PULLMAN – Former CBS News London Bureau Chief John Paxson has been hired as news director for Murrow Public Media (Northwest Public Radio and Northwest Public Television).
A three-time Emmy award winning broadcast journalist, Paxson has covered stories from race relations in Chicago and tornados in Illinois to the Oklahoma City bombing and the death of Princess Diana, and directed the network’s coverage of conflicts in Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan. More recently, Paxson won an Edward R. Murrow award for a series he produced for Arizona Public Radio.
Edward R. Murrow’s former job
“As CBS London bureau chief and vice president for Europe, John, quite literally, held Edward R. Murrow’s old job,” said Lawrence Pintak, founding dean of The Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University.
“That alone makes him a natural fit at Murrow; but he brings a unique combination of hands-on experience producing radio and TV pieces in the field as well as global news management,” said Pintak, a former CBS News Middle East correspondent.
Northwest Public Radio (NWPR) is a 15-station network heard across Washington state and in parts of Oregon and Idaho. KWSU-TV and KTNW-TV are PBS stations located in Pullman and Tri-Cities. The broadcast properties became part of Murrow College over the past two years.
Increase regional news coverage
In his role as news director at Murrow Public Media, a new position, Paxson will spearhead the effort to increase the level of regional news coverage on Northwest Public Radio and the two TV stations, generate new locally-produced programs and integrate Murrow students into the operations as part of a broadcast “teaching hospital” approach.
Paxson has a long track record in broadcasting, including (chronologically):
- 10 years as a Voice of America correspondent based in Chicago
- Chief VOA reporter on the 1980 Reagan presidential campaign
- News editor at CBS Radio
- TV producer in the CBS News Dallas and Los Angeles bureaus
- CBS news bureau chief in London
Paxson was born and raised in Montana. His wife, former ABC News correspondent Lucrezia Cuen, is a native of the Seattle area, where they have been living for the past year.
Local news fundamental
“Local news is the bedrock of broadcasting. At a time when industry cutbacks are affecting the quality and quantity of news available at the local level, I relish the chance to help Murrow build a news operation that serves the people of this state and prepares students to hit the ground running,” Paxson said.