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Local Stations Set Plans for Municipal Election Coverage

April 20, 1993|STEVEN HERBERT

KABC-TV Channel 7, KCAL-TV Channel 9 and KTLA-TV Channel 5 have juggled their programming to provide coverage of today's municipal election, while a Los Angeles cable channel will present the tallies directly from the election division's computers.

KTLA will air a half-hour commercial-free election report at 8 p.m., even though results may not be available at that hour.

"We will get to all of the (major) candidates' remote locations, have whatever early numbers are available and a bite-sized look at the eight City Council races," news director Warren Cereghino said.

An election division spokeswoman said she expects results from absentee ballots to begin being announced at about 8:45 p.m.

KABC will air updates during the early evening, then will carry an election special at 10:06 p.m. and will devote "a large portion" of its 11 p.m. newscast to the voting, news director Roger Bell said.

KABC and KTLA's broadcasts mark the first time since 1977 that any local station has scheduled additional time to report municipal election results outside of regular newscasts. Officials at both stations cited the newsworthiness of the election and the likelihood that for the first time since 1973, no candidate will receive the required vote to avoid a runoff.

In order to guarantee that its three-hour prime-time news block will start on time at 8 p.m., KCAL will show the Lakers-Minnesota Timberwolves game live at 5 p.m., instead of 6 p.m. on a delayed basis.

KTLA's special election report departs from its long-time strategy of counter-programming other stations' election coverage with a movie from 8 to 10 p.m.

"Just in case something is happening, we wanted to be there, talk to people and get the story launched," KTLA General Manager Greg Nathanson said.

KCBS-TV Channel 2 said it plans to extend its 11 p.m. newscast and will cut into prime-time programming "as necessary."

Even though it has no reporters, L.A. Cityview 35, which is seen throughout Los Angeles on Channel 35 in households with cable television, will run computer graphics of the results directly from the official computers.

Spanish-language KVEA Channel 52 plans updates each half-hour beginning at 6 p.m. KTTV-TV Channel 11 and KCOP-TV Channel 13 will confine their coverage to regular newscasts.

KNBC-TV Channel 4 and KMEX-TV Channel 34 did not respond to calls inquiring about their plans.

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