To merge convention coverage

NBC, PBS

August 01, 1991|By Michael Hill | Michael Hill,Evening Sun Staff

LOS ANGELES -- NBC and PBS will cooperate on next year's national political conventions under an unusual arrangement that will put Tom Brokaw and other NBC correspondents on PBS' "McNeil/Lehrer Report."

Under the plan announced yesterday, the PBS program will come on the air around 7 p.m. with convention coverage. Anchors Robert McNeil and Jim Lehrer will be reporting from a studio in the convention city. Brokaw and the other NBC correspondents will be at the convention hall.

At 9:30 or 10 p.m., Brokaw and the NBC personnel will do their own program for their network while PBS maintains its coverage.

The networks are expected to limit convention coverage to an hour or so of late-evening programming.

The advantages of this arrangement to PBS are obvious -- it gets a marquee name and some expertise to augment its coverage.

It is less clear what NBC gets out of the arrangement.

"It gives us an opportunity to do something otherwise we would not be able to do," said Bill Wheatley, NBC's director of political coverage.

"This is a very worthwhile and innovative undertaking."

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