BBG Increases Persian Television With Debut of VOA’s Late Edition

The Voice of America (VOA) has launched Late Edition, increasing VOA’s original, seven-days-a-week Persian-language television broadcasts to Iran and elsewhere to three hours followed by repeats, the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) announced today. Iranian viewers can watch Late Edition at 10:00 p.m. Iran time (1830 UTC).

“The United States is fortunate that at this critical point – especially since the start of hostilities between Israel and the Tehran-supported Hezbollah terrorist organization – we have a way to communicate directly with the people of Iran every night,” said BBG Chairman Kenneth Y. Tomlinson. “Thanks to the support of the Bush administration and Congress,” he added, “we will continue to increase our original television programming to four hours plus repeats by September and six hours plus repeats early next year.” The BBG supervises all U.S. government-supported international broadcasting, including the Voice of America.

Late Edition joins Roundtable With You and News and Views, making a three-hour block of Persian-language television for VOA’s Iranian audience. Roundtable With You, which debuted in 1996 as a weekly 90-minute discussion program, began broadcasting one hour a day, seven days a week last month. News and Views, which started in 2003 as a 30-minute news and discussion program Monday through Friday, increased its broadcast last year to one hour a day, seven days a week.

Designed for young Iranian viewers, the new Late Edition show will blend the major news stories of the day with an in-depth look at major world events and topics of interest to Iranians. Programs will also include a segment on medical issues, hosted by a doctor who has practiced in Iran. Other topics will include segments on science and technology, entertainment, movie reviews, social issues, cultural features, legal issues, and sports.

Since the outbreak of hostilities between Israel and Hezbollah in Lebanon earlier this month, BBG’s Persian-language television and radio broadcasts, along with active web sites in Persian, have devoted wide and continuing coverage to the conflict.

The Broadcasting Board of Governors is an independent federal agency which supervises all U.S. government-supported, non-military international broadcasting, including The Voice of America (VOA); Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL); the Middle East Broadcasting Networks (Alhurra TV and Radio Sawa); Radio Free Asia (RFA); and the Office of Cuba Broadcasting (Radio and TV Mart