Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Networks plan on only 1 hour of coverage each night

WE'VE MOVED! Democratic Convention Watch is now at

Apparently shows like Deal or No Deal and Wife Swap are more important than choosing the next President of the United States.

As of now, ABC, CBS and NBC, following the programming model created in 2000, are planning hourlong coverage (live and in HD) during each of the four nights, with the rest of prime time devoted to the regular schedule.


However, CBS News spokeswoman Sandy Genelius stresses the phrase "that's the plan" when discussing the network's schedule, which could change drastically depending upon events.


Reports of potentially nasty demonstrations in Denver could take the networks out of their "hour-a-night" mode.

"The Denver convention could produce a lot of prime-time coverage," Genelius said. - RMN

So expect to only see expanded coverage if there are riots. Then it'll be 24/7 coverage (unless OJ decides to take another Bronco ride down the highway or Britney Spears goes crazy again)

Although prime-time broadcast network coverage is scheduled to be limited, news-oriented programs will emanate from the convention sites.

NBC Nightly News and Today will broadcast from Denver, while Meet the Press, with Tom Brokaw replacing the late Tim Russert, will air from here on Aug. 24, the day before the convention begins.

Charles Gibson (World News Tonight), George Stephanopoulos (This Week) and many of the Good Morning America crew will be in Denver for ABC.

While ABC News doesn't have a basic cable channel, it does provide ABC News Now, a digital cable operation started during the 2004 campaign at the urging of the late Peter Jennings. The site will provide "gavel-to-gavel" coverage.

Katie Couric will anchor the CBS Evening News from Denver and will be involved in the network's prime-time coverage. Bob Schieffer will host Face the Nation from CBS4 News' studio.

Former Denver broadcaster Harry Smith, co-host of CBS This Morning, also will broadcast from Denver.

My take is that people that are interested in the coverage will most likely watch on CNN, MSNBC or even Fox News. Those who can't be bothered with politics and would rather watch Are You Smarter Than The President? are the ones that helped us into the mess we're in now.

I'm just glad I'll be there so I don't have to listen to the talking heads!

Update: If they really go an hour a night, this is an increase in coverage over 2004, where they only broadcast an hour on 3 nights. Four years later, what was the most important speech at the 2004 convention? Obama's keynote speech, of course. But if you had been watching the big networks, you would have missed it. He spoke on the night they weren't airing the convention!