Al-Zarqawi Killed: “Worldwide Exclusive” For ABC, Way Ahead Of Everyone Else

By Brian 

abcjune8.jpgABC News crushed the other broadcast networks and broke the news of Al-Zarqawi’s death this morning. World News Now anchors Ron Corning and Taina Hernandez anchored a special report from New York at 2:38am ET. An insider called it a “worldwide exclusive,” ahead of the wires, the radio nets, the cable nets, etc., thanks to Chief WH Correspondent Martha Raddatz‘s reporting.

“The rest of the nets waited at least 25 more minutes before reporting the development,” an e-mailer says. NBC aired a special report by MSNBC at 3:16am. CBS was “about one hour after ABC,” according to an e-mailer. Good Morning America went live coast-to-coast with a special report from 7 to 8am. Overnight EP Chris Sheridan sent this note to ABC staffers:

“Congratulations on a fantastic morning!

Thanks to Martha’s outstanding reporting and all of your quick and continued hard work we were not only the first network (broadcast or cable) on with this story – we were the ONLY network on with this story for at least 45 minutes.

Two network special reports – continued coverage for all feeds of WNN – updated feeds of WNTM until the hand-off to GMA’s excellent across the board coverage – it’s something to be proud of.

Tape, graphics, control room, anchors, correspondents, producers, writers, floor crew – everyone dove right in and played their roles perfectly and it showed on the air.

Thank you all for a job well done.