Spec aids military families

Nonprofit lines up sports celebrities for benefit

NEW YORK — Clear Channel Entertainment TV has begun pitching the broadcast networks on a primetime two-hour special, featuring musical performers and sports stars, to benefit the families of U.S. military people in Iran and Afghanistan.

Organizer of the benefit, nonprofit entity Citizens Helping Heroes, has lined up sports celebrities including Magic Johnson, Troy Aikman, Cal Ripken, Sammy Sosa, Andy Roddick, Reggie Jackson and Jim Brown.

Joe Townley, president of CCE-TV, said he hasn’t signed any musical performers yet, although CHH’s Web site says the concert will take place in less than two months, on Sept. 23, at the DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C.

CCE-TV will try to buy a two-hour block of primetime on a broadcast net for some time during Thanksgiving weekend to air a tape of the concert.

The networks may be willing to sell the time to an outside producer because it’s less valuable around Thanksgiving: Fewer people watch TV in general during big holidays. CCE-TV would sell all the ad time on the special and handle the production chores.

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