August 22, 2011  

Bill Moyers To Return To Television In January With An Hour-Long Weekly Conversation On Some Of The Critical Issues Facing The Country

Carnegie Corporation of New York Makes Centennial Grant to Jump-Start A Public Media Conversation. The New Venture Will Be on TV, Radio, Online

Carnegie Corporation of New York today announced a grant of $2 million to support the return of Bill Moyers to public television in 2012 with a new weekly program that will offer viewers what Moyers’ calls “some different news, some new voices and fresh thinking and an occasional cultural grace note.” Read Bill Moyers's letter to colleagues in public television.

“In Carnegie Corporation’s centennial year, it is an honor to support a journalist who engages in the deep and thoughtful examination of some of the major issues facing our democracy,” said Vartan Gregorian, president of Carnegie Corporation of New York.  “Bill Moyers brings a sense of honesty, curiosity and searing intelligence to every interview and every subject.  For Carnegie Corporation, helping to get this program off the ground seems a fitting tribute to our founder, Andrew Carnegie, who explored the complexities of modern democracy in his book The Triumph of Democracy. Mr. Carnegie believed that promoting a rich, ongoing civic discourse was a key element of strengthening American democracy. ” 

Earlier this year, Carnegie Corporation’s Board of Trustees approved a two-year, $2 million grant for the production of this program. Several of Moyers’s long-time funders have been encouraging him to return to the air and have assured him of their support to launch the new program on television, radio and online in January 2012.

“I am grateful to all my funders for giving life to this multi-platform programming effort in 2012-2013, two years that will surely be critical in the American story.  With their support my colleagues and I intend to offer a forum to  people  who may disagree on politics, governance, faith, religion and the state of democracy, but who nonetheless agree on the importance of a civil dialogue about their differences.”

The program will be offered to public television stations to schedule at times most suitable to their communities’ needs and will be distributed by American Public Television. New York’s Channel THIRTEEN (WNET) will be the presenting station.  The program will be aimed at core public television viewers who have long followed Moyers’s work but will also seek new digital audiences who expect to watch programming via the Internet, apps or social media. 

“At this time of great challenges to our nation, we need civil, nonpartisan discourse across all levels of our society,” continued Gregorian.  “This grant both acknowledges and reinforces the importance of the Corporation’s mandate, given to us by Andrew Carnegie 100 years ago, to promote the advancement and diffusion of knowledge and understanding.”   

Carnegie Corporation sponsored, staffed and funded the Carnegie Commission on the Future of Public Broadcasting that lead to the seminal 1967 report, A Public Trust that resulted in legislation creating the nation’s Public Broadcasting system.  The legislation was signed by President Lyndon Johnson. Bill Moyers was an aide to President Johnson at the White House and staffed the president on the work that led to the establishment of public media.

About Carnegie Corporation of New York

Carnegie Corporation of New York is a philanthropic foundation created by Andrew Carnegie in 1911 to do "real and permanent good in this world."