HDNet elects Rather for primary coverage in Indiana, N. Carolina


Dan Rather's back in the saddle again.

The former "CBS Evening News" anchor will be on the air tonight at HDNet for at least two hours of coverage of the North Carolina and Indiana presidential primaries. The coverage, which will partly air in the "Dan Rather Reports" time slot, will be televised live in front of an audience at the Newseum in Washington.

Guests include former U.S. Rep. Tony Coelho, D-Calif., politics experts Donald Fowler and Peter Hart and critic Tom Rosenstiel.

It's the fourth such night of election coverage for Rather, who presided over two decades' worth as the CBS anchor. Without taking anything away from what the broadcast and cable nets do, Rather said that, by circumstance and design, HDNet is doing something different.

"If all we can do is do what the others do, there's no reason to do these programs," Rather said. "We're trying to take the audience inside the political process." So instead of video walls and short bursts of analysis between exit polls and election results, Rather and his team are going to have what he calls a "conversation" about the results and what they mean. (partialdiff)