DIMAGGIO DEATH WATCH?

A TV technician accidentally pressed a wrong button Sunday night, causing NBC to air an erroneous report on “Dateline NBC” that baseball great Joe DiMaggio had died. The report was corrected about 20 minutes after it was broadcast. The news came on as a crawl (text running at the bottom of the screen) at about 7:30 p.m. EST: “This is an NBC News Special Report. Baseball legend Joe DiMaggio has died at his Florida home. He was 84 years old and had …” The message was then cut off. An NBC employee had typed the report and stored it in NBC’s computer earlier in the day after reading a New York Daily News report that DiMaggio was in grave condition and using a ventilator. (Many news organizations prepare obituary material in advance to be able to move quickly when a major public figure dies.) NBC is trying to reach DiMaggio’s family to apologize, network spokesman Cory Shields said.

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