A vote for change

Fox to air 'Lie to Me' instead of Obama presser

Is the honeymoon over? For the first time since President Obama took office, a major broadcast network is refusing to grant his request for primetime coverage.

Fox said it will air regular programming (the detective drama "Lie to Me") Wednesday instead of Obama's 100th-day news conference.

"The Fox Broadcasting Co. will not air the presidential news conference," Fox said Monday. "Fox's sister networks, Fox News Channel and the Fox Business Network, will air the press conference in its entirety. Fox will be alerting viewers with an onscreen graphic at the top of the 8 p.m. (ET) hour that the press conference is available on Fox News Channel and the Fox Business Network."

ABC, CBS and NBC have said they will carry the telecast, which comes during the sweep.

Although some might assume a political motivation to Fox's decision, the network has plenty of bottom-line reasons for refusing Obama's request.

Broadcasters increasingly have groused about the president's requests for airtime. Each interruption costs networks millions of dollars in advertising. Fox is the only major broadcast network without a dedicated news division and typically is the least-watched broadcaster when covering live news events. Also, sister network Fox News tends to draw larger audiences.

Fox has carried the president's three other post-inauguration news events and in the past has rejected requests for primetime coverage from administrations of both parties. (partialdiff)