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.
“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.