'Everything But The News' Lightens Up Staid PBS News

Mar 12, 2014
Originally published on March 12, 2014 6:32 am
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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

The PBS "NewsHour" has a new, Web-only spinoff. It is called "Everything But The News." It's the creation of former "NewsHour" producer Steve Goldbloom. The show takes a satirical look at the daily grind of a "NewsHour" field reporter. Think HBO's "The Newsroom" meets "The Office."

(SOUNDBITE OF SHOW, "EVERYTHING BUT THE NEWS")

GREENE: Goldbloom told us about the day he pitched his idea for the show to his old boss, "NewsHour" executive producer Linda Winslow.

: I said, I've got this idea. I really want to make fun of the "NewsHour." But I think I could do it in a loving way, in a way that my reverence would veer into the absurdity. And she said, that's great. If it's good, we'll be - you know, very supportive. If it's terrible, it'll be like it never happened; we never knew you.

(LAUGHTER)

GREENE: Sounds fair. The first episode went online in February. Goldbloom plays the main character, a "NewsHour" tech reporter who just happens to be named Steve Goldbloom. The reporter's cameraman-sidekick is Goldbloom's real-life cameraman, Noah Pink.

(SOUNDBITE OF SHOW, "EVERYTHING BUT THE NEWS")

GREENE: Each episode of this show follows these two as they go out to try and cover the tech scene for the "NewsHour." Here, Goldbloom visits a convention of YouTube's most popular stars.

(SOUNDBITE OF SHOW, "EVERYTHING BUT THE NEWS")

GREENE: Goldbloom's character learns that Dan Is Not On Fire's YouTube channel is burning it up, when it comes to views. He asks Dan Howell - the Dan in question here - about the size of his viewership.

(SOUNDBITE OF SHOW, "EVERYTHING BUT THE NEWS")

(LAUGHTER)

GREENE: All joking aside, numbers like that are really compelling. The PBS "NewsHour" draws about a million viewers to its broadcast each night. That's fewer than half the number that watched a decade ago. With his show, Goldbloom and PBS are chasing new and younger viewers where they know they'll find them: Web-based video.

: Shows like "Everything But The News," if we can generate a click for that show that is somewhat a nontraditional viewer of PBS, that was our goal all along.

GREENE: Steve Goldbloom, in character on the show, offers some thoughts on format changes that might help "NewsHour" attract those YouTube viewers.

(SOUNDBITE OF SHOW, "EVERYTHING BUT THE NEWS")

GREENE: Goldbloom and his cameraman, Pink, have 10 episodes of "Everything But the News" up online. This week, you will find them in Austin, Texas, at the South by Southwest Festival. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.