ABC News Plans Aggressive Post-Election Programming Slate

When Election Day is over and the votes have all been tallied, many TV-news operations see a chance to pull back on the throttle and get back to regular coverage. ABC News believes a new cycle is about to begin.

The Walt Disney unit plans an aggressive bout of coverage on Wednesday, November 9, that Tom Cibrowski, senior vice president of ABC News programs, newsgathering and special events, suggested would kick off a new effort to draw viewers – and, presumably, the ratings and ad dollars that come with them.  “World News Tonight” will on Wednesday  serve up hourly Facebook Live streams, starting at 10 a..m. eastern. “Nightline” will launch a new docu-series examining the transition of power taking place after the election, and ABC News Digital will debut a “Promise Tracker” that looks at how various candidate pledges are being fulfilled. “Good Morning America” will kick off coverage early in the day.

“The day after is equally as important as the day before,” said Cibrowski in an interview. “We are not taking off the seat belts yet.”

ABC’s post-election plans suggest that many TV-news outlets expect Americans’ interest in politics to continue even after the  last words of the acceptance and concession speeches unfurl on the teleprompter. After the election, said Cibrowski “is a full-court press. Nobody is going on hiatus or vacation. We are doubling down on the reporting, doubling down on the video reports and the accountability.”

Many of the news outlet’s most popular anchors will take part in the effort.  George Stephanopoulos, and Robin Roberts will lead coverage of the aftermath of the election on “Good Morning America.” David Muir, Martha Raddatz, Jonathan Karl, Cecila Vega and Tom Llamas will appear on the “World News Tonight” Facebook streams, along with other correspondents, reporters and analysts.

What’s more, ABC News Radio will provide extensive coverage of the day after the election, with correspondents Brad Mielke and Alex Stone will continuing to report on Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, respectively. ABC News Radio will provide one-minute “Status Reports” multiple times each hour along with live coverage of key events.

ABC News is locked in a tough two-front battle with NBC News for dominance in both the morning and evening-news slots. “Good Morning America” remains the most-watched U.S. morning news show, but is beaten regularly by NBC’s “Today” in viewership among people between 25 and 54 – the demographic most coveted by advertisers in news programming. In recent weeks,”World News Tonight” added new momentum in the ratings, drawing  more viewers than NBC’s “NBC Nightly News,” though that Lester Holt-led program continues to attracts more people between 25 and 54.


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