PBS Launches New Weekly Public Affairs Show Co-hosted by Columnist Michael Gerson and Political Commentator Amy Holmes

“In Principle” to Air Friday Nights on PBS Stations

Feb 28, 2018

Arlington, VA — February 28, 2018 — Sharon Percy Rockefeller, President and CEO of WETA Washington, D.C., the flagship public broadcaster in the nation’s capital, today announced the launch of "In Principle," a new, eight-week primetime public affairs show on PBS produced by WETA. The half-hour program will feature co-hosts Michael Gerson, a frequent contributor to "PBS NewsHour," syndicated Washington Post columnist and author of the book "Heroic Conservatism"; and Amy Holmes, a political news commentator formerly of MSNBC and TheBlaze TV and Radio Network.

"In Principle" will premiere on PBS Friday, April 13, at 8:30 p.m. ET, following "Washington Week." The series, which has been in development for several months, will include guests from across the ideological spectrum in the worlds of politics, policy, the arts and academia, with Holmes and Gerson probing the framework of today’s news and political conversations, examining how history, faith and culture influence the larger discussions taking place in the country today.

“This is a time when big, fundamental issues — about identity, about citizenship, about how we define our country — are being debated in American life,” said Gerson. “We need serious dialogue that stands in contrast to the degraded discourse so common in American politics right now. On 'In Principle,' we intend to engage newsmakers and culture shapers at a deeper level, exploring their beliefs and motivations in a way viewers might not get in other formats on television. 'In Principle' is going to be honest, reflective, deep-dive TV.”

“We need a place where we can have thoughtful, reasonable, in-depth conversations about politics, policy, culture — you name it — where we’re really talking to each other instead of shouting at each other,” said Holmes. “It’s not about shouting, it’s about talking and listening and learning — I want our viewers to feel it was always time well spent. That they come away saying, ‘I learned something that I didn’t know before.’”

“Through our productions 'PBS NewsHour' and 'Washington Week,' and now 'In Principle,' WETA brings independent, thoughtful analysis to today’s often tumultuous headlines,” said Rockefeller. “Michael Gerson and Amy Holmes will lead us on a journey through history and politics to understand what is happening today.”

“PBS and our member stations continue to be trusted destinations for thoughtful and thought-provoking news and public affairs programs,” said Paula Kerger, President and CEO of PBS. “We are pleased to partner with WETA to add 'In Principle' to our weekly lineup, as we bring together pre-eminent thought leaders to engage in civil discussions around the pressing issues of our time.”

“Public media continues to be acknowledged and trusted to explore in-depth the issues that threaten to divide Americans and, through its content and engagement, move us toward mutual respect and understanding,” said Patricia Harrison, President and CEO of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. “'In Principle' will continue this tradition of trusted exploration beyond a sound bite and add value to our civil and political discourse.”

The Executive Producer of "In Principle" is Dalton Delan, Executive Vice President and Chief Programming Officer at WETA. The Series Producer is Grace Cutler, who was recently the Managing Editor of News for Sinclair-owned Circa.com, and has previously worked for The Hill, Fox News, CBS, CNBC and Voice of America.

Produced from the WETA studios in Arlington, Virginia, the program will include robust social media platforms where the co-hosts will continue to probe the framework of today’s news and political conversations.

"In Principle" host Gerson is the author of "Heroic Conservatism" (HarperOne, 2007) and co-author of "City of Man: Religion and Politics in a New Era" (Moody, 2010). He appears frequently on "PBS NewsHour," "Face the Nation" and other programs. Until 2006, Gerson was a top aide to President George W. Bush as assistant to the president for policy and strategic planning. Prior to that appointment, he served in the White House as deputy assistant to the president and director of presidential speechwriting and assistant to the president for speechwriting and policy adviser.

"In Principle" host Holmes appears regularly as a political commentator on CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, HBO’s "Real Time with Bill Maher" and PBS.  She has guest anchored MSNBC’s "Way Too Early" and WNYC’s "The Takeaway." Holmes also has appeared on NBC’s "Meet the Press," "NBC Nightly News," "The Weekend Today Show," "Sunday Today," "CBS Morning News," ABC’s "The View," NPR’s "All Things Considered" and Comedy Central’s "The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore." She served as anchor for TheBlaze TV and Radio Network from its launch in 2011 to 2016. Holmes was also a speechwriter for former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist.

"In Principle" is a production of WETA Washington, D.C. Executive Producer: Dalton Delan. Series Producer: Grace Cutler. Hosts: Michael Gerson and Amy Holmes. Coordinating Producer: Troy Mosley. Funding is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, PBS and public television viewers.

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WETA Washington, DC, is one of the largest producing stations of new content for public television in the United States. Other WETA productions and co-productions include PBS NewsHour, Washington Week, The Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize, The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song and documentaries by filmmaker Ken Burns and scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr. The WETA studios and administrative offices are located in Arlington, Virginia. More information on WETA and its programs and services is available at www.weta.org.

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Press Contact: Chris Pigott, DKC Public Relations, 212.981.5126; Chris_Pigott@dkcnews.com