HDNet Rather Show Pushed to November

Dan Rather's upcoming investigative news program on HDNet has been delayed a few weeks until Nov. 14. HDNet billionaire owner Mark Cuban had recently told media critics he had been shooting for an Oct. 24 launch date, although he suggested that date was only tentative (HD Notebook, Oct. 5, 2006).

If one of Cuban's objectives in signing the longtime broadcast journalist a few months ago was to generate some publicity for his relatively little-known HDNet channel, it seems to be working. After a flurry of stories during the recent publicity tours by the networks prior to the new TV season that began a few weeks ago, Rather and HDNet continue generating copy on the former CBS News anchor's upcoming investigative series.

In a widely syndicated profile this week by Washington Post (and CNN) media critic Howard Kurtz, Rather talks about setting up shop with a relatively bare-bones 16-member staff (not including a few dozen free-lancers around the world) on ritzy Park Avenue in New York and getting used to a network operation with a far smaller budget than his home of 44 years at CBS News.

Rather said HDNet boss Cuban "has given me in writing total, complete, absolute journalistic control. This is unprecedented in my experience," he told Kurtz. With his newly formed company (he dubbed it "News and Guts"), the 74-year-old reporter said the weekly "Dan Rather Reports" will have a hard news edge and attempt to secure interviews with major newsmakers.