KQED to Launch KQED NEWSROOM with Host Thuy Vu and Senior Correspondent Scott Shafer

New public affairs and news program replaces This Week in Northern California on Fridays evenings.

KQED News today announced a new multiplatform service called KQED NEWSROOM on television, radio and online, with three–time Emmy Award–winning journalist and anchor Thuy Vu as host. Scott Shafer, the award–winning host of KQED Public Radio’s The California Report, will join Vu as senior correspondent. The new weekly television program will build on the public affairs roundtable format that has been the core feature of This Week in Northern California, which KQED NEWSROOM will replace on the Friday evening television schedule. New segments will give viewers access to features and stories from all KQED News sources with newsmaker interviews, debate segments and field reporting.

The title KQED NEWSROOM is a nod to KQED’s groundbreaking 1968 program, which was the first nightly news series on public television and informed the 1975 launch of the national Macneil/Lehrer Report. The half-hour television program KQED NEWSROOM, which features a brand new modern set, premieres on Friday, October 18, on KQED Public Television 9 and will air on KQED Public Radio 88.5 FM on Sundays at 6pm. All KQED NEWSROOM episodes and additional Web-only content will be available on KQEDNews.org.

“KQED is transforming all of our services to meet the changing needs of the people of the Bay Area as they seek news and information on new digital media like smartphones and laptops along with television and radio. This was the right time to transform our popular Friday night television public affairs program to a multiplatform service of KQED News,” said KQED President John Boland. “The new name, KQED NEWSROOM, signals a change, but also reminds us that KQED has been innovating to better serve the public for nearly 60 years. This will not be the NEWSROOM of the 60s and 70s, but rather a 21st century service with a name that recognizes our heritage.”

KQED NEWSROOM‘s new format will give us flexibility to cover and analyze news through a local lens and draw on the diversity and innovation that makes the Bay Area such a fascinating place,” said KQED NEWSROOM Executive Producer Joanne Elgart Jennings, who was executive producer for This Week in Northern California for the last two years and oversaw Belva Davis’s expanded coverage of the 2012 election. Her other executive producing credits include the quarterly series of KQED award–winning investigative specials co-produced with the Center for Investigative Reporting and the PBS primetime program Sound Tracks: Music Without Borders. Prior to joining KQED, Jennings was a producer for the PBS NewsHour for thirteen years. “We could not have a better team to pull it off than Thuy and Scott, whose varied journalistic and life experiences complement one another.”

“This is a rare, exciting opportunity to create a new weekly program that will build on KQED’s commitment to and history of quality, insightful journalism. Our primary focus will still be news and current events, but we’ll also examine other topics that shed light on what makes life in the Bay Area and California so special,” added Vu, who is no stranger to KQED audiences. Vu started her journalism career at KQED Public Radio and NPR and has served as a frequent guest host for Forum and This Week in Northern California.

The University of California, Berkeley graduate was most recently the co-host of CBS 5’s Eye on the Bay and has been a news anchor and reporter for various Bay Area stations, including ABC 7, CBS 5 and KTVU 2. In 2011, Vu’s special series on the devastating legacy of Agent Orange sprayed during the Vietnam War won nine regional and national awards, including the prestigious Edward R. Murrow Award. In 2010, Vu was named Outstanding Reporter/Correspondent by the National Alliance for Women in Media. Vu, who emigrated from Vietnam in 1975 and lived in two refugee camps before resettling with her family in Minnesota, has received four national awards from the Asian American Journalists Association, as well as honors from American Women in Radio and Television and the Peninsula Press Club. “I’m thrilled to be working with the smart, talented producers at KQED and with our new senior correspondent Scott Shafer. I’m a fan of his work on KQED Public Radio, so I’m ecstatic that we’ll get to work together.”

“I know Thuy and I both want to make KQED NEWSROOM the kind of program that feeds the Bay Area’s appetite for smart, thoughtful and balanced content that’s also entertaining and memorable,” added Scott Shafer, who has been a correspondent and host for KQED Public Radio’s The California Report since 1998. He will continue in his post as host for the award–winning radio series. Shafer has also worked as a correspondent and host at KPFA in Berkeley, KFBK in Sacramento and KOIT in San Francisco. He has been honored with awards from Public Radio News Directors (PRNDI), the Society for Professional Journalists and the Center for California Studies at California State University, Sacramento.

In addition to host Thuy Vu, senior correspondent Scott Shafer and executive producer Joanne Elgart Jennings, KQED NEWSROOM team includes producers Robin Epstein and Monica Lam. Epstein has been with KQED Public Television since 1991 and has worked as a producer on such programs as This Week In Northern California, Check, Please! Bay Area and Bay Window. Prior to joining KQED last year, Lam worked at the Center for Investigative Reporting where she produced investigative videos including the half-hour documentary America’s Prison Problem for Al Jazeera English. As an independent filmmaker, she produced and shot programming for the PBS NewsHourFrontline and Independent Lens.

About KQED
KQED serves the people of Northern California with a public-supported alternative to commercial media. Home to the most listened-to public radio station in the nation, one of the highest rated public television services and a leader in interactive technology, KQED takes people of all ages on journeys of exploration — exposing them to new people, places and ideas.

As other news organizations have shrunk, KQED has expanded its efforts to cover the issues and events that are important to the Bay Area. As the most trusted source of news in the Bay Area, KQEDis a multiplatform operation with offices and bureaus in San Francisco, San Jose, Sacramento, Fresno and Los Angeles. KQED News programs include KQED NEWSROOM, current affairs specials produced in collaboration with The Center for Investigative Reporting, The California Report, Forum, 18 weekday news broadcasts on KQED Public Radio daily and the popular blogs News Fix, State of Health, Mindshift and The Lowdown. Stories from all KQED news programs are featured online at KQEDnews.org.