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HDNet

Rather Becomes HD Ambassador

TVNewsDay has excerpts of Dan Rather‘s speech at the HD World conference yesterday in New York:

“High definition increases the sense of immediacy… When used the right way, high definition has the potential to almost completely remove the so-called fourth wall separating the program from the viewer.

This is exciting for any kind of programming, but I think it is important for news in particular because it mitigates the potential television has sometimes had in the past to take huge events such as wars and natural disasters and shrink them to images that seem neatly contained in a small box. There is a certain removed quality to it.

High definition takes that away. It takes away that layer of removal that can lull us, at times, into thinking that the far away events we see on television are somehow less real.” More…

Rather Returns: First Review

“Take away the high-def pictures,” and the premiere of ‘Dan Rather Reports’ on HDNet “looked like the old ‘CBS Reports,’ a documentary series that stretches back to the days of Edward R. Murrow,” Tim Cuprisin says.

He says the HD images “offer a realism unavailable on conventional news shows. From astonishingly crisp battle footage to emotional scenes of soldiers coming home from the war, the high-def documentary compounded the realism of conventional TV reporting.” More…

Rather On Couric: “They’re Trying To Do The Today Show In The Evening”

Speaking about the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric, Dan Rather has previously said that “the time to assess the change will come around the end of February.”

But in this St. Petersburg Times story, Rather says he has seen the new Evening News a few times, and he offers this assessment:

“I’ve seen it some nights when I think they’re trying to do the Today show in the evening.”

More: “They’re still in the early stages of deciding… what kind of news personality they want her to be.”

Rather Returns: An Hour About Vets

rathernov13.jpgThe premiere of Dan Rather Reports will be “an hour-long story about Iraq war veterans returning home from the front,” Eat the Press notes.
Yesterday on Imus, Rather said of his potential viewers: “If they don’t do anything else, they’ll learn something about these troops, the price they have paid, their families, and what we need to be thinking about in terms of the care of these people who’ve been wounded both physically and psychologically, and their families.”

Rather Returns: Morning Papers

Dan Rather‘s “new venture is commanding attention beyond the relative handful who will catch its premiere Tuesday at 8 p.m. EST,” the Associated Press notes. Here are a few examples:

> Philadelphia Inquirer: “As HDNet’s global correspondent, Rather has been on the road almost constantly for 21/2 months, hitting Mexico, England, the Far East, and Alaska, among many other states. At 75, he’s beginning to feel it in his bones…”

> Reuters: “Rather says his new show will let the stories dictate the format, not the other way round as on other shows…”

> Baltimore Sun: “HDNet chose not to make tonight’s premiere episode available for screening, which may suggest that the show is still a work in progress…”

> Chicago Sun-Times: “Now, he says, the day has come to work again. Or, as he puts it all Texasy: ‘It’s time to change these tires on this moving car…’”

Rather Returns: Tuesday at 8pm

Dan Rather Reports’ premieres Tuesday at 8pm on HDNet.

“Neither Rather nor the network could say, as of Sunday, what stories would be featured on Tuesday’s opener,” USAT’s Peter Johnson reports. “Rather says each program will mix ‘hard-edged reports’ on a world hot spot, an investigative piece, an interview and a news analysis — all reported by him.”

“Stop and think about it for a minute,” Rather says. “I don’t know any other journalist who has this. I feel like a proverbial cub reporter trying to make it…”

Midterms: Rather Will “Play It Straight” On His Comedy Central Premiere

Dan Rather intends to be himself, “report a bit,” and let Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert make the jokes. He tells the Philadelphia Inquirer: “I’m told I will be expected to ‘play it straight,’ and then they’ll bounce off it. We’ll see.”

TV prof Robert Thompson says “there were times during the last few elections I thought Rather was already doing Comedy Central.”

Ha ha. He thinks the broadcast could be interesting if Stewart and Colbert utilize Rather’s reporting experience: “Let’s face it, Rather’s got a lot to say. You might hate him, but he’s an experienced journalist.”

Midterms: Rather, Stewart, & Colbert

rathernov7.jpg“Former CBS Evening News anchor Dan Rather, whose colorful Dan-isms attained collectible status over his four decades of covering politics at CBS News, won’t be sitting out this midterm election night. He’ll sit in during the first half-hour of Comedy Central’s hour of election coverage featuring The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report’s Stephen Colbert,” TV Week reports.

“Titled Indecision 2006: The Midterm Midtacular, the show, which will be live at 11 p.m. on the East Coast and tape-delayed on the West Coast, will be, Comedy Central has promised, ‘unburdened by objectivity or even accuracy..’”

> Also: Financial Times: “Dan Rather finds his heaven”

Controversial = “Bad For Business” At The Nets (But Not For Dan Rather)

“Increasingly, anything that’s controversial is deemed bad for business” at the news networks, new HDNet star Dan Rather says in a Q&A with Neal Justin.

He says CBS never told him not to do a particular story, but: “By words and by deed, they showed that there were stories they wish we hadn’t done and they were reluctant to put them on the air. We had the Abu Ghraib story as a worldwide exclusive, but they never promoted it, they never repeated it and they delayed it three weeks. It’s important to give CBS credit. They did put it on the air.”

Dan Rather Is Free!

“I’m as happy as I’ve been since maybe the day I was first able to make a living in journalism, which has been over 55 years ago, and since the first day I walked the halls of CBS News,” Dan Rather told the NY Daily News yesterday.

He’s getting ready for the Nov. 14 premiere of ‘Dan Rather Reports’ on HDNet. “I’ve found it invigorating, liberating, extremely interesting,” he said of the ramp-up period. More… (via FTVLive)

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