Lester Holt to Anchor Live Primetime Special on NBC News & NBC News NOW As Part of Focus on Education in America

Friday, August 7 -- NBC News and MSNBC will launch a special, week-long series, “Coronavirus and the Classroom,” this Sunday, August 9, dedicated to reporting on education in America as coronavirus cases surge in parts of the country.

On Thursday, August 13 at 8pm ET/7pm CT, Lester Holt will anchor a live primetime special on NBC and NBC News NOW, featuring NBC News correspondents, newsmakers and additional experts sharing practical guidance for kids, parents and teachers as they navigate the return to school during the pandemic.

In addition to the primetime hour, the series will use the full force of the networks’ broadcast, cable, digital and social platforms to feature special programming. The full week of reporting includes:

  • Sunday’s Meet the Press with Chuck Todd will feature a panel of educators discussing the debate over schools reopening, as well as viewer submitted videos from students, teachers and parents on what concerns they have. The program’s social channels will also highlight segments from Meet the Press: College Roundtable, a digital series which brought together college journalism students from across the country.
  • Throughout the week, TODAY will feature reporting from Jenna Bush Hager, Craig Melvin, Stephanie Gosk and Stephanie Ruhle as they talk to teachers, parents and students to find out what they think about going back to school this year. On Thursday, the first half of the 8am hour will be devoted solely to special segments on education.The 3rd Hour of TODAY will highlight an architect’s model for social distanced schools and a group of students who are helping their school reflect African American history and culture better in their current curriculum. TODAY with Hoda and Jenna will report on tips for handling back-to-school stress for kids and parents and how high school students can plan for college.

  • will feature extensive reporting on coping with separation anxiety as some schools reopen, parents homeschooling for the first time, what new items will be required for college dorm packing and more.

  • On Wednesday, August 12, TODAY All Day, the streaming channel on Peacock and, will stream a special town hall hosted by Craig Melvin, Sheinelle Jones and Jenna Bush Hager about the state of education in America, inequality in education and mental health implications of sending children to school or keeping them home.

  • On NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, Kate Snow will report on how kids are coping with the uncertainty of the new school year and Rehema Ellis will highlight new ways schools and textbook publishers are revising curriculum to be more inclusive when teaching U.S. history. Additionally, Morgan Radford and Telemundo’s Nicole Suarez will file a joint report on how remote learning is affecting ESL students, part of NBC News and Noticias Telemundo collaborative series “NBC News x Noticias Telemundo Reports.” Lester Holt will continue to anchor “Nightly News: Kids Edition,” a bi-weekly newscast that is a digest of top headlines, broken down for kids to best understand the world today.

  • MSNBC continues its weekly series, “Pandemic: Back To School,airing Mondays at 11am ET. Anchored by Craig Melvin, the hour explores the latest developments with a panel of experts answering viewer questions. MSNBC will also feature in-depth reporting throughout the week from journalists including Geoff Bennett on outdoor learning and the challenges of keeping school buildings clean, Jake Ward on degree discrimination and Dasha Burns and Vaughn Hillyard from battleground counties facing real challenges open schools in Arizona and Pennsylvania. There will also be live reports in districts around the country as the school bells ring for the first time.
  • NBC News NOW will profile a teacher getting ready for the school year and will also take an inside look at Vassar College’s plans to bring students back to campus in the fall.
  • has published a multi-part series, in collaboration with The Hechinger Report, looking at colleges in financial crisis and will debut part two of “The American Dream While Black”, a digital feature which focuses on school segregation across the country.

  • NBC Stay Tuned will continue its “Change of Plans” series, which covers various issues that current and incoming college students are dealing with during the pandemic.

  • In a three-part series from the MSNBC podcast Into America, host Trymaine Lee dives into online learning in the San Diego Unified School District, where classes will be entirely remote this fall. Trymaine talks to San Diego parents, teachers and experts to find out whether this district, and others like it, are prepared for a future without in-person education.

For more information, contact:

Dominique Cuce
NBC News



More Americans watch NBC News and MSNBC than any news organization in the world. NBC News’ award-winning television news broadcasts include TODAY, NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, Meet the Press with Chuck Todd and Dateline NBC – all of which closed out 2019 at #1 in the key news demo for the fourth straight year. Additionally, NBC News produces Third Hour of TODAY, TODAY with Hoda and Jenna and Sunday TODAY with Willie Geist, as well as primetime specials and breaking news reports. MSNBC is the premier cable destination for breaking and live news coverage, in-depth analysis, and influential voices – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The rapidly-growing NBC News Digital Group, including its streaming news service NBC News NOW, along with the SiriusXM TODAY Show and MSNBC radio channels and NBC News Radio on the iHeartMedia 24/7 News Network, provides continuous content to consumers wherever they are, whenever they want it.