Anchors see cancer benefit as a Stand Up cause


It's been a busy and well-traveled couple of weeks for the Big Three network news anchors. But they have one more personal duty before they head home.

CBS' Katie Couric, NBC's Brian Williams and ABC's Charles Gibson were set to leave St. Paul almost immediately after the Republican National Convention and fly to Los Angeles for tonight's three-network "Stand Up to Cancer" benefit. ABC, CBS and NBC will carry the simulcast beginning at 8 p.m. EDT/PDT in one of the few times the broadcasters have banded together for a benefit.

"It's great after these two political conventions, with two very different visions, to be able to take part in a tripartisan event that will really unite the country behind a common cause," Couric said Thursday. "It's a perfect ending for me to these two weeks."

Within the past year, several in the industry — including Couric, producer Laura Ziskin, former Paramount CEO Sherry Lansing and the Entertainment Industry Foundation's Lisa Paulsen — began working separately on a telethon to benefit cancer research and call attention to the disease. Now they've combined forces to, in Ziskin's words, "make cancer entertaining."

Ziskin, who is fighting cancer, is producing the show. Scheduled to appear with the anchors are Halle Berry, Lance Armstrong, Jimmy Fallon, Jennifer Aniston and others. They hope to raise millions of dollars that will go 100% to cancer research.

"For the cancer community, their interest has really piqued," Williams said. "They really know this is coming, and the 'roadblock' (simulcast) concept, it's a great idea." (partialdiff)