Newsies end voter venture

ABC, AP, CBS, CNN, Fox News, NBC drop service

The six major news orgs that created the Voter News Service have disbanded after two botched Election Night outings in 2000 and 2002.

The consortium of ABC, AP, CBS, CNN, Fox News and NBC has not yet announced what will replace the polling service.

According to one source, the group may count on AP for its data. CNN also has independent means of gathering electoral information.

Though the 10-year-old VNS was supposed to undergo a major overhaul that would have prepared it for the mid-terms last year, the Brooklyn-based group threw in the towel by early afternoon, leaving members of the consortium to scramble for their own vote counts and exit poll surveys.

Most troublesome episode came in the 2000 presidential race, in which its information wrongly led nets to tap a winner in Florida, a determination that eventually had to be made by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Soonafter, a public drubbing of network and VNS officials ensued on Capitol Hill.

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