Iowa PBS’s Iowa Press host to retire

Veteran political journalist David Yepsen will retire next month as host of Iowa PBS’s weekly public affairs program, Iowa Press. Yepsen has served as host since January of 2017, following countless appearances as a guest panelist since the late 1970s.

“This show has been a part of my life for many years and it’s hard to leave all the great people here at the network,” said Yepsen upon sharing news of his plans. “Iowa PBS is an important force that helps hold Iowa together by providing everyone with educational and cultural opportunities free of charge. Iowa Press also plays an important role providing voters with information they need to make intelligent decisions about the issues we face. It’s been an honor to be a part of it all.”

A native of Jefferson, Iowa, Yepsen covered government and politics for The Des Moines Register for more than 30 years. He was a fall fellow of Harvard’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy in 1989, and a fellow at the Institute of Politics at Harvard in 2008. He returned to Iowa after retiring as director of the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Respected by his peers as one of America’s most trusted political reporters, Yepsen has been invited to appear on countless network news programs, including CNN, Fox, MSNBC, CSPAN and PBS NewsHour.

“David covered his first presidential campaign in 1976. He moderated our Conversations with Candidates last year. He has been an integral part of Iowa PBS’s public affairs team,” said Molly Phillips, Iowa PBS executive director and general manager. “He brought his lifelong love of politics, his Iowa Caucus expertise and his insightful and historical analysis to our network. He helped Iowa PBS to thoughtfully document and frame the events of 2020, the most historic year of our generation.”

Yepsen’s final show will be broadcast Friday, September 10, 2021. While he will be retiring as moderator and host of the weekly program, he will return for Iowa PBS political specials and other future broadcasts. Kay Henderson has been named as his replacement.

“Across five decades, Iowans have benefitted from David Yepsen’s journalistic persistence and political acumen,” said Andrew Batt, senior producer of Iowa Press. “His historical perspective of Iowa politics is unmatched but often shared with a younger generation of journalists. Leading up to his well-earned retirement, David has left our viewers better informed about the leaders and issues that define public policy in Iowa.”

Iowa’s longest running public affairs television program, Iowa Press explores the issues affecting the lives of Iowans. Newsmakers, policy makers and elected officials join capitol reporters in a weekly discussion. The program airs Friday evenings and Sundays at noon on Iowa PBS. It is rebroadcast Saturday mornings on Iowa PBS’s .3 WORLD channel. Past episodes of Iowa Press are available online at iowapbs.org. Program support for Iowa Press is provided by Associated General Contractors of Iowa and Iowa Bankers Association.