Net-By-Net Coverage Plans For Democratic Convention

Jul 25, 2004  •  Post A Comment

The major broadcast networks have cut back on coverage of the political convention, but viewers will still be able to watch as much as they wish. A number of cable channels are planning extensive coverage. Here is a rundown:


When: 10-11 p.m. (ET) Monday, Wednesday and Thursday

Lead anchor: Peter Jennings

Executive producer: Mark Burstein

Distinguishing wrinkle: ABC News is putting the most eggs in the broadband basket. Users can click on ABC News Now (the new name for what was ABC News Live, the division’s subscription broadband service) to watch Mr. Jennings anchor fully produced, extended convention coverage even when the network is not offering convention programming. Affiliates will receive feeds of that broadband coverage to transmit on their local digital spectrum.


When: 10-11 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Thursday

Lead anchor: Dan Rather

Executive producer: Al Ortiz

Distinguishing wrinkle: The network is not devoting a lot of time and energy to what it calls bells and whistles. There’s no charge for the gavel-to-gavel broadband coverage available on the CBS News Web site.


When: “American Morning” originates from the convention, where wall-to-wall coverage will run from “Inside Politics” at 3 p.m. through a fresh “Larry King Live” from midnight to 1 a.m.

Lead anchors: Wolf Blitzer and Judy Woodruff

Executive producer: David Bohrman

Distinguishing wrinkle: The main anchor desk will be on the delegate-filled floor just off the stage and podium where the Democrats’ official program plays out. The desk is not enclosed, but CNN said advances in microphones, earpieces and wireless technology will make it possible to deal with the din of the convention. CNN also plans to put lipstick-size cameras on delegates to provide glimpses of activities behind the scenes.

Comedy Central

When: 11-11:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday

Lead anchor: Jon Stewart

Executive producers: Mr. Stewart and Ben Karlin

Distinguished wrinkle: A day after the nation will have seen the convention’s lineup, Jon Stewart and “The Daily Show,” from a set at Boston University, will have their inimitable way with it. Among the show’s promises: a short video biography of candidate Kerry and “special guests.” More will be posted on comedycentral.com.


When: Gavel-to-gavel each convention night

Lead anchor: None

Executive producer: Steve Scully

Distinguishing wrinkle: C-SPAN’s ambient-sound-only coverage is expected to be picked up by BBC Parliament, Canada’s CPAC, France’s Public Senat and Germany’s Phoenix.

Fox News Channel

When: 3-5 p.m. and 6-11 p.m. on convention days.

Lead anchor: Brit Hume

Executive producers: Marty Ryan and Thom Bird

Distinguishing wrinkle: Even Bill O’Reilly goes to Boston and will be carried live as Fox aims to keep its prime-time Murderers’ Row in its usual batting positions, with Greta Van Susteren the closer.


When: 10-11 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Thursday

Lead anchors: Tom Brokaw and Tim Russert

Executive producer: Mark Lukasiewicz

Distinguishing wrinkle: Brian Williams, who will inherit Mr. Brokaw’s seat Dec. 1, will be roaming the convention floor. The team that facilitates coverage for NBC News, MSNBC, CNBC and Telemundo will test the roaming limits of a digital microwave system that saves on cabling and gives crews inside Fleet Center more mobility and flexibility. It revolves around one little antenna centrally located in the convention hall.


When: 6 p.m.-2 a.m. Monday through Thursday; updates throughout the day

Lead anchor: Chris Matthews

Executive producer: Tammy Haddad

Distinguishing wrinkle: Mr. Matthews will be operating from nearby Faneuil Hall, on an open set that can handle an assortment of delegates, guests and spectators. In a break from precedent, Tom Brokaw begins his farewell election tour by hosting an MSNBC show, “Brokaw in Boston,” from 4-4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday.


When: Coverage will be limited largely to reporting within the network’s morning show, its 5-6 p.m. magazine and 6:30-7 p.m. evening newscast, with news briefs throughout each convention day.

Lead anchor: Pedro Sevcec

Executive producer: Berta Castaner

Distinguishing wrinkle: The network has scheduled an hour starting at 10 p.m. Thursday to carry John Kerry’s acceptance speech, with simultaneous translation into Spanish.


When: 8 p.m. through the conclusion of official activities each night.

Lead anchor: Jim Lehrer

Executive producer: Les Crystal, “NewsHour” executive producer

Distinguishing wrinkle: “We continue to see conventions as important events,” said a spokesman for the “NewsHour.”


When: Reports on the convention will be carried within the network’s morning news-variety program “Despierta America,” and 6:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. editions of “Noticiero Univision” will originate from the conventions.

Lead anchors: Jorge Ramos, Maria Elena Salinas and Enrique Gratas

Executive producer: Lourdes Torres

Distinguishing wrinkle: Simultaneous translation of Sen. Kerry’s speech into Spanish.