Media Roadblock Jackson Verdict

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Pop star Michael Jackson was found not guilty in a California courtroom Monday afternoon on all counts of child molestation, conspiracy and serving alcohol to a minor.

At least fourteen broadcast and cable channels covered the Michael Jackson verdict live Monday afternoon, including the Big Four broadcast networks.

ABC, NBC and CBS cut into afternoon syndicated programming and Fox picked up the Fox News Channel feed.
On cable, MTV, Court TV and E! Entertainment Television jumped on the news, as did news channels Fox News, CNN and MSNBC. CNBC stayed with its regular business news, but offered updates.
For Spanish-language viewers, Univision and Telemundo also interrupted afternoon programming for live coverage of the verdict.

No cameras have been allowed in the courtroom, but the networks were able to air live audio of the reading of the verdicts.

Interview rooms were being set up in the courtroom, though it would be up to the attorneys, jurors, defendents and plaintiffs involved whether they talk to the media.

Court TV and E! have been particularly addicted to the Jackson story.

As planned, Court TV had star Nancy Grace on hand to lead the coverage and commentary. A news crawl across the bottom of the screen provided continuous updates. Court TV even created a system for text message alerts and more than 45,000 users signed up to receive the messages.

E! has taken a more dramatic approach, producing daily reenactments of the trial using actors.

The Jackson media circus will extend into prime time. NBC planned to air a special Dateline Monday night, hosted by Stone Phillips. CBS also planned a special half-hour edition of 48 Hours at 8:30 on the verdict.
Court TV planned to blow out prime time for special coverage.

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