Judy Woodruff Will Step Down as PBS ‘NewsHour’ Anchor Next Month

Judy Woodruff hosts the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative 5th Anniversary, New York Public Library
Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for Aurora Humanitarian Prize
Judy Woodruff hosts the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative 5th Anniversary, LIVE from New York Public Library on October 19, 2020 in New York City.

Judy Woodruff will step down as anchor of PBS NewsHour on December 30 and will begin a two-year project looking at the polarization in American politics and whether it can be healed.

CBS Sunday Morning anchor Jane Pauley sat down with Woodruff in advance of her official announcement in an interview to be broadcasted Sunday, November 13 at 9:00 am ET on CBS and Paramount+. In the interview, Woodruff clarifies that she will not be retiring but shifting gears.

“I’m not retiring, not doing the R-word, she clarifies. “I am— stepping aside from anchoring, at the end of this year. … I will end my anchoring time, covering politics in the United States. But what I’m going to be doing is covering, what I hope to do is cover America.”

The longtime anchor previously expressed plans to step down at the end of the year, with reports that Amna Nawaz and Geoff Bennett were expected to succeed her. Although no official announcement has been made, NewsHour said that an announcement would be made late in 2022.

“I mean, we are— we are in a really angry moment in this country, Woodruff said. “And—I keep thinking that, you know, I’m gonna wake up one morning, and there’s gonna be some light that shines, and people are gonna start talking to others on the other side of the — the political, political view, but it hasn’t happened.”

She goes on to say, “I’d like to understand why we are so divided as a country, why we are having such a hard time talking to each other, how did we get to this place…. why we are here where we are right now, and can we heal.”

The new project will be called Judy Woodruff Presents: America at a Crossroads.

A respected TV news journalist, Woodruff has anchored the PBS NewsHour since 2013, initially co-anchoring with Gwen Ifill and then leading the show on her own following Ifill’s death in 2016. She first joined NewsHour in 1983 as chief Washington correspondent and backup anchor before moving to CNN in 1993 to anchor the network’s political coverage. Woodruff returned to PBS in 2006.

During her career, Woodruff has been the recipient of the Peabody Award for Journalistic Integrity and the Emmy Lifetime Achievement Award.

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