COMMENTS: FEW WORDS FROM SPONSOR
There was a split opinion on the Story of the Day. CBS and NBC both led with White House strategy sessions about future policy on the Iraq War. ABC also covered President George Bush's meeting with abdul-Aziz al-Hakim, a leading Iraqi Shiite politician, but did not lead with Iraq. The major innovation came from NBC--not from its news but from its commercials, or rather lack of them. NBC Nightly News was presented by a single light-on-ads sponsor and expanded its newshole by four minutes.
NBC enjoyed a newshole of almost 24 minutes in its expanded format. It filled the time not by filing more stories, but by making the average length of its standard quota of seven packages longer. Lisa Myers filed an Investigation into the lack of expertise in the FBI's counter-terrorism effort, for example, that ran more than four minutes and David Gregory's lead on Iraq policy was more than three minutes long.
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