Networks line up election law experts for vote coverage
Television networks are adding experts in election law to their election night coverage teams. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)NEW YORK – Television networks are adding experts in election law to their election night coverage teams so they're prepared to explain legal challenges or irregularities that may come up during the vote. ABC and NBC have made similar arrangements, although some of those experts will have more offscreen roles. “I think everyone recognizes that.”NBC News has hired a firm that specializes in election law for advice and to provide lawyers who can appear on the air if they need to, said division president Noah Oppenheim. Marc Burstein, the network's top elections producer, said ABC believes it's best for viewers to see faces they're familiar with.
Media election planners prepare for a night of mystery
Media planners are preaching caution in the face of a surge in early voting, high anxiety levels overall and a president who raises the specter of another disputed election. “We need to prepare ourselves for a different kind of election night,” said Feist, CNN's Washington bureau chief, “and the word I keep using is ‘patience.’”Nearly half of people polled recently by the Pew Research Center said they intend to follow election night returns closely. “There is an odd combination of anticipation and uncertainty about this election night, more than any other election night I can remember,” said David Bohrman, a television veteran who this year is producing the CBS News coverage. Some wait until Election Day or even after polls close. Pennsylvania and Wisconsin are prohibited by state law from processing mail ballots until Election Day.
Mission impossible? Welker on tap to moderate second debate
On Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020, Welker is scheduled to moderate the second and last Presidential debate between President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden. The NBC News White House correspondent is scheduled to moderate Thursday's second and last session between Trump and Democrat Joe Biden. While Welker was one of four questioners at a Democratic presidential debate last fall, this is by far the 44-year-old journalist's biggest stage. She's the first Black woman to moderate a presidential debate since Carole Simpson in 1992. Andrea Mitchell, the NBC News correspondent who moderated last fall's Democratic debate with Welker, Rachel Maddow and Ashley Parker, doubted her colleague would be intimidated.
For TV heads and viewers, conventions are largely a mystery
NEW YORK Weeks before political conventions, television networks would typically be confirming hotel reservations, booking experts and pounding the last nails in temporary studios for their top anchors. Networks expect Democrats to host a mega video wall event, with feeds of speakers from across the country. Fox News' Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum, who are booked for the Democrats' convention site in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, are currently the only network anchors expected to travel. Despite the mystery of what the conventions are going to be, news executives anticipate a high level of interest among viewers. Either way, that challenge puts an enormous amount of pressure on Ricky Kirshner, who's producing the convention for Democrats, and the Trump campaign.