Chile Mine Rescue: Bookers, Start Your Engines

By Alex Weprin 

The final miner has only been above ground for just over 24 hours, but it is a safe bet that TV news bookers are scrambling to get the first interviews with the men who were trapped underground for 69 days.

Broadcasting & Cable‘s Marisa Guthrie has more on the race to book the miners and their families, and notes that “Today”‘s Natalie Morales–who speaks Spanish–is on the scene. You can be sure that the networks will do whatever it takes to be the first to book the men.

The miner’s families also say they expect to be paid for interviews. None of the major American news organizations pay for interviews per se, but all of them will offer to pay for travel, and most will also be happy to “license” photos and video from the families of the interviewees, with the fees often in the thousands of dollars.

So which U.S. network (or talk show host) will get the first interview? The clock is ticking, but it is only a matter of time before someone bites the bullet, or at least reaches for their wallet .

Meanwhile, Discovery Channel is planning a one-hour special on the mine rescue for October 28. The special speaks to the families of the miners the president of Chile, as well as the rescuers and consultants that worked on the operation.

More information on that special, after the jump.

–  Produced by Discovery Channel Latin America for air on Discovery Channels around the World –

(Silver Spring, MD) Discovery Channel has gained exclusive access to the harrowing 70-day Chilean miners disaster and heart-wrenching rescue mission for a world premiere special, RESCUED: THE CHILEAN MINE STORY (WT).  Produced by Discovery Channel Latin America, the one-hour special will simulcast on October 28 on Discovery Channel and on Discovery en Español in the US and on Discovery Channel across Latin America the same day, and Europe, Middle East and Africa in November.  The program focuses on the triumph of engineering and human spirit and the extraordinary scientific and technological innovations that have been brought together to complete this miracle rescue from deep underground.

— interviews with miners and their families during family reunions;

— interview with Andre Sougarett, head of the rescue operation;
— the activity of the three drilling machines that were used for the rescue operations;
—  the Engineers and technicians in charge of each of the plan ( Plan A, B and C)/each drilling machine;
— the “control room” of the operation where daily meetings took;

The program will feature interviews with Chilean President Piñera, the mining minister Laurence Golborne, Dr Michael Duncan from NASA (an advisor to the Medical Team in charge of the miners when they were trapped), several of the engineers and drillers on-site, interviews with family members and some miners.

RESCUED: THE CHILEAN MINE STORY (WT) is executive produced for Discovery Channel Latin America by Michela Giorelli. Brooke Runnette is executive producer for Discovery Channel US.