ABC news personality Jennings at USF tonight

Peter Jennings, anchor and senior editor of ABC’s World News Tonight, is in Tampa this week to tape his show from different locations in the Bay area, including USF.

Tonight, after Jennings broadcasts his nightly news program, he will visit USF and participate in a town hall meeting organized by local ABC affiliate WFTS-Channel 28. The meeting is co-sponsored by USF’s School of Mass Communications along with the university media relations office.

Bill Berra, WFTS-ABC Action News director, said the station saw Jennings’ visit as an opportunity to allow the public to meet with him.

“From time to time, Peter (Jennings) will visit different towns across the country,” Berra said. “(So) we put together the town hall meeting to take advantage of his visit.”

News experts participating in the panel during the meeting include Karen Brown Dunlap, president of the Poynter Institute; Daniel Ruth, columnist for The Tampa Tribune; radio personality Jack Harris; WFTS-Channel 28 anchor Brendan McLaughlin and Susan MacManus, political analyst and USF political science professor.

According to Jay Friedlander, the director of the School of Mass Communications, the event will be taped by ABC News and will be broadcast during three different airings.

The town hall meeting will be held at the College of Public Health auditorium, which holds up to 400 people. Although the School of Mass Communications distributed only 50 passes as of Tuesday, Friedlander said they expect to fill the place to its capacity tonight.

Michael Reich, director of USF media relations, said WFTS allotted a certain amount of invitations for viewers. Other tickets were allocated to faculty, staff and students.

The event will focus on current news issues, Reich said, though the topics discussed might change somewhat depending on the audience’s feedback. Reich said there are no more tickets available.

Jennings, born in Canada, joined ABC in 1964. He covered the Middle East in the 1970s, and events such as the construction and fall of the Berlin Wall.