$3.5 Million Funds NBC Health Report

<i> Associated Press</i>

A leading philanthropic foundation is paying $3.5 million for a two-hour time slot that NBC’s news division will fill with a program examining health care reform.

The joint venture is unprecedented in network television, NBC News President Andrew Lack said Tuesday.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, a nonprofit organization that makes grants in support of health care, will spend $2.5 million to underwrite the broadcast time for the program, which is to air without commercials from 9 to 11 p.m. EDT on June 21. It will spend another $1 million to advertise the program.

The special, to be anchored by Tom Brokaw, will include reports from NBC News correspondents on the health care debate. It will also include discussion by experts from medical and legal circles and by ordinary citizens.


“I’m both thrilled and very proud that NBC is able to take part in this kind of unprecedented broadcast,” Lack said.

NBC News will maintain control of editorial content, he said.