Yamiche Alcindor, the popular White House correspondent for PBS NewsHour, has been tapped as the new moderator of Washington Week, the PBS public affairs show.
Alcindor, 34, a well-known Gwen Ifill disciple, will succeed Robert Costa after he departed the show in January. He had been moderating the show since 2017. Alcindor has served as guest moderator since then.
When she learned she would become the next moderator of the PBS current-affairs show, she immediately felt the weight and emotion of the moment. “I basically instantly cried,” Ms. Alcindor recalled, “thinking about Gwen.” For audiences unfamiliar, Washington Week—a reprieve in the loud-mouthed, often-wrongly-opinionated battleground of political television— is most closely associated with Gwen Ifill, the pioneering journalist who broke barriers as a Black woman in the Washington press corps.
Before her passing in 2016, Ms. Ifill also became a mentor to Ms. Alcindor, the White House correspondent at PBS NewsHour. Starting with the episode on Friday, Yamiche Alcindor will sit in Ms. Ifill’s old chair.
In a statement, Sharon Percy Rockefeller, president and CEO of WETA, which produces the show, said of Alcindor, “With composure and tenacity, she has covered some of the most momentous political stories of our time, continually demonstrating the highest standards of journalism.”
“This show has an amazing legacy, and I am thrilled to step into it,” Alcindor said in a statement. “I hope to build on it, to expand it and to bring this show forward distinctively into these times of challenge and controversy. In doing so, my guiding light will be serving our audiences and not shying away from the hard conversations about power and politics.”
As a White House reporter, Yamiche Alcindor earned her reputation as a strong and dutiful reporter, while also becoming a frequent target of former President Donald J. Trump’s ire at news conferences. One instance in 2018, Mr. Trump labeled her question as “racist” after she asked if his policies had emboldened white nationalists. “As a Black woman, it wasn’t the first time that someone had targeted me or said something about me that I knew not to be true,” Ms. Alcindor recalled.
When Yamiche Alcindor takes over Washington Week, she’ll be the ninth moderator to do so, and with her level of expertise, the show feels like it is in great hands.