RNC Or Isaac? TV News Has Internal Battle

By Alex Weprin Comment

In case you haven’t noticed, The RNC is this week. Also, there is a hurricane barreling towards New Orleans. TV news operations are scrambling to figure out a way to cover both with the depth viewers expect.

As the NY Times notes:

“Right now we’re caught between a rock and a hard place,” said David Verdi, an NBC News vice president, with “two major stories simultaneously.”

Networks are busy figuring out who goes where, but it looks like all of the major TV news outlets will have at least a few A-listers in NOLA.

Politico notes that coverage of the RNC may look very different than next week’s DNC coverage (unless there is another natural disaster)

“We’re watching closely and will stay flexible about moving other people,” the spox continued. “But expect to see a lot of split screens.”

Update: NBC and CNN tell Politico they won’t literally have split screens.

Of course, as Joe Flint notes in the LA Times, a hurricane might be just what the broadcast networks need:

There was a time when the broadcast networks provided nonstop prime-time coverage of the conventions. Now, an hour a night is about all the networks can stomach.

There was also a time when the conventions provided a lot of excitement and real news. Now the conventions are little more than infomercials for their own parties and vicious attacks on the rival party. There is a lot of preaching to the converted and few surprises.