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NBC has announced that it will dedicate an hour in primetime on each of the four nights of the upcoming political conventions.
That is one more hour than in years past when NBC, ABC and CBS only aired one hour a night of the last three nights of the Republican and Democratic conventions. ABC has already announced that it plans to air an hour of primetime convention coverage on all four nights of each convention. The Republican and Democratic conventions are being held July 18-21 in Cleveland and July 25-28 in Philadelphia, respectively.
Lester Holt, Matt Lauer, Savannah Guthrie and Chuck Todd are set to anchor NBC’s coverage from Cleveland and Philadelphia with NBC Nightly News, Today and Meet the Press all broadcasting live from the conventions. Holt will also anchor NBC ‘s primetime coverage with Guthrie and Todd, which is set to air from 10-11 p.m. ET across all four nights of each convention and be live-streamed on NBCNews.com.
MSNBC will launch its in-depth coverage the week of the Republican rules committee meetings in Cleveland, ramping up over the weekend leading into the opening gavel on Monday, July 18. The cable network will offer 20 hours of live reporting each day the Republican and Democratic conventions are in session, NBC said, beginning with live broadcasts of Morning Joe through primetime and late-night coverage led by Rachel Maddow, Brian Williams and Chris Matthews. Todd will anchor MTP Daily from live locations outside the convention halls at 5 p.m. ET on MSNBC, followed by Chris Hayes at 6 p.m. ET. Brian Williams and Rachel Maddow will anchor MSNBC’s primetime coverage from New York, with Chris Matthews live inside the convention hall. Matthews will anchor late-night coverage until 2 a.m. ET.
NBC News will also have more than 45 anchors, correspondents and reporters throughout both conventions, with NBCNews.com and social media platforms providing nonstop reporting and analysis.
Tom Brokaw will also contribute to NBC’s coverage across both networks and online.
Additional noteworthy anchors and correspondents on the ground will include Peter Alexander, José Díaz-Balart, Stephanie Gosk, Gabe Gutierrez, Chris Jansing, Hallie Jackson, Tamron Hall, Kasie Hunt, Andrea Mitchell, Kelly O’Donnell, Lawrence O’Donnell, Cal Perry, Jacob Rascon, Joy Reid, Thomas Roberts, Stephanie Ruhle, Jacob Soboroff, Kate Snow, Katy Tur and Kristen Welker. Nicolle Wallace, Steve Schmidt, Ben Ginsberg, Hugh Hewitt, Mike Murphy and Eugene Robinson will all contribute to coverage either from the convention host cities or elsewhere in the country.
NBC will also have an “Election Confessions” voting booth at both conventions for visitors to anonymously disclose their private thoughts about the 2016 presidential election.
The broadcast networks usually dedicate just one primetime hour on three of the four nights of the conventions. With entertainment schedules sagging in a fractured media environment, all were weighing whether to expand coverage beyond that when it looked like there would be a brokered convention on the Republican side.
But cable news, which has seen record ratings during the volatile 2016 presidential campaigns and primary debates, is gearing up to devote significant resources and airtime to the conventions. Fox News will have several programs originating from the conventions, including Bret Baier’s Special Report and Megyn Kelly’s The Kelly File. CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker has said the network will cover the conventions gavel-to-gavel.
And news divisions won’t simply be covering the happenings inside the convention halls. Protests are expected at both conventions.
Supporters of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders have vowed to disrupt the Democratic convention and protesters continue to amass at presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump’s campaign stops where supporters have clashed — at times violently — with Trump dissenters. So the networks could actually have a news event on their hands.
“I think the people we’ll send are going to have more to do than they did in recent times,” CBS News president David Rhodes told The Hollywood Reporter recently.
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