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Disney, NBCU, Viacom aid storm relief

Peacock plans Friday telethon hosted by Matt Lauer

As Gotham dries out from Hurricane Sandy, media giants are stepping up with storm relief fundraising efforts.

Disney’s Bob Iger has committed $2 million to the American Red Cross and various orgs that will work on rebuilding efforts. “Today” anchor Matt Lauer will host a telethon Friday night to run across NBC and a clutch of Peacock cablers. Viacom announced a donation of $1 million to relief efforts, and it has set up a $1 million matching program with the American Red Cross for donations from employees.

The hourlong “Hurricane Sandy: Coming Together” telecast will run on NBC, Bravo, CNBC, E!, G4, MSNBC, Style, Syfy and USA Network from 8-9 p.m. EST, broadcast from NBC’s Gotham studios at 30 Rockefeller Plaza. HBO will also lend its airways to the event, which will air live across the East Coast and tape-delayed on the West. Additional networks could join the broadcast of the telethon prior to airtime.

The telethon also will be live-streamed on NBC.com.

Money collected will be donated to the American Red Cross relief efforts for Hurricane Sandy.

Event will feature performances by artists including Christina Aguilera, Jon Bon Jovi, Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen and Sting, and appearances by Jimmy Fallon and Brian Williams.

Viacom’s corporate donation will be evenly split between the Mayor’s Fund for NYC and local organizations aiding relief and rebuilding efforts in Connecticut, Long Island, New Jersey and Westchester County.

ABC announced that it designated Monday, a “Day of Giving” in response to Sandy. Programming across daytime, primetime and latenight lineups including “Good Morning America,” “Dancing With the Stars” and “Jimmy Kimmel Live” will participate in the initiative, encouraging viewers to donate to Sandy relief efforts and the Red Cross.

Disney also said it would match employee donations to Sandy-related relief orgs.

On Wednesday, News Corp. made a $1 million donation, with $500,000 going to the Mayor’s Fund and the rest to support relief efforts in New Jersey. Fox will be boosting its broadcasts throughout the weekend with Red Cross PSAs and lower thirds during programs like “Kitchen Nightmares,” “Fringe,” NFL and NBA games and Sunday’s animation programming block.

Meanwhile, while the hurricane put some presidential campaign activities on pause, the disaster played in to New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s endorsement of President Obama for reelection on Thursday, which he announced in an oped on the platform he founded, Bloomberg News. The mayor cited climate change asa possible cause for the extreme weather, and that Obama would be most likely to take additional steps to address it.

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