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Wednesday, July 9, 2008

TV One to cover Democratic convention but will not cover the Republican one

From the Live feed:

Given Barack Obama's historic run for the Oval Office, African American-themed cable network TV One plans to break from its usual entertainment programming to provide extensive coverage of the Democratic National Convention in August. ... "Sen. Barack Obama running for president is a huge deal for TV One as it is for the African American community," said Johnathan Rodgers, president and CEO of TV One, a channel in about 40 million homes. "African Americans have fallen in love with his candidacy, his family … we will be covering the democratic convention all the time."...But John McCain shouldn’t expect the same treatment. The network doesn’t plan any coverage of the Republican Convention. ..."We are not a news organization," said Rodgers, speaking at the opening session of the semi-annual Television Critics Association press tour in Beverly Hills. "We are a television network designed to celebrate African American achievement. If Hillary was the nominee, we would not be covering this year's Democratic Convention."..."My audience is 93% black," Rodgers added. "I serve my audience."...TV One does have a Republican pundit as part of its convention coverage, comedian Sheryl Underwood. But she’s also voting for Obama. ...When critics pressed a panel of TV One’s convention pundits about whether African American republicans will feel slighted, Underwood said, “I speak for all eight of us -- we are not slighted ... McCain is not going to win it, that's why I'm over here, because I want to be with the winners -- and I'm a Bush Republican."...When TV One's coverage panel was asked if their coverage will raise criticisms of Obama, contributor Hill Harper, who said he's been a friend of Obama's for 20 years and serves on his National Finance Comittee, said "the whole purpose of the event is celebration. We're not covering a debate."..But Rodgers added, "It's primarily a celebration but, yes, we'll also be critical when necessary."...As a cable network, TV One is likely exempt from any equal time access rules. Federal Communications Commission rules state that broadcast networks are required to give equal time to presidential candidates.


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