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News of Sen. Byrd’s Passing Breaks Early Morning

byrd_6-28.jpgNews broke very early this morning of the passing of West Virginia Senator Robert Byrd, 92, who died at approximately 3amET. (Story)

CNN was first with the news, sending out its wire alert at 5:22amET. The AP alert went out shortly after at 5:29amET. CNN, notably, dropped the AP for its own wire service just a week ago. (Note: the CNN-AP contract will officially expire June 30.)

On-air, CNNI’s Monita Rajpal broke in and reported the news at 5:25amET, MSNBC’s Christina Brown had it at 5:26amET during “First Look,” and Fox News’ Marianne Rafferty delivered a breaking news alert at 5:38amET.

TVNewser hears the Capitol Hill security guards were at it again for CNN and correspondent Dana Bash. It seems a CNN photog overheard some chatter among the guards early this morning and called it in to the assignment desk, which had Bash calling the Byrd staff to confirm before she’d made it out the door for the day. Bash was also live for the top of CNN’s “American Morning.”

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