Networks, cablers join Haiti telethon

George Clooney confirmed as participant

All five major broadcast networks, plus several cablers, have officially signed on to broadcast MTV Networks’ “Hope for Haiti” telethon Jan. 22.

George Clooney (who is helping lead the organization of the telethon), Wyclef Jean and Anderson Cooper have been confirmed as individual participants on the two-hour broadcast, which will air commercial-free at 8 p.m. Eastern/Pacific but will be delayed on the West Coast.

Domestically, CNN and BET will join the MTV networks (MTV, VH1 and CMT) along with ABC, CBS, the CW, Fox and NBC in airing the broadcast. MTV Networks, CNN and National Geographic will show the telethon internationally, MTV Networks prexy Van Toffler announced.

The telethon will feature musical performances and news packages in addition to fundraising pleas. Producing will be Joel Gallen, who helmed the 9/11 telethon “America: A Tribute to Heroes” that aired 10 days after that tragedy.

Word of the telethon leaked Thursday. The official announcement came at the start of MTV’s panel at the Television Critics Assn. gathering in Pasadena.

All proceeds will be split evenly among five relief organizations currently operating in Haiti: Oxfam America, Partners in Health, the Red Cross, UNICEF and Yele Haiti Foundation.

Facebook and MySpace have also signed on as official social media partners to help drive viewers and donations to the telethon.

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