public Television, an alternative distributor to PBS. Stations will be able to broadcast it at whatever time they choose. In a letter to public television executives announcing the new program, Mr. Moyers, who is 77, said that WNET was looking at showing the program on Sundays at 6 p.m.

Earlier this year, Mr. Moyers, who retired from PBS in April 2010, said he had received $2 million in financing from the Carnegie Corporation of New York for the new show, but PBS had told him it couldn’t find an appropriate time slot.

Since word went out on Monday afternoon, Mr. Moyers said he had heard from a number of stations that they were interested in broadcasting the program. He said he had also heard from many former viewers in recent months. “There’s an audience there that missed the campfire,” he said.

Anne Bentley, a PBS spokeswoman, said in a statement, “Bill Moyers has been a distinctive voice on public television for decades,” adding that his new project “will build on this legacy.”

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