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Senate Votes on Healthcare Reform, Cable Covers

Another Saturday night, another vote on Capitol Hill on healthcare reform, and coverage of it on cable news. The vote, which essentially allows the debate to begin on the Senate floor, was 60-39, with Ohio GOP Sen. George Voinovich the only senator not to vote.

Interestingly, all the cable news channels were in taped programming and shook up the schedules to broadcast the Senate vote and related analysis.

• FNC’s “Huckabee” was preempted for special coverage anchored by Gregg Jarrett.

• CNN’s Don Lemon anchored coverage of the vote, which delayed the start of an AC360 special report until 8:10pmET (which had already been delayed once before).

• MSNBC began airing Lockup at 8pmET, then interrupted the documentary for nine minutes of coverage as the vote happened, with David Shuster anchoring.

• Fox Business Network interrupted the Dave Ramsey show for special coverage anchored by David Asman.

The two Fox networks were the only channels, other than C-SPAN, to carry the Democrats’ news conference following the vote.

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