Reuters top ten news stories delivered to your inbox each day.
You are here:
Business & Finance
The Great Debate
Do More With Reuters
Make Reuters My Homepage
Support (Customer Zone)
About Thomson Reuters
Broadcasters put all hands on deck for inauguration
Tue Jan 20, 2009 12:46am EST
Email | Print |
| Reprints | Single Page
By Paul J. Gough
NEW YORK (Hollywood Reporter) - For television producers and correspondents covering the inauguration, Tuesday will be one for the history books.
Like everything surrounding the 2008 presidential campaign, the inauguration of Barack Obama dawns with broadcast media swinging for the fences. Not only are the usual suspects bringing their A teams, but cable networks as diverse as BET, TV One, Al Jazeera and ESPN are offering live coverage of Obama's swearing-in. MTV will focus on inaugural coverage in the evening.
Add the expected crush of millions of the at-work audience tuning in around noon EST, and it's not a stretch to say this could be the most widely seen inauguration in U.S. history. The record, by far, is the 42 million who tuned in to see Ronald Reagan's first inauguration January 20, 1981.
"If you love American history, this is the Super Bowl, and it caps a Super Bowl political season," said NBC News anchor Brian Williams, who will attend his seventh inauguration.
It also comes with Super Bowl-like expenses, if not Super Bowl-like advertising rates.
The networks have shelled out millions for shared coverage and millions more for extra camera angles, high-definition equipment and prime locations on and around Capitol Hill. The coverage is ad-supported, but ads will not be as plentiful as during regular programing.
ABC's ceremony coverage is sponsored by Audi, and will not include commercials. CNN goes commercial-free at 11 a.m. and into the afternoon. MSNBC will not take commercial breaks before or after the noon swearing-in but will carry a normal load of ads later.
For several weeks, producers have screened footage of past inaugural moments: Reagan's first in 1981, John F. Kennedy's in 1961 and whatever they can find from what might be the most analogous, the March 1933 swearing-in of Franklin D. Roosevelt during the Great Depression. The first inauguration with sound film is Herbert Hoover's in 1929.
"CBS Evening News" executive producer Rick Kaplan, a veteran of every inauguration since 1973, said there is pressure on every network to make sure this one is covered perfectly.
"It's an extraordinary event, and you want to get it right," he said. "What everyone wants to do is report in a way fitting the amazing importance of the event. This is a critical period in our country's history -- you want to have your A game on this story."
Networks' plans have been made even more complicated by the sheer number of events -- there practically has been wall-to-wall coverage since the train carrying Obama and Vice President-elect Joe Biden left Philadelphia -- and by as many as 3 million spectators expected to be on the Mall for the swearing-in. Security also is tighter than it has been in a long time.
"This is really complex; it's a much bigger event than we've ever had for an inauguration," CNN Washington bureau chief David Bohrman said. "There are all these predictions for 1 or 2 or 3 million people coming to Washington. It's like biblical proportions."
Network operations throughout Washington are preparing like never before, with sleepovers in some bureaus and an expectation that once in place around dawn, no one will be able to move because of the crowds. Continued...
View article on single page
South African Markets - Factors to watch on Jan 20
Also on Reuters
Full Coverage: Barack Obama's Inauguration
Video: A peek at the classroom of the future?
Antarctic ice shelf set to collapse due to warming
More Entertainment News
Rapper 50 Cent expands empire to filmmaking
Brad Pitt, at 45, not worried about old age
Quincy Jones joins Bono as newspaper columnist
Gael Garcia Bernal does Cha Cha Cha at Sundance
Dark indie film market sees faint light at Sundance
More Entertainment News...
A selection of our best photos from the past 24 hours. Slideshow
Most Popular on Reuters
Carrey's at his nimble best in gay-themed "Morris"
Outrage at busty Virgin Mary models
Foundation concerns could delay Clinton confirmation
RBS loss a record for a UK firm, shares in freefall
Editorials worldwide pillory Bush one final time | Video
Antarctic ice shelf set to collapse due to warming
Bush commutes border patrol agents' sentences
FACTBOX: Barack Obama, 44th president
Cisco to sell servers with virtualization: report
Israel set to quit Gaza before Obama inauguration | Video
Most Popular Articles RSS Feed
Obama pays tribute to King
Unprecedented security for Obama
Outspoken Russian lawyer slain
Stars come out for Obama concert
EU youth protest economic crisis
Barack Obama's daunting challenges
Hamas announces own ceasefire terms
Japan dons Obama masks
Hamas warning as Israel withdraws
Red Cross hostages' phone plea
Most Popular Videos RSS Feed
The global destination for corporate leaders, deal-makers and innovators
Knowledge to Act
Help and Contact Us |
Advertise With Us |
Interactive TV |
Reuters in Second Life |
Site Index |
Thomson Reuters Corporate:
Professional Products |
Professional Products Support |
About Thomson Reuters |
Latin America |
United Kingdom |
Thomson Reuters is the world's largest international multimedia news agency, providing investing news, world news, business news, technology news, headline news, small business news, news alerts, personal finance, stock market, and mutual funds information available on Reuters.com, video, mobile, and interactive television platforms. Thomson Reuters journalists are subject to an Editorial Handbook which requires fair presentation and disclosure of relevant interests.
NYSE and AMEX quotes delayed by at least 20 minutes. Nasdaq delayed by at least 15 minutes. For a complete list of exchanges and delays, please click here.