By Todd Peterson
Updated March 17, 2003 02:19 PM

And you thought the Oscars were important: NBC on Sunday delayed a news conference by President Bush as its stations finished regional coverage of Arena Football League games, the Associated Press reports.

Bush’s speech, which occurred after the Azores summit with allies, was delayed for more than a minute on the network.

Meanwhile, in a move that further underscores the U.S.-Iraq showdown, NBC and ABC removed reporters from Baghdad on Monday.

Allison Gollust, a spokeswoman for NBC News, tells The New York Times that its six-person TV crew was removed from the capital following comments from the Bush administration over the weekend that seemed to indicate the U.S. would wage war on Iraq any day.

The administration has urged journalists to leave Baghdad, but NBC and ABC are the first major networks to voluntarily remove personnel. The Iraqi government kicked out reporters from the FOX News Channel last month. And in the past week, about 150 reporters have left Baghdad, according to Iraq’s Information Ministry.

As of Monday, about 300 journalists remained in the city.