Date: 17th November 2000

Election Coverage Forces Networks' News Budgets To Soar

The continued post-Election controversy, which has forced networks to keep news crews and studios on standby for more than a week, has caused network news budgets to soar by more than $1 million, the New York Daily News reported today (Friday), citing unnamed insiders.

While not discussing precise figures, CBS News vice president Marcy McGinnis told the newspaper. "It's very costly, but the story is the most important story of the new millennium. It's the reason that, all year long, we're conscious of what we spend on generic stories, so when stories like this come along we're not strapped."

The election cliff-hanger has boosted ratings for all news programs, particularly, as reported by the online magazine Inside, the early morning shows, with NBC's Today pulling the highest weeklong ratings in its history. (It averaged a 6.8/23 for the week.) ABC's Good Morning America, with a 4.6/16 drew its best numbers in five years and even CBS's struggling The Early Show was able to boast its best ratings since it sent on the air, a 2.3/8.

Source: Studio Briefing