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TV stations plan to keep voters posted


With only Baltimore City offices being contested, local television stations are planning to provide what one news executive termed "standard election night coverage" of today's primaries.

The biggest change in programming will be at WBFF-TV (Fox 45), which will expand its hourlong "News At Ten" to an hour-and-a-half, pushing back the start of "The Arsenio Hall Show" to 11:30 p.m. The expanded newscast will allow the station to provide late election results as well as present the "lion's share" of non-election news, according to news director Mark Pimentel. Channel 45 also plans to do a brief early update, probably around 9 p.m. or 9:30 p.m.

WBAL-TV (Channel 11) will use its 30-second hourly news updates at 8, 9 and 10 p.m. to provide preliminary election results. WMAR-TV (Channel 2) plans three brief updates during the evening -- just before 8, shortly after 10 and at 10:30 p.m. -- and WJZ-TV (Channel 13) will have four -- at 8, 9, 10 and 10.30 p.m. But all three stations say they are prepared to break-in more frequently or stay on the air longer depending on how the races develop and how quickly results are available.

All three stations plan the normal half-hour 11 o'clock newscasts.

On radio, news/talk WBAL-AM (1090) plans four relatively short election updates during its broadcast of the Orioles baseball game. Following the game, instead of the usual post-game show, the station plans to provide complete coverage.

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