Library foundation bringing Judy Woodruff to Billings


Judy Woodruff, of the PBS NewsHour, will be in Billings next month for several events hosted by the Billings Public Library Foundation.

Judy Woodruff, anchor and managing editor of the the PBS NewsHour, will be the featured guest in this year’s Royal Johnson Forum, hosted by the Billings Public Library Foundation.

Woodruff will be in Billings for three separate events on Monday, April 23:

♦ A luncheon in the Billings Public Library’s Royal Johnson Community Room from noon to 1:30 p.m. Tickets for the luncheon, which will include a presentation by Woodruff, are $50 and will be limited to 100 people. Tickets are selling quickly and be purchased through the library foundation website or by calling 237-6149.

♦ A “Peek Over the Shoulder Reception” from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in the Beartooth Room of the MSU-Billings Student Union Building. The 50 available tickets for this event have already sold out.

♦ A “Community Conversation” from 7 to 8 p.m. in the Petro Theatre on the MSU-Billings campus is free and open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis. Doors open at 6:30. At this event, Woodruff will be interviewed by Brian Kahn, host of the radio show and podcast “Home Ground,” for about 25 minutes, with a half-hour Q& A session involving the audience to follow.

This is the second Royal Johnson Forum. The first one, held in October 2015, was a panel discussion on the role of so-called “dark money” in politics and featured former U.S. Sen. Alan Simpson, UM law professor Anthony Johnstone and Ed Bender, director of the National Institute for Money in State Politics.

Leslie Modrow, development director for the library foundation, said her board wanted to have a “big name” come in and discuss national and international current events, so she got a hold of Montana PBS to see if it would consider a partnership to help bring Woodruff in.

The folks at Montana PBS were game, and they helped Modrow get in touch with Woodruff.

“It took numerous emails but we made it happen,” Modrow said.  “She (Woodruff) has been wonderful to work with and is being very generous with her time.”

Woodruff has covered politics and other news for more than four decades at CNN, NBC and PBS. She was an anchor and senior correspondent for CNN for 12 years and previously worked for PBS from 1983 to 1993, when she was the chief Washington correspondent for “The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour.” From 1984 to 1990, she also anchored PBS’ award-winning weekly documentary series, “Frontline with Judy Woodruff.”

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