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America at War

HLN’s Robin Meade Goes Primetime to Honor Troops

HLN “Morning Express” anchor Robin Meade is hosting a special primetime hour tomorrow — Veterans Day. “Salute to Troops: Stories of Courage” features the stories of veterans and their families; some of whom have paid the ultimate price for the nation.

Meade traveled across the U.S. for the special. From West Point, Meade interviews Capt. Scotty Smiley a soldier who was blinded and partially paralyzed after an IED attack while serving in Iraq. Meade also features the Blue Star Moms, an organization formed by mothers whose sons and daughters were already serving in the military when the US was attacked on Sept. 11, 2001. And Meade meets Dan Nevins and Bryan Wagner who share their stories of the battlefield, rehab and achievements since joining the Wounded Warrior Project.

The special airs on HLN Friday night at 7pmET and will reair Saturday and Sunday at 7pmET.

Network Special Reports as President Obama Announces Complete Troop Withdrawal From Iraq

For the second consecutive day, the broadcast networks broke into regular programming to cover a statement by President Obama. At 12:45 PM ET, Obama announced that the U.S. would withdraw all of its combat troops from Iraq by the end of this year. Yesterday Obama briefly spoke about the death of dictator Moammar Gadhafi.

Savannah Guthrie anchored on NBC, joined by Chuck Todd and Richard Engel. Scott Pelley anchored on CBS, joined by Norah O’Donnell and George Stephanopoulos anchored on ABC, joined by Jake Tapper.

Once again, all the cablers covered it live. CNN reported the news at 12:16 PM ET, followed by 12:21 for Fox News and 12:28 for MSNBC.

White House Correspondents Chuck Todd (NBC), Ed Henry (FNC), Norah O'Donnell (CBS) and Jake Tapper (ABC) in the briefing room ahead of Pres. Obama's troop withdrawal remarks. (C-SPAN)

Martha Raddatz Reports from Afghanistan

ABC’s Martha Raddatz will be reporting from Afghanistan this week. Tomorrow she interviews the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan Gen. John Allen, who replaced Gen. David Petraeus in July. Raddatz has made more than two dozen trips to the region, most recently to Afghanistan in May after the killing of Osama bin Laden. Throughout the past decade she has also reported extensively for ABC News from Iraq, Pakistan, and Yemen. Last week, CBS announced Scott Pelley would also be reporting from Afghanistan this week.

Cricket Fundraiser to Remember Paul Douglas and James Brolan

A memorial cricket match was held over the weekend at London’s Chiswick House between CBS News and the Rory Peck Trust. The match was played in honor of CBS News cameraman Paul Douglas and soundman James Brolan who were killed by a roadside bomb while on assignment in Baghdad on May 29, 2006. The blast seriously injured correspondent Kimberly Dozier.

More than $13,000 was raised for the Rory Peck Trust which supports freelance news gatherers and their families in times of need. CBS News’s London Bureau Chief Andy Clarke tells TVNewser it was a resounding victory for the Rory Peck team, “but CBS News was comfortable in defeat knowing that they had remembered ‘the boys.’”

That’s the CBS team on the left of the picture above. The Rory Peck team, to the right, was captained by ITV News anchor Mark Austin. Here’s more on the match. And if you’d like to learn more about the Rory Peck Trust, click here.

Nets Planning Special Reports for Obama Afghanistan Address

Pres. Obama is going to talk about the situation in Afghanistan and announce a U.S. troop reduction there, in an address from the White House Wednesday night. ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC are clearing their schedules for the address at 8pmET. For ABC and NBC it means interrupting reruns. NBC will slide “The Voice” results show as FOX slides “So You Think You Can Dance?”

Brian Williams, Diane Sawyer and Scott Pelley will anchoring following their evening news broadcasts. Shepard Smith will anchor a special for FOX after his “FOX Report” on FNC and Judy Woodruff anchors on PBS.

The cable news networks will also carry the address.

Diane Sawyer in Afghanistan

ABC’s Diane Sawyer is in Afghanistan where she met up with Secy. of Defense Robert Gates as he continues is global farewell tour. Sawyer appeared on “This Week” this morning and will report for “World News” tonight and tomorrow night. This is Sawyer’s sixth trip to Afghanistan; she last reported from there in January 2010. Sawyer will conduct a joint interview with Secy. Gates and General David Petraeus, the outgoing commander of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan (ISAF). Gates will be replaced at the Pentagon by CIA chief Leon Panetta; while Petraues is expected to leave military duty later this year and take over at CIA. Both appointments need Congressional approval.

At Arlington, Pres. Obama recounts story of Travis Manion and Brendan Looney featured on CBS News

This morning, during his Memorial Day remarks at Arlington National Cemetery, Pres. Obama told the story of Travis Manion and Brendan Looney, roommates at the Naval Academy who were later both sent into battle. Lt. Travis Manion, a Marine, was killed on patrol in Iraq in April 2007. Three years later, Navy Seal Lt. Brendan Looney was killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan. CBS’s David Martin reported last year on how their families vowed the friends in life would be honored in death.

SecDef Gates on Bin Laden Mission: ‘Frankly, my heart was in my mouth’

In what could be her final piece for “60 Minutes,” Katie Couric profiles departing Defense Secretary Robert Gates, complete with a fresh interview this week on the mission that killed Osama bin Laden.

Gates, who was in the White House the night of the failed attempt to rescue American hostages in Iran in 1980, talks about what is was like in the Situation Room as the raid that killed Bin Laden unfolded: “Frankly, my heart was in my mouth,” Gates tells Couric.

Tuesday’s interview was one of several Couric has had with Gates over the last few weeks, including during a five-day mission to the Middle East last month.

Tomorrow’s program will also feature a Lara Logan story on the faltering U.S.-Pakistan relationship. It’s Logan’s first reported piece for “60 Minutes” since being assaulted while on assignment in Egypt in February,

Bin Laden Killed: When The News Broke, Most Turned to TV (Cable News in Particular)

A new survey by the Pew Research Center for People & the Press looks at the interest among viewers in news about Osama Bin Laden’s death and other topics, as well as where hey went to get that news.

The survey shows that while Bin Laden’s death was the topic most interesting to Americans, a number of other topics, including the severe tornadoes and floods, as well as the economy, got less coverage than they should have.

Bin Laden was the topic of most interest to 42% of respondents, but took up nearly 70% of the newshole. For comparison severe weather was cited as the most interesting story by 20% of respondents, but took up only 5% of the newshole.

Perhaps more interesting: Pew looked at where people they got their Bin laden news, an overwhelming majority–among all age groups–cited TV:

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’60 Minutes’ with Pres. Obama is 7th Most-Watched show of the Week

While the real drama took place the prior Sunday, “60 Minutes” devoted its entire show (plus a few minutes with Andy Rooney) this past Sunday to Steve Kroft‘s interview with Pres. Obama, as the president explained the operation which lead to the death of Osama Bin Laden.

The hour drew 14.1 million Total Viewers, making it the most-watched TV show of the night and the 7th most-watched of the week. CBS points out that the Mother’s Day broadcast was watched in daylight in most of the country, and saw big increases compared to the Mother’s Day 2010 broadcast — up +29% in Total Viewers and +55% in A25-54 viewers.

Kroft’s interview was conducted at the White House on May 4, three days after the raid, as well as in New York City on May 5 as the president visited an FDNY firehouse.

Just as a point of comparison, how does this stack up against Saturday’s Kentucky Derby? Here’s the answer.

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