Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia on July 18, 1976 · Page 62
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Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia · Page 62

Charleston, West Virginia
Issue Date:
Sunday, July 18, 1976
Page 62
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Page 62 article text (OCR)

--July ig, 1976 Sttnda\ Gntetlc-Mail CharHifon, W«l Vlr9lnl« One in Four Sees Carter Address (c) N.Y. TlmnStrvlt* NEW YORK-Only one of four adult Americans watched Jimmy Carter deliver his acceptance speech for the Democratic presidential nomination Thursday night. According to network researchers, the audience size for Carter's address was comparable to that for President Nixon's acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention in 1972. But both acceptance speeches, they said, drew less than half the number that usually watches a typical address in "prime time" by any president. The researchers, who have projected a national audience of 35 million for Carter's speech from a total possible adult audience of 140 million, say the low figure is probably less of a reflection on the popularity of Carter than on viewer interest in the political conventions on television. The overnight Nielsen ratings for New York, Los Angeles and Chicago found that more than 60 per cent of the people watching television during the period of Carter's speech, from 10:38 p.m. to 11:16 p.m., were tuned to other programs on independent stations. Friday, certain NBC and CBS officials said they were questioning the wisdom of covering the conventions in their entirety in view of the low audience interest dem- onstrated for this and most previous conventions. But they added that they reassessed gavel-to-gavel telecasts after every political year and, failing to find a better alternative, always returned to blanket coverage. ABC's abbreviated coverage, adopted in 1968, has not proved more popular than that of the other networks. Although Carter's acceptance speech had been carefully scheduled to reach the largest possible television audience, it was not the high point in television viewing of the four-day convention. 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