According to NBC News executive/producer Reuven Frank, CBS News had set the standard for election night coverage in 1958. In 1960, he vowed to make NBC News competitive, and so he set about creating new rules for coverage, though he could have had no idea that the election reporting would stretch on well into the next day.
“Well, we stayed up all night, but not only that, then [Robert] Kintner started to worry about losing ‘Today’… So at seven-thirty, we were instructed to declare a winner. And luckily we declared Kennedy. ”
Watch Reuven Frank's full interview, where he talks about shows and documentaries he produced, as well as his years as President of NBC News.