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Archives: August 2008

Network Newscasts From New Orleans

All three network newscasts spent significant time covering Hurricane Gustav, and had correspondents in the area. ABC’s World News was anchored by Charlie Gibson from the region, CBS’ Evening News was anchored by Russ Mitchell in New York and NBC’s Nightly News was anchored by Lester Holt in New Orleans. But Katie Couric was in New Orleans Baton Rouge, and appeared several times, including to close the broadcast.

> Update: A tipster writes: “Brian Williams appeared in the next-to-last segment from Baton Rouge with a McCain interview.”:

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CNN’s Gustav Plans: Cooper Live at 8pm

cnn_8-31.jpgAnderson Cooper anchors a two-hour special, beginning at 8pmET, from New Orleans. Cooper is one of the more than 120 anchors, correspondents, producers and support personnel in the Gulf Coast region for CNN.

Other correspondents in the region include Don Lemon, Gary Tuchman and Ali Velshi.

At 10pmET, Rick Sanchez, the Twitter superstar, picks up coverage, anchoring from Atlanta.

Looking for citizen journalism in the area as well, iReport Kits have been sent to the region.

Behind-The-Scenes at “Largest Live Operation” on the Web

dnc_8-24.gifTammy Haddad left her post as Washington VP at MSNBC over a year ago, and is back covering the conventions in 2008 in a very unconventional way.

As one of the executive producers of the Convention live webcasts for washingtonpost.com/Newsweek last week in Denver and next week in St. Paul, Haddad is looking to make the web the newest way to bring TV news to an audience hungry for political coverage.

washpo_8-29.jpgWe stopped by Thursday’s web cast as it went live at 6:00pmET. “We are on the internet,” assistant managing editor for news video for washingtonpost.com Chet Rhodes tells TVNewser. “We’re not trying to be NBC News.”

Rhodes, who also serves as an executive producer on the show, says the staff consists of people within the company. “We take people inside the company and train up on video,” he says. “This is the largest live operation of any newspaper.”

“We have what everyone else wants,” says Haddad.

What features distinguish it from the cablers and networks?

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McCain: RNC Will “Suspend Most of our Activities Tomorrow”

Shortly before 4pmET, the cablers moved to a Sen. John McCain briefing on RNC plans (FNC joined a few minutes later). McCain announced the RNC would, “suspend most of our activities tomorrow except for those absolutely necessary.”

It looks like cablers will not have to make the choice about convention or Gustav coverage — Rick Davis took to the podium following McCain to say the actions required by the rules of the conventions is, “all we will do tomorrow.” He predicts that will end sometime around 6:30pmET.

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CBS’s Gustav Plans: Katie Couric to the Gulf, Bob Schieffer at the RNC

KCouric_8.31.jpgCBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric will report from the Gulf coast for tomorrow’s broadcast while Bob Schieffer remains in St. Paul to cover the RNC. (The photo to the right was taken one year ago today when Couric reported from Baghdad).

The Early Show’s Harry Smith and weather anchor Dave Price will be in the region for tomorrow’s show.

CBS’s RNC prime time specials will include coverage from the convention as well as from the Gulf.

Click continued to read CBS’s coverage release…

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On The Way to a Subdued RNC

We are now in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis/St. Paul, or if you’re Bob Schieffer, St. Paul/Minneapolis (he joked about it this morning on Face the Nation). Anyway, we kept up to date on Hurricane Gustav and on the RNC during and in between flights.

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On the Delta flight to Atlanta, CNN Sunday Morning had the latest overnight movements of Gustav.

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And by the time we got to Atlanta, Howie Kurtz was anchoring an abbreviated Reliable Sources from the floor of the RNC. Guests discussed media coverage of Barack Obama‘s speech with Dana Milbank joking about “another network.” That other network? The one he used to work for.

Milbank was talking about this comment from Bill Maher Friday night: “The coverage that I was watching, from MSNBC. I mean, these guys were ready to have sex with him.”

FNC’s Gustav Plans: Continues All Night

fnc_8-31.JPGFox News Channel’s coverage of Hurricane Gustav will continue live throughout the night. At 7pmET, Shepard Smith anchors live from New Orleans. Brit Hume will take over an hour later from St. Paul, with discussion of the impact of Gustav on the RNC. From 10pm-MidnightET, Geraldo Rivera anchors from New Orleans.

