It’s all hands on deck for the cable news networks, even though many of those hands will be in the path of Hurricane Irene (satellite image above from 2:17pmET.)
- Fox News is planning to preempt the business block tomorrow from 10am-NoonET as well as “Huckabee,” and Jeanine Pirro tomorrow night. “Fox & Friends” goes on an hour early. And Shepard Smith will be in to anchor much of the weekend coverage.
- CNN, which has its weekend programming originate from Atlanta, is planning extended coverage Saturday night from 8pmET-Midnight anchored by Kyra Phillips (whose fiance John Roberts is covering Irene from the Outer Banks for FNC) and Martin Savidge. Wolf Blitzer will anchor a 3-hour “Situation Room” from Washington Saturday from 5pm-8pmET. (Regular weekend night anchor Don Lemon is in Philadelphia where he’ll do a Q&A with TVNewser’s Gail Shister at the annual NLGJA conference tomorrow.) CNN is back on the air at 5am Sunday with T.J. Holmes, Candy Crowley picks up at 9am and NoonET, Fredricka Whitfield as usual in the afternoons and Sunday night programming from 6pmET-Midnight with Randi Kaye and Savidge.
- MSNBC’s Chris Jansing will anchor “Hardball” tonight at 5pm & 7pm, with a Hurricane focus. Thomas Roberts is on from 10pmET-Midnight. The network, which normally goes to tape on Saturdays and Sundays at NoonET will be in extended coverage all weekend. Veronica De La Cruz anchors early mornings, Alex Witt anchors until Noon, Tamron Hall from Noon-5pmET, Jansing from 5-10pmET and Roberts picks up at 10pm.
And it will be an especially long weekend for all the newsers who live and work in New York City. Mass transit (subways, buses, commuter railroads) in New York City and the suburbs will be shut down as of Noon tomorrow.