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Tags: face the nation | margaret brennan | cbs | journalism | media

'Face the Nation' Has a New Face

'Face the Nation' Has a New Face
Margaret Brennan attends Tina Brown's 7th Annual Women In The World Summit Opening Night at David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center on April 6, 2016, in New York City. (Jemal Countess/Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 26 February 2018 12:42 PM EST

The popular TV news program “Face the Nation” recently got a new “face,” in veteran journalist Margaret Brennan. When she takes the moderator’s chair on the CBS News program, Brennan will become the first person with extensive, day-to-day experience covering the Trump administration to become a host of a Sunday morning political talk show.

Brennan is stepping into the role left by John Dickerson, who left "Face the Nation" to become one of three anchors on "CBS This Morning."

In speaking to the Associated Press, Brennan said she is looking forward to stepping into this “increasingly important forum” that will enable her to “lend perspective” in a media environment where the news cycle is constant, fast-moving, and sometimes scattered. The program itself will be familiar for Brennan, who has sat in as a panelist and a fill-in moderator in the past. But, until she transitions, Brennan continues to serve as a White House and foreign affairs correspondent. Recently, she interviewed Secretary of State Rex Tillerson for CBS’ “60 Minutes” TV news magazine.

Brennan believes her most recent job offers her an important and distinctive perspective that will come to bear on the political talk show. Mary Hager, executive producer of "Face the Nation," agrees, praising Brennan’s experience as well as her “ability to ask newsmakers tough but fair questions in a deft and respectful manner… Her sharp news instincts and her tremendous ability to make complicated subjects understandable…”

If the history of "Face the Nation" is any indication, Brennan may soon become a household name. Her predecessors include CBS News heavyweights such as Bob Schieffer and Lesley Stahl.

So, it seems like this arrangement will be a true win-win. CBS gets an anchor/moderator with her finger on the pulse of American politics, and Brennan gets a serious opportunity to elevate her brand in some very definitive ways. Brennan appears very aware of this, as well as of "Face the Nation’s" place in the cadre of various weekend news programs.

Speaking to the AP, Brennan said, “I have thought of the show as being an exclamation point for the week that was and a starting point for the week that’s coming…”

The question, of course, is what will viewers think of Brennan? The media landscape is shifting fast, and media consumption is changing even faster. More people are getting their “news” from social media or from snippets on the internet.

While weekend news programs often provide subject material for YouTube videos, comedy sketches, and social media memes and rants, fewer people are going to them as primary sources. Brennan has an opportunity, now, to slow that tide of change.

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The popular TV news program “Face the Nation” recently got a new “face,” in veteran journalist Margaret Brennan.
face the nation, margaret brennan, cbs, journalism, media
Monday, 26 February 2018 12:42 PM
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