NEW YORK, AUG. 16 -- The U.S. network news anchor buildup in the Middle East continued as both ABC's Sam Donaldson and NBC's Tom Brokaw reported for duty in Saudi Arabia.
Brokaw, anchor of "NBC Nightly News," and Donaldson, co-anchor of "PrimeTime Live," flew to Saudi Arabia Wednesday night, raising to seven the number of network anchors sent to report on the Middle East crisis.
"CBS Evening News" anchor Dan Rather, who entered Iraq Wednesday, has been reporting from the Middle East since Iraq's Aug. 2 invasion of Kuwait sparked the crisis. "CBS This Morning" co-anchor Harry Smith began doing that Monday in Cairo.
ABC "Nightline" anchor Ted Koppel, who on Tuesday became the first U.S. network correspondent allowed into Iraq, flew back to Jordan today, but "World News Sunday" anchor Forrest Sawyer remained in Baghdad, ABC said.
However, in a phone report this afternoon, Sawyer said Iraqi officials had told both ABC and CBS crews they wouldn't be allowed to make any more satellite TV transmissions and had to leave the country.
"We've been told that we're to be on the next plane out, and they've already collected our passports," he reported.
CBS spokeswoman Donna Dees said the network had heard nothing similar from its contingent still in Baghdad, including correspondent Allen Pizzey.
"Sunday Today" co-anchor Garrick Utley, who flew to the Middle East last week, was expected to arrive in Iraq tonight, said Steve Friedman, executive producer of "NBC Nightly News."
He said he knew of Sawyer's report, but Iraqi officials have told Utley "he can get in and we're assuming they're still keeping their word."