After retiring from NBC News in 1994 after a four-decade, Abernathy wasn't ready to stop working. "Armed with his deep faith, intellectual curiosity and a theology degree he had earned from Yale Divinity School during a one-year leave of absence in 1984, he persuaded WNET, the PBS station in New York, to produce Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly, a half-hour nonsectarian series that Mr. Abernethy hosted and presided over as executive editor beginning in 1997," says The New York Times' Sam Roberts. "Within 10 years of its launch, the show — which Mr. Abernethy had described as 'a news program, no preaching' — was airing on 250 public stations nationwide, winning some 200 industry awards. He and his collaborators went on to broadcast regularly until 2017, when he was 89." Abernathy's guests included the Dalai Lama, President Jimmy Carter, the Rev. Billy Graham and Jonathan Sacks, at the time the chief rabbi of the United Kingdom.