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Katie Couric Going HD July 28

CBS News has confirmed that its evening newscast will become the second of the three major evening newscasts on a broadcast network to go HD when it transitions into 1080i on the last Monday of this month.

“We’re very pleased to be debuting our new state-of-the-art control room for the July 28 edition of the ‘CBS Evening News with Katie Couric,’” CBS News Vice President for Operations Frank Governale told TV Technology this week. “That day will be both a happy and historic one—the first broadcast of the ‘evening news’ in HD.”

The Couric show follows “NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams” into the HD universe (also 1080i), which made the leap last year, but it will beat ABC News’ evening newscast by several weeks.

The latest word was that “World News Tonight with Charles Gibson” will jump to 720p in early September (probably with ABC News’ late-night “Nightline”) as all the networks ratchet up their political coverage again—beginning with the two major parties’ political conventions in St. Paul, Minn. (GOP), and Denver (Dems) and their subsequent campaign coverage between Labor Day and Election Day (Nov. 4).

CBS News’ HD transition of the nightly Couric cast is coming only a few weeks later than originally anticipated, following the completion of its HD control room and other digital additions at its Manhattan headquarters.

Meanwhile, “60 Minutes,” the decades-old Sunday CBS News magazine (and one of the very few primetime programs on CBS not airing in HD) plans to make the transition to 1080i this fall.