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NEW YORK — ABC News will be hitting the road — and the rails — for a whirlwind tour of all 50 states before the November election.
In a partnership with USA Today that includes many ABC News programs and platforms, the network will showcase “Good Morning America,” “Nightline” and “World News With Charles Gibson” to hear from voters in every state. The early part of the trip will be a throwback to the glory days of travel, with the “Good Morning America” crew broadcasting live from a specially equipped Amtrak train on its way through Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, West Virginia and Washington.
For ABC News, it’s a continuation of the type of reporting its correspondents have done for “Iraq: Where We Stand” and “Katrina: Where We Stand” as well as the millennial project it did in 2000-01.
The “GMA Whistle-stop,” as it’s called, will in itself be historic. “No one has ever broadcast live from a train before,” ABC News president David Westin said. “And we’re going to be doing it even while we’re moving.”
To accomplish this, the network equipped the train with two gyroscopic satellite dishes to provide WiFi and other transmission capability in an attempt to make sure the signal won’t be lost as long as the weather isn’t bad. Special events executive producer John Green and his staff traveled the route via train, auto and even helicopter to look at the terrain and even make sure that there weren’t any tree branches in the way.
And even “Today” is getting into the traveling fever. NBC said Monday that the breakfastcast would have a four-day swing through the battleground states of Pennsylvania, Florida, Virginia and Michigan the week of Sept. 22. They would end a day before the first presidential debate, which will be held in Oxford, Miss., on Sept. 26.
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