Ann Romney, with husband Mitt, speaks to a crowd in Commerce Township, Mich.,… (Kimberly P. Mitchell / Detroit…)
After unsuccessfully lobbying ABC, NBC and CBS to rearrange their prime-time schedules, organizers of the Republican National Convention announced today that Ann Romney’s keynote speech would be moved to Tuesday night.
On Monday night, the networks will air reruns of “Castle,” “Grimm” and “Hawaii Five-O,” respectively. Viewers interested in hearing remarks by South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush will have to turn elsewhere.
Until late this afternoon, the Romney campaign had remained optimistic that the networks would adjust their schedules to accommodate the aspiring first lady’s speech, but they refused to budge, forcing last- minute maneuvering.
The stalemate arose because this year’s four-day Republican gathering is a day longer than the Democratic National Convention. In the interest of fairness, the major networks will cover each convention equally, broadcasting three total hours spread out over three nights. This means less overall coverage than in 2008, but is on par with 2004.
Some conservatives had called the decision not to broadcast Romney’s speech – the biggest platform yet for the candidate's wife -- a snub. But the networks' hands were tied, according to a source not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.
“All three news divisions would be happy to give Mrs. Romney a spotlight in prime time, but the networks are bound to their current plans,” claimed the network source. “The RNC organizers have the ability to reschedule her speech and ensure that it is seen in millions more homes across the country.”
It appears they did.
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