Playing catch-up in D.C.


While Washington, D.C.-area stations continued to follow closely the post-arrest legal
proceedings of the captured sniper suspects, they also returned to covering the
numerous key political races in the three-jurisdiction area, including the race
for Washington mayor, Maryland governor and several congressional contests.

Station news executives acknowledged that politics had naturally gotten short
shrift during the area siege, and WRC-TV news director Bob Long said the
dominance of the sniper story in October will be evident throughout November
sweeps, with a reduction in news packages likely due to the lack of time to
prepare them.

"Typically, stations do more of those than usual during a major book like
November," Long offered. "But this sweeps will probably have more spot news."
That, he added, will make it more challenging for the producers of station
promos, which are far more frequent during sweeps. "They'll have to be more
nimble than usual," he suggested, "and dance at a faster tempo."