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WNT Western Edition: “Publicity Stunt?”

The “scoffing” about World News Tonight’s Western Edition is awfully fun to read, this time from The Hollywood Reporter:

 ABC’s rivals scoff at what “World News Tonight” is trying to do as little more than a publicity stunt. More than 75% of the country is served by the initial two feeds of the broadcast; only about 14% of the country, all on the West Coast, will ever see the later editions. And the competition says there’s nothing new about updating editions, and, in fact, even “World News Tonight” isn’t guaranteed to be live with its two West Coast feeds. And they update at least once or twice a week; NBC’s Brian Williams stayed late and updated Tuesday night, for instance, when the first miner was found dead around 9 p.m. ET.

“We’re in the position to do (updates) when the news warrants,” says Rome Hartman, the new executive producer of the “CBS Evening News.” But he says changes aren’t made just to make them.

“I would be stunned if day in and day out their West Coast ‘World News’ doesn’t look like their East Coast ‘World News,”‘ Hartman says. “So they read the copy again live.”

An NBC spokeswoman was more blunt.

“ABC is simply doing what NBC always does — and that is, being prepared to instantly break into ‘Nightly News’ with updates for our West Coast viewers. That includes keeping our control room hot and producers and correspondents on duty.”

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