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Nets to Cover Bush 9-11 Address

The White House has scheduled a primetime "address to the nation" Monday night at 9 to commemorate 9/11.

White House press secretary Tony Snow talked to network news bureau chiefs Friday morning about clearing the time for the speech, according to the White House.

ABC will have to interrupt the second half of its own look at 9/11, the controversial docu-drama, Path to 9/11, that has Democrats seeing Red State politics and ABC defending it as a docu-drama still getting a final edit. ABC said it would start 9/11 at eight, interrupt it for the speech, then return to finish up by about 10:20, filling the rest of the night with Primetime.
NBC plans to cover it, wrapping a Dateline around what is expected to be a 16-18-minute address starting at 9. CBS isn't sure how much time it is giving to coverage beyond the speech, but Katie Couric will anchor coverage from New York.

The speech would also cause something of a Washington conundrum, since the first half of ESPN's football doubleheader kicking off its Monday Night Package features the hometown Redskins, with the end of the game scheduled for that 9-10 p.m. hour.

ABC had not returned a call at press time on whether it planned to carry the speech, though the networks usually clear time for such addresses.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.