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For immediate release
November 11, 2003
Carrie Johnson, 703-739-5129
Jenny Lawhorn, (202) 513-2754

"PBS/NPR Newsbrief" Announces Journalists Beverly Kirk and Sheilah Kast as Anchors

Hourly TV News Updates Launch in January 2002

WASHINGTON, DC - NPR and PBS announced today the selection of two journalists to anchor "PBS/NPR Newsbrief," hourly 30-second television news reports produced by NPR for PBS stations. The reports are scheduled to begin airing on pilot stations starting in December, with a national launch on PBS stations in January 2004.

Beverly Kirk, formerly with NBC News Channel, will anchor weekdays, and veteran ABC and public television correspondent Sheilah Kast will anchor weekends. Danyell Irby, deputy supervising senior producer for NPR's Newscast unit, will serve as alternate newscaster. Kirk and Kast will join "PBS/NPR Newsbrief" at NPR in Washington this month, while the program service is in pre-production.

"PBS/NPR Newsbrief" will provide up-to-the-minute news headlines fed from NPR's Washington, DC, headquarters, to PBS stations just before the top of every hour in primetime, 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. ET, seven nights a week. As a complement to PBS's in-depth news and public affairs programs, "PBS/NPR Newsbrief" will bring NPR's trusted reporting and worldwide resources to PBS viewers as news unfolds.

"We're delighted to have Beverly Kirk and Sheilah Kast join our growing family of news and public affairs offerings," said John F. Wilson, senior vice president, PBS Programming. "Their experience and news savvy, guided by NPR's leadership, will add important topical news and relevance to the unparalleled quality of television journalism on PBS."

"As the voices and faces of the Newsbrief service, Beverly Kirk and Sheilah Kast bring vast news experience, credibility and an enthusiasm for public broadcasting. In other words, they'll fit right in at NPR and on PBS stations. We're very excited to work with PBS and our new anchors to extend NPR's quality journalism to public television viewers," said Jay Kernis, NPR senior vice president for programming.

Weekday newscaster Beverly Kirk, a Kentucky native, most recently served as a freelance reporter for FOX 5-WTTG-TV in Washington, DC. Kirk spent six years (1997-2003) as a correspondent for NBC News Channel, the affiliate division of NBC News, where she covered major breaking news stories, from the Clinton impeachment to September 11 and the DC sniper attacks, and contributed occasional features to the Weekend Edition of NBC Nightly News. Kirk previously anchored and reported for WLEX-TV in Lexington, KY, and hosted/produced the station's monthly minority public affairs program, Focus. Kirk began her television news career in 1989 at WBKO-TV in Bowling Green, KY, after having worked at NPR member station WKYU-FM at Western Kentucky University. Kirk holds a Master of Arts in International Politics from the University of Kentucky; she is also a summa cum laude graduate of Western Kentucky University.

Weekend newscaster Sheilah Kast is well known as a reporter and anchor to viewers of public television, ABC News and CNN. In 1997 Kast launched and hosted a weekly national public television show, This Week in Business, in association with BusinessWeek magazine. Prior to that, Kast reported for ABC News, where she covered the economy, as well as the White House, Congress and the 1991 coup attempt in Moscow. Kast also reported on the Washington aftermath of September 11 for CNN. Kast is a native of Indianapolis, IN, and graduated cum laude from The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. She is a governor of the American News Women's Club, past president of the Washington Press Club Foundation and active in other journalists' organizations.

Alternative newscaster Danyell Irby, who started her career in radio and television broadcasting, has been with NPR for more than 14 years. She is currently the deputy supervising senior producer for NPR's Newscast unit, where she oversees newscast production and a staff of 25.

PBS, headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, is a private, nonprofit media enterprise owned and operated by the nation's 349 public television stations. Serving nearly 90 million people each week, PBS enriches the lives of all Americans through quality programs and education services on noncommercial television, the Internet and other media. More information about PBS is available at, the leading dot-org Web site on the Internet.

NPR is renowned for journalistic excellence and standard-setting news and entertainment programming. A privately supported, non-profit, membership organization, NPR serves a growing audience of 21 million Americans each week via more than 730 public radio stations. International partners in cable, satellite and short-wave services make NPR programming accessible anywhere in the world. With original online content and audio streaming, offers hourly newscasts, special features and seven years of archived audio and information.