Television coverage of next week's Republican convention in Dallas will be similar to coverage of the Democratic convention in San Francisco, from which only selected excerpts were aired. None of the commercial networks plan gavel-to-gavel coverage from Dallas.
The only major change may be on ABC.
ABC News says it will cover ''the news of the convention'' rather than the convention itself. Although advance schedules for all three commercial networks still call for a 9 p.m. start, the indications are that ABC may instead air the convention proceedings only when something ABC judges to be newsworthy is happening.
Here is the schedule of TV coverage of the convention as it stands. The schedule is subject to last-minute change based upon convention programming, so it is recommended that viewers check local listings on the day of the events:
ABC, CBS, NBC
On Monday through Thursday, network schedules call for convention coverage to begin at 9 p.m. and continue until 11 p.m., or later, if necessary. On some days , especially on Thursday, 8 p.m. programs may be preempted for an early convention start.
All three networks will include convention coverage in their evening news, and for most of the week all of the network morning news shows will originate from Dallas. CBS will preview the convention with a 10:30 p.m. special on Sunday.
The only gavel-to-gavel coverage of the convention will be on C-SPAN and Cable News Network. C-SPAN will be fixed on the podium most of the time, but CNN will break away for news updates every half-hour, as well as interviews and commentary.
CNN plans to start airing live convention coverage at each night at 8, one hour ahead of the networks. On some days, CNN will also go on live at 11 a.m. with early convention coverage.
C-SPAN gavel-to-gavel coverage will be available to PBS-affiliated stations, and it is advisable to check with your local station as to how much it intends to air. ''The MacNeil/Lehrer News Hour'' will originate from Dallas all week, with many special interviews and commentary as well as C-SPAN excerpts.