Nets primed for Bush 9/11 address

Prez will speak from Gotham after visit to WTC site

WASHINGTON — The major TV nets said Tuesday they will make adjustments to their primetime skeds on Sept. 11 in order to carry President Bush’s address to the nation marking the first anniversary of the terrorist attacks on Gotham and the Pentagon.

The White House announced that Bush will make the speech from New York after visiting the World Trade Center site, where he will lay a wreath. Earlier in the day, he will do the same at the Pentagon and at the Pennsylvania crash site.

The presidential address is set for 9:01 p.m. EST. White House officials said they have not yet determined how long it will run.

For 9/11, the major broadcast nets are leaving primetime hours for their news divisions to program. News execs anticipated that they would have to rejig their skeds in order to accommodate a presidential address.

NBC News, which is set to air “Concert for America” from 9-11 p.m., said it would compress the special in order to air the presidential address. The concert will be taped on Sept. 9 at the Kennedy Center in Washington and hosted by NBC News managing editor and anchor Tom Brokaw.

The Eye will rebroadcast its two-hour documentary on the World Trade Center attacks after Bush’s address. From 8-9 p.m. EST, CBS’ “60 Minutes II” will air correspondent Scott Pelley’s taped interview with Bush on the terrorist assaults.

ABC likewise said it would carry Bush. ABC News is planning four hours of special programming for the evening of 9/11, including a documentary hosted by anchor Peter Jennings examining what was happening inside of the twin towers before they collapsed. USA Today is co-producing the doc.

Fox, which is planning a two-hour special, “The Day America Changed,” hosted by Brit Hume, said it also would carry the president’s anniversary message. Likewise for the cable news nets.

Following tradition, the White House officially requested that the networks carry the speech.

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