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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Tom Brokaw will hit the road to capture how everyday Americans are struggling in a bad economy and gauge the effect of President Barack Obama's policies, the veteran TV journalist said on Wednesday.
The 69-year-old former "NBC Nightly News" anchor will tackle the project for cable television's USA Network, and his reporting will take place in the next 10 months.
Portions will air later this year on NBC's morning show "Today," as well as on "NBC Nightly News" and cable channel MSNBC. USA will air the entire documentary as a TV special called "Highway 50: A Road Trip Across America" in January 2010 to coincide with the anniversary of Obama's inauguration.
Brokaw and his crew will capture stories along Highway 50, which has been called "the backbone of America" because it runs along the geographical middle of the country from Maryland to California and spans numerous regions with different politics.
The TV journalist described the project as a way to take the U.S. pulse amid the slumping economy and with Obama taking bold steps to deal with it.
"This is an unusual time, it's all happening at warp speed, it's complicated and I think what people want at the moment is some straight talk," Brokaw said.
Brokaw was anchor and managing editor of "NBC Nightly News" from 1983 through 2004, and he is the author of a book called "The Greatest Generation" that describes Americans who came of age in the Great Depression and fought in World War II.
NBC, MSNBC and USA are owned and operated by the NBC Universal media division of General Electric Co.
Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis: Editing by Bob Tourtellotte