'Everything But The News' Lightens Up Staid PBS News

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PBS pokes fun at itself in the new show Everything But the News. Former NewsHour producer Steve Goldbloom plays a cub reporter covering the tech beat in San Francisco to varying degrees of success.


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."


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: (As Jordan) OK, listen. Great. We set up 30 interviews for you over three days.

STEVE GOLDBLOOM: (As Steve Goldbloom) Jordan, that's like 10 interviews a day without edit time. There's just Noah and I; that's not possible.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: (As Jordan) Steve, this is PBS. We go to war with the army we have.

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

GOLDBLOOM: 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.


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.


GOLDBLOOM: (As Steve Goldbloom) Go to the sign, Noah, and then back to me. The sign, back to me. Ready? Then I'll be able to see it. In five - It turns out there's more than one player in town. I'm here outside Lyft, for anyone who owns a car can sign up and start earning - something this underpaid reporter is seriously considering.

NOAH PINK: (As Noah Pink) You obviously can't use that, but it's not a bad idea.

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.


GOLDBLOOM: (As Steve Goldbloom) How you doing, Phil? Steve from PBS. Do you have a second for PBS? Excuse me, we're from PBS. Can we get 30 seconds with them?

GOLDBLOOM: (As Steve Goldbloom) I'm here with

DAN HOWELL: Dan Is Not On Fire.

GOLDBLOOM: (As Steve Goldbloom) Dan is Not on Fire and Amazing Phil.

HOWELL: No. See, I do singing and blog videos. Yeah.

GOLDBLOOM: (As Steve Goldbloom) Singing and blog videos?


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.


HOWELL: Got 120 million views on my channel. And...

GOLDBLOOM: (As Steve Goldbloom) A hundred and twenty million views?



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.

GOLDBLOOM: 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.


GOLDBLOOM: (As Steve Goldbloom) Pow, crisp backgrounds, jazz ambience, hyperbolic graphics and, of course, puppies.

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.

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