WASHINGTON (AP) — Al Vecchione, the first executive producer of "The MacNeil/Lehrer Report" on PBS, has died.
PBS said in a story on its website that his family says Vecchione, who was 86, died Wednesday of lung cancer.
The Washington Post reports that Vecchione (VECK-ee-own) created the 30-minute "NewsHour" program in 1976. The program bucked the trend of nightly news shows by focusing on a single story every night.
The show became the nation's first hour-long nightly news broadcast in 1983. Vecchione worked on the "NewsHour" and related documentaries until retiring in 1996.
In 1973, Vecchione was general manager of a short-lived news service called the National Public Affairs Center for Television. The news service broadcast gavel-to-gavel coverage of the Senate Watergate hearings.