Before Libya, White House Must Negotiate With ABChttp://mediadecoder.blogs.
President Obama had a message for the American people Monday night, an explanation of the government’s intentions in Libya, one that he believed was important enough to request air time from the broadcast networks as well as the cable news networks.
But the Administration also recognized that some networks, like ABC, had important priorities of their own: the programs they had scheduled for prime time Monday — like “Dancing with the Stars,” the second most-watched show on television.
After some friendly negotiations, all parties agreed to a mutually acceptable time: 7:30 Eastern, which meant the speech on the military situation in Libya could be delivered — and analyzed – in time for the fans of “Dancing,” as well as other scheduled network shows, to see the shows they expected to see at their regularly scheduled times.
One of these other shows was a special on volunteerism on NBC, which featured appearances from the four living ex-presidents, as well as a taped message from Mr. Obama himself. ABC had a particular reason why it preferred not to have “Dancing with the Stars” interrupted or delayed: the show is broadcast live.
A White House spokesman, Joshua Earnest, sent a statement by email:
“The White House routinely works with the networks, as a group, in circumstances like these to find a time that’s respectful of both the networks and their audience – while ensuring that the President has the platform he needs to deliver an important message to the American people.”