ABC Asks Dick Clark to Step Back

The last few hours New Year's Eve won't be rockin' for Dick Clark

The ageless one, Dick Clark who is synonymous with New Year's Eve in New York's Times Square has been asked by his bosses at ABC to take a back seat in ABC's New Year's Eve broadcast. Instead, Clark will be around for a mere 20- to 30-minute TV segment counting down the ball drop in New York's Times Square according to Eonline.

The reason for the request is there is no room for Clark and his traditional 90 minute show in ABC's live, 24-hour, news-based Year 2000 special hosted by anchorman Peter Jennings.

The publicist for Clark tells Reuters that Clark is happy that he's going to be in Times Square, as usual and realizes that it was a programming decision that Clark has no control over.

"If all we did was cover fireworks and balls dropping, it wouldn't be a very useful enterprise," Tim Yellin, executive producer of ABC's Y2K coverage, told Associated Press. "But if we use it as a chance to take a snapshot of the world at this particular time--where we've been and where we're going--then we're journalists again. And we view this as a huge journalistic opportunity."

Despite such claims, ABC has set up a stellar line up of top named entertainers that could have appeared in Clark's traditional New Year's Eve program. The network is set to televise worldwide music performances from Billy Joel, Aretha Franklin, Sting, Neil Diamond, Aerosmith, Bonnie Raitt and Natalie Merchant.

The network also will air live news reports from locations around the globe--with Diane Sawyer in New Zealand, Barbara Walters in Paris, Charles Gibson in London, Cokie Roberts in Rome, Sam Donaldson in Washington, D.C., and Connie Chung in Las Vegas.

Source: Eonline

DATE: 11/16/99

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