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Broadcast, cable news networks to preempt regular programming for Trump impeachment coverage
ABC, CBS, NBC and PBS on Wednesday will preempt their regularly scheduled programming for live coverage of the House Intelligence Committee's open impeachment hearings of President Trump.
As expected, all of the major cable news networks, including Fox News, MSNBC, CNN and CSPAN will also offer live coverage.
William Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat to Ukraine, on Wednesday is slated to be the first to publicly testify regarding possible efforts by Trump administration officials to link U.S. military aid to Ukraine in exchange for investigating former Vice President Joe Biden, a top Democratic presidential candidate, and his son Hunter Biden for business dealings in the country.
Taylor's testimony will be followed by Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs George Kent.
The respective testimonies will mark the second time both men have appeared before lawmakers, with the first occurring in closed door depositions.
House panels began hearing testimony behind closed doors on Sept. 24 in a basement room in the Capitol. Overall, lawmakers have questioned 15 witnesses before three investigatory committees.
In the past, some high-profile public hearings during the Trump administration have generated huge television audiences.
In May 2017, former FBI Director James Comey's testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee was watched live by 19.5 million people across all the major broadcast and cable news networks.
In February, former Trump personal attorney and fixer Michael Cohen's testimony delivered 15.8 million viewers, while 13 million tuned in to see former special counsel Robert Mueller testify before the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees.
All audience numbers are according to Nielsen Media Research.
Impeachment hearings for President Nixon in 1973 were also covered live on a rotating basis by the major broadcast networks ABC, CBS and NBC, while PBS carried the proceedings wall-to-wall for more than 250 hours.
More than 7 in 10, or 71 percent, of Americans watched the Nixon impeachment hearings live, according to Gallup.
Nixon would go on to resign the presidency on Aug. 9, 1974.