September 2, 2008

Local Stations Jump in After Speech

By Dusty Saunders

You can't accuse 9News, CBS4 News and Denver's 7 of ignoring the drama surrounding Barack Obama's 42-minute acceptance speech.

Once it ended, the three bumped network programming at 9 p.m. and went for the local angles with hourlong specials, centering on reactions to the speech and reviewing the day at Invesco Field.

9News' coverage was simulcast on KTVD-Channel 3, its sister station.

The CBS-owned station also aired a simulcast with KBDI- Channel 12, which left coverage at 9:30 p.m. for its own special convention programming.

Denver's 7 bumped a rerun of ABC's Grey's Anatomy to provide its hourlong anatomy of an important day.

* Earlier, NBC Nightly News With Brian Williams, the nation's most-watched network news broadcast, was pre-empted at 5:30 p.m. by a boring NFL exhibition game between Jacksonville and Washington.

Game coverage also forced 9News to air its 5 and 6 p.m. half- hour reports on KTVD-Channel 3.

Actually, this gave NBC a leg up on its network rivals since Williams and crew joined the Invesco festivities at 7:54 p.m., 6 minutes ahead of ABC and CBS.

* As he did all week, Fox News' Bill O'Reilly, broadcasting from New York, kept the focus of his 6 p.m. hour on opinions and interviews, many negative about the convention coverage. This undoubtedly pleased his fans who tired of the ongoing early pageantry at Invesco Field shown on competing cable channels.

Predictably, O'Reilly had harsh words for NBC's coverage, saying "it's falling apart on the air" (which it didn't), based on reported feuds among MSNBC personalities.

O'Reilly also blasted the Rocky Mountain News for a blog he felt was unfair to Fox News.

* CNN's use of a "skycam" above Invesco produced a minor controversy. NBC's Tom Brokaw and Chuck Todd, the network's research director, wondered aloud if such coverage might produce an "imperious" view of the Obama campaign.

* How many were crammed into Invesco to hear Obama? The total rose as the evening went on, according to TV commentators.

Shortly after 7 p.m., an excited Wolf Blitzer told CNN viewers the number was "80 or 85,000!"

The accepted figure: 80,000.

* The television screen was crowded with a variety of images at Invesco as Obama delivered his speech.

But the most emotional was the shot of a rear view of Obama leaving the stage and being enthusiastically greeted by his wife and two daughters.

* CNN was the most-watched television network Wednesday night in the key 8 to 9 p.m. local time period in competition among the three broadcasting networks and the three cable news outlets.

According to TV Newser, an online service, Nielsen reported that CNN reached 5.383 million, edging NBC's 5.361 million.

In the key 25-54 age demographic, NBC had 2.4 million; CNN 2.318 million.

Following CNN and NBC in total viewers (in order) were ABC, CBS, Fox and MSNBC.

Originally published by Dusty Saunders, Special to the Rocky.

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