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Mitt Romney Convention Displaces 10 O’Clock Newscasts

The major networks were ready to go with the closing of the Republican National Convention. The main attraction of the night, and the week, was Mitt Romney‘s acceptance speech to the nation.

Romney hit the podium just after 10:30, as WNYW/Channel 5 and WPIX/Channel 11 were well into their 10 p.m. broadcasts. WWOR/Channel 9 typically ends its newscast at 10:35.

Even though Romney was live over the air at NBC, CBS, and ABC, there were other outlets that carried Romney’s big moment.

Starting on Channel 5, anchors Greg Kelly and Dari Alexander, using the Fox News feed, suspended regular news programming for Romney. When the GOP nominee concluded at 11:15 p.m., Kelly and Alexander stuck around for an additional 15 minutes to give viewers sports (with Ryan Asselta) and weather (with Nick Gregory).

“11:27, a little bit late for the 10 o’clock news,” Kelly says. “But it was a lot of fun.”
“It certainly was,” Alexander added. “An eventful night. So have a great night, and we’ll see you tomorrow.”

Sister station WWOR/Channel 9 had anchor Harry Martin on location at the convention in Tampa. Not only did Channel 9, whose newscast typically ends at 10:35 each night, air the speech, Martin did a good job briefly discussing highlights–all cold without any video clips. Sharon Crowley, in for Brenda Blackmon at the Secaucus studio, signed off the broadcast.

The loser of the night was WPIX/Channel 11. The Tribune-owned station, apparently playing the role of “counterprogramming,” did not provide the Romney speech on its air last night. Of course, millions of people wouldn’t know it anyway, as WPIX shut out Cablevision customers. That dispute is starting is third week.

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