I Haven't Seen a Network News "Special Report" In I Don't Know How Long

It seems like the networks don’t bother with those “Special Reports” you always used to see- the ones where you’re watching Seinfeld and suddenly the NBC News logo appears, then it’s Tom Brokaw saying, “Good evening. A TWA 747 bound from New York to Chicago has crashed into an Amtrak train…”

They seem to have petered out around 9/11. Maybe the networks figure people are going to get their “breaking news” from cable or the internet anyway. Are they still done, and I’m just not seeing them, or what gives?

Obviously you don’t live in the LA area, where the local networks seem to think it’s perfectly appropriate to stop regular programming for coverage of a car chase.

There was one on a Canadian channel just the other day, after the earthquake off northern California. They decided to interrupt a show to give us a tsunami warning, after the warning had already been lifted.

The last live break-in I saw was when CBS interrupted The Price is Right to show a White House press conference.

I’d rather have seen Bob Barker.

Actually, I do live in LA, and I know what you’re talking about. I was thinking more of the national networks.

Last one I remember is Princess Di’s death.

Last night. A helicopter crash in the East River. Remarkable because Tuesday there was a helicopter crash in the East River.

The last one I recall was for the Columbia disaster.

I guess none of you were watching the news for the Micheal Jackson verdict. Literally, and I do mean literally, every cable news channel and every network had coverage.

It sure is a shame that a wierd washed-up celebrity gets the same coverage as the accidental destruction of a major space vehicle and a massive terrorist attack.

Way back when you had only three channels plus PBS, the world stopped when you heard those words, often uttered by Walter Cronkite.

Now a lot of people say, “Aw crap” and change the channel to Lifetime or Spike, as if that prevents news from happening.

Problem is, it’s often not news, or at least not important enough to warrant that sort of coverage. It’s something like the Michael Jackson verdict or that there is some stupid car chase or that yet another of the Kennedys managed to kill himself. It’s not a major air disaster or an attack or a Presidental assassination. Now, if Michael Jackson went clubbing with Teddy Kennedy who was driving drunk and ran into President Bush, killing all three and then a fully-loaded military jet crashed on top of them because it was shot down by terrorists, that would be news.

I was watching Days of our Lives when they broke for the Michael Jackson verdict.
They proceeded to show 30 odd minutes of his black SUV caravan as it traveled to Santa Maria, even giving us the names of the streets. It had to have been another 30 minutes of news-lessness as they pulled up, entered the courthouse, were searched, etc. and then the news monkeys had to chit chat for another length of time until the judge turned on the mike in the courtroom and the verdicts were read. Have to say, the network people are more skilled at turning nothing into something than the local news people. But still, just ridiculous and agonizingly stupid. GIve me back my soap opera, you morons!

Good point. People are so jaded about news, and not without reason. The last real news was probably Pope JPII’s death.

That, and it’s possible that networks no longer want to covere anything breaking because they will lose revenue without showing advertisements.

Don’t forget the CBS producer who got fired for breaking into whatever program that was, so that they could announce “Yassir Arafat’s still dead!” :smiley: What I really miss, however, is that spiraling “CBS Special” logo they did back in the 70s, when they were going to be showing something different than their regular programming, like A Charlie Brown Christmas. That was cool!

It’s not the special reports I’ve been wondering about; it’s the regular one minute ABC/NBC/CBS news updates during commercial breaks that I’ve been missing - on the half hour, I think? What ever happened to those?

They fell victim to CNN and the other cable news channels. When it’s possible to get news 24 hours a day, why should the networks sacrifice an extra minute’s worth of commercial revenue?


It’s come up before.

You used to be able to get news on the OTA networks other than the nightly news and the cringe-inducing morning program?

I’m pretty sure I remember CNN covering the second SoCal earthquake last week, the one closest to Riverside. It was smaller than last Sunday’s, so I’d imagine that one was covered as well (I wasn’t near a TV).