Gregg Jarrett, Julie Banderas, Todd Connor and Uma Pemmaraju anchor from Midnight-5amET, with Fox & Friends picking up coverage an hour early.

Besides Smith and Rivera, FNC has a full slate of correspondents in the area, with Steve Harrigan (just back from Georgia/Russia coverage), Trace Gallagher, Jon Scott and correspondents from regional bureaus (Kris Gutierrez, Casey Stegall, Johnathan Serrie, Marianne Silber, Phil Keating and Adam Housley). Of course the “Weather Machine” Janice Dean has worked all day today from the Fox Extreme Weather Center.

As mentioned earlier, FBN will be live from at least 7am-7pmET.

> Related: FNC’s VP of news editorial Jay Wallace tells Politico that Gustav/RNC coverage, “Almost feels like having a two-front war.”

ABC’s Gustav Plans: Charlie Gibson to the Gulf, George Stephanopoulos at the RNC

GibsonGeorge_8.31.jpgABC News has announced Charlie Gibson will be reporting live from New Orleans beginning tonight on World News while George Stephanopoulos will continue anchoring from St. Paul. The network will produce special reports as need throughout today and tomorrow. In fact, they aired a special for the President’s announcement earlier this afternoon.

GMA’s Chris Cuomo is on his way to New Orleans as is Sam Champion, whose Labor Day weekend got off to a rough start, as well. Diane Sawyer and Robin Roberts will be at GMA’s Times Square studios. Nightline’s Terry Moran is also headed to the Gulf coast.

Click continued to read ABC’s coverage release…

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NBC’s Gustav Plans: Brian Williams to the Gulf, Tom Brokaw at the RNC

This time, no one is taking any chances.

With the potential of being as severe or even worse than Hurricane Katrina three years ago, Hurricane Gustav is challenging network executives like no story in recent memory. Just like RNC planners, themselves facing a scaled back gathering, news executives, too, have been huddled all weekend coming up with their coverage plans.

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NBC’s Brian Williams covering the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

NBC News will place Nightly News anchor Brian Williams along the Gulf coast while his predecessor on Nightly News, Tom Brokaw handles anchor duties from St. Paul. “There’s nobody who can put the kind of talent on both stories like NBC News,” division head Steve Capus told TVNewser today. “There’s no such thing as a “B” team when your anchor is Tom Brokaw,” Capus says. For his part, Williams will combine both stories tonight. He’s scored an interview with Sen. McCain that will air on tonight’s Nightly News.

NBC & MSNBC will also have the benefit of on and off camera meteorologists from the Weather Channel. “We feel great that with our pending acquisition of the Weather Channel, we’ve got at least five correspondents from the Weather Channel. That just rounds out a strong reporting team,” Capus says.

Complicating matters for NBC back in St. Paul, the network is the broadcast pool, providing video coverage for all networks. “From a technical load we have a tremendous burden,” Capus says. “We’re not pulling anything on the tech side out of St. Paul.” And as for any criticism that might be leveled at the network from those who might claim unequal DNC & RNC coveraage, Capus says, “The McCain campaign and the RNC have been incredibly sensitive to what’s happening in the Gulf, and we’ve tried to do the same.” Capus doesn’t rule out Williams traveling to St. Paul to report on the final day of the RNC, again, all depending on the storm.

Another NBC News reporter not going to St. Paul: Luke Russert. NBC says he’ll be going to Memphis to cover the evacuation of Gulf coast residents.

Click continued to read NBC’s press release. We’ll highlight other networks’ coverage plans in later posts…

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CNBC and FBN Live on Labor Day

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With the markets closed for the holiday, the business news networks would normally be in taped programming. But with Hurricane Gustav heading toward the Gulf Coast the business nets will be live on Labor Day.

CNBC will be live tomorrow with international programs at 4amET and will begin U.S. coverage at 7am running until 6pmET and is calling its coverage, “America’s Oil Crisis: Hurricane Gustav.” CNBC’s Scott Cohn and Mary Thompson report live on the ground, where preparations are underway ahead of the storm.

Fox Business will be live from 5am-7pmET, or later if need be. Alexis Glick is in New Orleans and correspondent Jeff Flock, who spent years reporting on hurricanes with CNN, will be near landfall in Louisiana. Neil Cavuto remains at the RNC with heavy Gustav coverage.

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