The Webs: NBC, Fox may exit service

Peacock pledges to change winner projection process

NEW YORK — In the wake of Election Night mishaps at the nets, NBC and Fox News Channel said last week they were considering pulling out of Voter News Service, the news consortium that provides exit polling and election data to news orgs.

NBC also promised not to project winners in a state until all the state’s polls closed. NBC’s previous policy allowed for projections after the “overwhelming majority” of polls had closed in a state.

Republicans asked the FCC to investigate ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox for awarding Florida to Gore before polls closed in the state. Smithwick & Belendiuk, a small law firm that represents radio, television, telephone and other telecommunications clients before the FCC, filed a five-page complaint against the nets, questioning whether they subverted the public interest in making their calls. The nets later in the night prematurely awarded Florida to Bush.

For the past decade, major newsies have trimmed costs by relying on VNS for Election Night stats rather than using separate statisticians.

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