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Holloway News: CNN First, FNC Best

CNN was the first network to report the new Natalee Holloway news, but FNC’s coverage was the with a breaking news alert just before midnight. CNN/U.S. simulcasted CNN International updates for a few minutes at 12am and 12:30am. Karl Penhaul reported by phone from Aruba.

At 12:12am, FNC’s David Folk Thomas cut in with a live report from Rick Leventhal (in a T-shirt) in Aruba.

MSNBC caught up a few minutes later with a one-minute rip-and-read, then returned to Countdown.

FNC returned with extended live coverage at 12:24am. The network was smart to simulcast the live feed from WBRC in Birmingham. “They’re owning this story,” an e-mailer says. “MS is in ‘Countdown’ and CNN is running a 13-year-old interview with Richard Nixon.” FNC returned to programming at 1am.

At first, the networks said a suspect had confessed, but The Associated Press issued a correction around 12:35am: “Police said suspect did not confess but said only that something bad happened to the girl,” it said. FNC reported this immediately, but during CNN’s 1am update, they still called it “Aruba Confession.”

> Update: A Birmingham viewer writes in with a summary of local affiliate coverage: “Fox 6 (WBRC) was first to break in shortly after eleven PM CDT, and has provided the best coverage. NBC 13 (WVTM) came in around 11:30 with sports anchor Scott Cody reporting on the story until a news anchor could get to the station. Even at this hour, some hour and sixteen minutes after the story first broke, the ABC affiliate (WBMA) and the CBS affiliate (WIAT) continue with regular programming. Fox 6 and NBC 13 are still on and show no signs of slowing.”

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