ABC & Cable Nets Plan Live Of Bush Speech; No Word From NBC Or CBS

By Brian 

The White House has asked the networks to broadcast President Bush’s Fort Bragg speech live tomorrow night, but will they? Here’s the latest:

ABC News will broadcast the speech from 8 to 9pm. Charles Gibson will anchor from NYC. “He will be joined by This Week anchor George Stephanopoulos, White House Correspondent Terry Moran with the President at Fort Bragg and National Security Correspondent Martha Raddatz who just returned from Iraq,” a press release says.

Spokespersons for CBS and NBC said they are waiting to hear whether their networks will air the speech.

On FNC, Brit Hume will anchor live coverage from 8 to 9:30pm. A half-hour edition of H&C will follow, then Greta will be live from 10 to 11pm.

> Update: 1:31am: [Earlier I said MSNBC was pre-empting the “Hardball Church Tour.” That was incorrect.] MSNBC’s Chris Matthews will have a busy night: At 7pm, he is hosting the “Hardball Church Tour;” Then at 8, he’ll preview the President’s speech; and at 9, he’ll anchor a post-game “Heartland Town Hall Meeting.” “Matthews will anchor the coverage from Nashville, Tennessee, where he will listen to the speech with a group of local citizens to get immediate reaction from the heartland,” a P.R. says.

> Update: 9:00am: Wolf Blitzer and Paula Zahn will anchor CNN’s coverage from Washington, followed by Larry King Live. I love the way CNN is promoting the coverage: “President Bush gives a prime-time rallying cry on Iraq. Will he say anything different?”

> Update: 9:33am: Affiliates of the Fox broadcast network will have the option of carrying the address. Shep Smith will anchor the level two coverage. (Brit will only be seen on FNC.)