Why are TV Networks Pushing Election Coverage Later?

Anybody notice that this year’s mid-term election coverage is being pushed back significantly this year? Here is a sampling:

  • ABC News, 8:3o p.m. CST/9 p.m. EST
  • CBS News, 9 p.m. CST/10 p.m. EST
  • FOX Local, 8 p.m. CST/9 p.m. EST
  • NBC News, 8 p.m. CST/9 p.m. EST

While we can expect the cable networks to carry the coverage from the first poll closings in the east, I am surprised (although, should I be?) that the networks have opted for such late coverage this year around. CBS’ 9 p.m. start is pretty much the latest election coverage schedule I’ve ever seen in the almost 14 years I have watched elections on TV with vigor.

Nobody is saying it, but I bet all these networks are cognizant of a real kick in the pants Republican and conservative candidates will deliver come next Tuesday, and the liberals who run those networks (ABC, NBC and especially CBS) want to hold on to their hope-y change-y for just a few more moments before the reality sets in.

Think about it this way: In previous election cycles, we’ve had every single network begin election coverage around 7 p.m. CST, and we got to hear talking heads analyze, dissect, spin and most of all, urge western state voters (solidly blue) to get to the polls early.

Without all that urgency, they may be giving away liberal holds to conservatives without a fight. Maybe they have seen polling data nobody else has? I wouldn’t put it past them!

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