NEW YORK (Hollywood Reporter) - An Alabama TV station's
outage during a "60 Minutes" segment about the state's former
governor has stirred speculation that the blackout may have
been politically motivated.
The lead item about former Democratic Gov. Don Siegelman
wasn't seen by viewers of WHNT-TV, a CBS affiliate in
Huntsville, Ala. The station initially blamed the network, but
said Monday there was a problem with its satellite receiver.
But the outage raised eyebrows in Alabama and elsewhere,
with some bloggers claiming it was a deliberate attempt to keep
the segment off the air.
"60 Minutes" correspondent Scott Pelley's piece focused on
Siegelman's conviction for corruption, which many question, and
it included an interview with a Republican operative who said
former Bush adviser Karl Rove asked her to take compromising
pictures of Siegelman.
The station's technical troubles began at 6 p.m. CST, when
"60 Minutes" began, and lasted for 12 minutes. Pelley's
13-minute report began about 6:05 p.m.
WHNT aired the piece during its 10 p.m. newscast Sunday,
received permission from the network to air it in full in its 6
p.m. newscast Monday, and offered a link to the full story
"We regret that this happened at a very inopportune time,"
the station said in a statement posted on its Web site. "Please
accept our apology and please know that it was not
WHNT couldn't be reached for comment.
CBS seemed satisfied that there was no hanky-panky. Another
CBS affiliate in Alabama, WAKA-TV in Montgomery, Ala., didn't
report any problems. Nor has CBS heard of any other stations
with problems during the broadcast.