GPB ousts Bill Nigut, cancels ‘Political Rewind’ show

GPB's Bill Nigut. AJC file photo

Credit: AJC file photo

Credit: AJC file photo

GPB's Bill Nigut. AJC file photo

In a surprise move, Georgia Public Broadcasting announced Friday the cancellation of the long-running “Political Rewind” show and podcast and the ouster of its veteran host, Bill Nigut.

The show has been a staple of political news and discussion since 2013, with civil discourse about state and national politics and policy as Georgia morphed into one of the most competitive political battlegrounds.

What started as a weekly show now runs daily at 9 a.m. and is repeated at 2 p.m. It also featured a podcast and newsletter. The show, and Nigut’s tenure at GPB, ends on June 30.

In a statement, GPB framed the show’s cancellation as a “rededication” to the outlet’s core mission that comes after the Republican-controlled Legislature approved a budget that slashed 9%, or $1.4 million, of the agency’s state budget.

The decision was made after the retirement of Teya Ryan, the longtime GPB executive director who was a champion of the show. The interim director, Bert Wesley Huffman, announced Nigut’s ouster shortly after taking the reins of the outlet.

Nigut, 76, said he’s proud of a show that has become a “corner of sanity and reason every day of the week.”

“We’ve fact checked the lies and misinformation that roil politics today, and we’ve called out the rage and recrimination that have become commonplace,” he said, adding that he’ll miss the chance to continue to do so ahead of the 2024 election.

Nigut was the outlet’s most prominent figure. He covered politics for two decades with Channel 2 Action News from 1983 to 2003. He then ran the Metro Atlanta Arts & Culture Coalition for three years and the Atlanta-area Anti-Defamation League for seven years.

He also made clear his journalism career isn’t over.

“While I’m moving on from Georgia Public Broadcasting, I am not retiring from a professional life, and will continue working in some role moving forward.”

DeKalb chief executive Michael Thurmond, a Democrat who regularly joined Republican panelists on the show, said “Political Rewind was the only statewide political forum that existed beyond the narrow confines of the partisan political echo chamber. Voters will have less information, knowledge and awareness of the critical issues that will shape and define Georgia’s future now.”

Kevin Riley, the AJC’s recently retired top editor, was a frequent panelist and occasional fill-in host. “I can’t imagine political coverage in Georgia without hearing Bill Nigut’s voice,” he said. “We have worked together to make sure Georgians get the insight that they deserve as our state finds itself at the center of every important issue.”

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