First executive producer of 'MacNeil/Lehrer Report' dies

AP News
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Posted: May 24, 2017 7:43 PM

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.