|Presented by||Gordon Peterson|
|Theme music composer||Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov|
|Opening theme||Procession of the Nobles|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Running time||30 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Gannett Co., Inc. on WUSA (1988–2004)
Allbritton Communications Company on WJLA (2004–present)
|Distributor||American Public Television|
|Original run||1988 – present|
|Related shows||Agronsky & Co.|
Inside Washington, formerly Agronsky & Co., is a political roundtable show hosted by the WJLA news presenter and chief political reporter Gordon Peterson. It is produced by Allbritton, owner of WJLA, and distributed to PBS stations nationwide by American Public Television (APT). In each broadcast, Peterson has four panelists discussing their opinions on political topics that are in the news during the week, and occasionally will bring in a fifth panelist or guest journalist via a satellite television feed.
Inside Washington is the descendant of Agronsky & Co., a show hosted by Martin Agronsky and produced by Post-Newsweek, the owners of WUSA 9, from 1969 to 1988, and broadcast on WUSA in the Washington, D.C. area. On Agronsky's retirement in 1988, Peterson took over as host, and the show was renamed Inside Washington. Gannett took over production for the remainder of the show's run on WUSA. When Peterson moved to WJLA in autumn 2004, the show and all of its regular panelists at the time were brought to WJLA as well. Its regular broadcast time was switched from Saturday evenings (as also had been the practice with Agronsky & Co.) to Sunday mornings, although the show maintained a Saturday evening presence after the switch to WJLA with broadcasts on TBD TV, a Washington D.C. area local news cable television channel, at the same time the show switched to WJLA. The show also began to be shown on the Washington D.C. area PBS station WETA on September 2, 2005.
When it debuted in 1969, Agronsky & Co. was a pioneer of the "talking head" format of television journalism in which journalists discussed the news of the day with one another in a roundtable format instead of interviewing the newsmakers themselves. The format was inexpensive to produce and appealed to a niche market of affluent viewers. Many shows have since adopted the format, and it has become a staple of television opinion programming.
In early September 2013, Gordon Peterson announced that Inside Washington will cease production in late December 2013, ending a continuous run of a combined 44 years for Agronsky & Co. and Inside Washington.
In the Washington, D.C., area, Inside Washington is broadcast on WETA on Friday nights at 8:30 PM (this broadcast is simulcast on the WETA World PBS cable television channel), on TBD TV on Saturday nights at 7:00 PM, and on Sunday mornings at 9:00 AM on WJLA. Although the Saturday evening broadcast time is consistent, WETA and WJLA sometimes change the broadcast times on Fridays and Sundays respectively for brief periods, and over the years the regular Sunday time slot for the show on WJLA also has varied. Inside Washington is syndicated to PBS stations around the United States.
Agronsky & Co. always had a more staid tone than most of its later imitators. The tone of Inside Washington, although somewhat more opinionated than under Agronsky's stewardship, nonetheless is very different from that of many "talking head" shows that followed including the The McLaughlin Group, one of its major competitors. Where The McLaughlin Group panelists and host John McLaughlin himself are prone to loud voices and direct arguments, the Inside Washington panelists tend to remain at a normal speaking voice and are rarely combative. In addition, Peterson is much less likely to provide his personal opinion on the topic than McLaughlin.[neutrality is disputed]
The show's current[when?] regular panelists are Colbert I. King, Charles Krauthammer, Mark Shields, Evan Thomas and Nina Totenberg, four of whom appear on each show. Although it is not common, the fifth will occasionally participate in all or part of show via a satellite television feed. When two or more of the regulars are unavailable during the same week, other journalists will participate to keep the number of panelists at four and to substitute for Peterson when he is unavailable.
- Farhi, Paul, "After more than 40 years, ‘Inside Washington’ will go off the air," washingtonpost.com, September 8, 2013.
- Inside Washington official website
- WETA announces addition of Inside Washington
- Inside Washington at the Internet Movie Database
- The Washington Times "WUSA Rethinks Roundtable"