Anchors Unite

You may have thought you were in the middle of a bad commercial if you tuned into the network morning shows yesterday.

In a rare moment of unity the main anchors from all three network evening newscasts—NBC’s Brian Williams, CBS’ Katie Couric, and ABC’s Charlie Gibson—gathered on air to promote a fundraiser for cancer research.

“Stand Up to Cancer” will air simultaneously on all three major networks on September 5th. The telethon will run commercial-free for an hour during primetime and will feature a host of musical performances and celebrity appeals.

The rare simultaneous broadcast is reminiscent of the benefits that aired following the September 11th terrorist attacks and Hurricane Katrina.

Interestingly, Fox, which just scored the title of the nation’s most-watched network for the first time ever, was reportedly asked to participate but opted out. Execs at the network said it preferred to concentrate on its “Idol Gives Back” initiative but would run public service announcements promoting the cancer special.

Returning to her old stomping grounds for the first time since she left in 2006, Couric sat in the “Today” show studio Wednesday and told former co-anchor Matt Lauer:

“For people struggling with this disease, or those who will be diagnosed, scientific breakthroughs can be a matter of life or death – literally.”

Couric, whose husband and sister both died of cancer within a few years of each other, added, “We want everyone to know that they can make a difference in this fight.”

If you plan to donate to the cause you should know that 100 percent of your money will go to cancer research. According to Couric, organizers will work with the American Association for Cancer Research to distribute the money. An estimated 20 percent of the money raised will go specifically to researchers who are testing “out-of-the-box” methods that normally have trouble getting funds.

The American Cancer Society predicts that 1.4 million new cancer cases will be diagnosed this year.

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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.

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