HDNet elects Rather for primary coverage

Tue May 6, 2008 2:02pm EDT
 
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By Paul J. Gough

NEW YORK (Hollywood Reporter) - Dan Rather's back in the saddle.

The former "CBS Evening News" anchor will be on the air Tuesday night at HDNet for at least two hours of coverage of the North Carolina and Indiana presidential primaries. The coverage, which will air partly during the "Dan Rather Reports" time slot, will be televised live in front of an audience at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.

Guests include former U.S. Rep. Tony Coelho, D-Calif., political experts Donald Fowler and Peter Hart and media critic Tom Rosenstiel.

It's the fourth such night of election coverage for Rather, who presided over two decades' worth as the CBS anchor. Without taking anything away from what the broadcast and cable networks do, Rather said that, by circumstance and design, HDNet is doing something different.

"If all we can do is do what the others do, there's no reason to do these programs," Rather said. "We're trying to take the audience inside the political process." So instead of video walls and short bursts of analysis between exit polls and election results, Rather and his team are going to have what he calls a "conversation" about the results and what they mean.

The show is scheduled to run 7-9 p.m. EDT, with a repeat beginning at 11 p.m. The later telecast will at the very least have an update on the results if it's a "breathtakingly close race," according to Rather.

"We intend to be on until -- and a little bit beyond -- the issue has been decided," Rather said.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

 
<p>Former CBS news anchor Dan Rather answers questions at the Cable Television Critics Association press tour in Pasadena, California, July 11, 2006. REUTERS/Fred Prouser</p>